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Handley Page Hastings

Old 17th Jan 2015, 07:03
  #161 (permalink)  
 
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A bit more about Mxxxx codes, including Hastings:

Hastings MOGCB at Changi in 1962

Laurence
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 10:42
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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Hopefully this will work. If it does, I'll try to post some more Hastings stuff this afternoon.
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 10:59
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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I have just posted a contribution from a 'harrym' that includes a photo of the demise of (TG)564 at Kai Tak in the early fifties.

Yuos can find it on the
Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW11
thread in the Miltary Aviation section.
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 11:00
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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Works fine!
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 11:07
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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Nice to see it in one piece! 53 sqn must have had it on charge before 99sqn as all 99's Hastings and crews were transferred from Lyneham to Colerne in January 1959, some time after 53 re-equiped with the Beverley.
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 13:23
  #166 (permalink)  
 
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So here is the other shot that I found of WJ332/GAY in 53 Sqn colours.
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 13:28
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And here is one of 53 Sqn MOGAC/TG604.
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 14:12
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JW411,
your last pic looks like a MK 1 before they were all modded to MK1A with the external tanks.
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 14:23
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This rather poor quality shot shows two Jeeps loaded on to the heavy beam underneath the fuselage ready for dropping.
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 14:27
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View from the front showing an anxious captain probably contemplating what he has let himself in for.
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 14:35
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And here is Hastings TG529/JAB running in to drop the Jeeps. You can see how beautifully streamlined the Jeeps are! I am told that an engine failure on take-off simply could not be contemplated.
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 14:52
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I must have dropped around a dozen Champs, but can't remember being briefed about the dangers of an engine failure, however, second pilots weren't considered worth briefing in those days!
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 15:53
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And finally for today, a nice air-to-air photograph of WD488/JAM.
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 15:57
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I am told that an engine failure on take-off simply could not be contemplated.
Having experienced a 'mag drop' and aborted T/O half way along Marham's main runway, I can imagine the trepidation on the flight deck when carrying the said jeep's.

An aside to this, on returning to the dispersal the Flt Eng came down the back asking if we had any Engine Fitters that knew the Hercules, 'No Chief only the Avon,' was the stern reply!
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Old 18th Jan 2015, 08:19
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Thanks Jock for those remarkable photos. They bring back memories of frustrating times. (Undercarriage up, flap up and shut up!) The Heath Robinson systems on the underslung loads caused a lot of head scratching and fiddling about before we got airborne.
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Old 18th Jan 2015, 10:55
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As I understand it the last time the Hastings dropped a Jeep was during Suez. By 1956 the UK heavy drop system was the MSP, which as the Beverley hadn't yet been cleared for the MSP, and all MSP drops were conducted for us by the USAF from C-119. Of course as the US didn't want to help us (officially anyway), the french or Isreal during Suez the heavy drop requirements of the assualt had to fall back on the crash pan system used on the Hastings. Luckily the AATDC at Old Sarum still had some support beams and the required parts to rig a jeep and a six pounder anti-tank gun for the drop in their museum.
The loads were rigged by a REME Sergeant who was allowed to go to Cyprus to see the loads off but was forbidden (much to his disgust) from going on the operation as he was required back at Old Sarum to help devise the method to be employed to drop some 105mm recoiless rifles given to the UK by the US (Remember officially the US was not helping us).
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Old 18th Jan 2015, 10:59
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We were still dropping underslung loads (Austin Champs) from the Hastings in 1957/8.
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Old 18th Jan 2015, 15:22
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I offer the following extract from my epistle (which would have mainly come from the 53 Sqn Operations Record Book):

"The entire squadron was now on standby while the politicians tried to decide what to do about the loss of their canal. Normal route flying and training was disrupted but concentrated support training started on 16 August (1956). The situation continued throughout September and October until three crews were finally sent out to Nicosia at the end of the month in order to be ready to take part in a possible airborne invasion of the Canal Zone. The British part in the operation was to be carried out using a fairly large force consisting of Hastings and Valetta aircraft.
The three aircraft, captained by F/L T C Waugh, F/L L V Dale and F/L W I Warmington, finally dropped elements of the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment on to El Gamil airfield, Port Said at first light on 5 November. As soon as the troops had secured the airfield and its perimeter, the honour of landing the first Hastings there fell to F/L Dale and his crew. A great deal has already been written about why this operation was a debacle from the political point of view, it also revealed the folly of not having an adequate heavy-drop capability. A few Hastings fitted with heavy beams had been provided but the normal fighting vehicle used by the Parachute Regiment at the time was the Austin Champ and the Hastings could only carry Jeeps. This meant that the troops had to go into battle with war-surplus vehicles and with which they were unfamiliar. The French forces on the other hand, were supported by rear-loading Nord Noratlas aircraft and were supplied with all of the equipment that they needed. Although Egyptian resistance only lasted about 24 hours, British casualties stood at 22 dead and 97 wounded. F/L Waugh and crew flying WJ332 landed at El Gamil on 4 December to collect the dead Parachute Regiment soldiers. Their bodies were taken to Blackbushe for burial at nearby Aldershot."

Several further casualty flights were made and everyone was home for Christmas.

53 Sqn became a Beverley squadron the following month.
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Old 18th Jan 2015, 17:11
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Fascinating. Modified beams compatible with Austin Champs must have been rushed into service shortly after the Suez fiasco. I enjoyed a few pub crawls around Wiltshire with Tony Waugh (in his Borgward Isabella) when he waiting for a Britannia course early in 1959.
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Old 19th Jan 2015, 08:14
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The Jordan and Lebanon crisis of 1958

I'm currently researching the RAF and USAF involvement in the Middle East crisis in 1958. Information about the RAF involvement is sketchy. I do know that 70 Squadron Hastings were involved in airlifting paratroops to Amman and that other units were involved flying Hastings, Beverleys, Comets and Valettas.
I would like some first hand information about these and other RAF ops in the region at this time. If anyone who was involved has any particular memories to share I would like to see them.
Thanks, Doug.
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