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Fighter Command Ferry Squadron

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Fighter Command Ferry Squadron

Old 17th Sep 2016, 16:19
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Fighter Command Ferry Squadron

Does anyone know anything about this unit, which was active at Leuchars in 1964/5 at least, mainly it seems, to ferry Javelins overseas? The CO was one Sqn Ldr Webb but other than that I can find no reference to the unit anywhere.
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Old 17th Sep 2016, 19:37
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C 1957-8 there was an RAF Ferry Flight, I don't think it was a Squadron.

It had the job of ferrying the Indian Air Force Hunters from UK to India. Memory says they flew out of Ford, but it was a long time ago.

I was at Istres at this time and we were the 1st stop on their route. They were only supposed to re-fuel and have lunch, then carry on to Luqa.

But of course if they had any snags it often meant a night stop. They always travelled in at least a pair, no solo's over the 'oggin to Luqa. So if one night stopped, his partner did.

The biggest problem we had with the was the droptanks, they were only fitted for the ferry flight. When the a/c was re-fuelled the tanks often leaked at the joint with the pylon. These were supposed to be tightened to a specific torque, but a little more leverage often stopped the leak.
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Old 20th Sep 2016, 19:55
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Thanks Ian, very interesting.
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Old 21st Sep 2016, 07:37
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Grey cells now pointing to Benson as being origin of IAF Hunters, sorry its an age thing.
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Old 22nd Sep 2016, 10:49
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An old friend of mine was ferrying a Venom from Benson to Singapore in 1959 when it broke down in Sharjah. The other two left him behind and continued as a pair. When my Nav went down with squitters he acted as my second pilot for a couple of days on a Twin Pioneer Firq Saiq airlift.
1953 Transport Command
In 1953, the Station re-grouped under Transport Command, Two squadrons, No's 147 and 167, had responsibility for the ferrying of aircraft to all parts of the world including Germany, the Near and Far East. The Ferry Wing, as it was known at Benson, was disbanded in 1960 when squadrons became responsible for the collection and ferrying of their own aircraft.
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Old 23rd Sep 2016, 15:01
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Brakedwell - thanks for the clue about Ferry Squadrons. Looking in my copy of "Squadrons of the RAF" it contains the following under 147 Sqn:

On 1 February 1953 No.1 Long Range Ferry Flight at Abingdon was renumbered 147 Squadron and soon afterwards moved to Benson. Initially it was mainly engaged in ferrying Sabres from Canada to Germany and the UK then Venoms to the Middle and Far East and finally Swifts and Hunters to Germany. On 15 September 1958, it amalgamated with No. 167 Squadron to form the Ferry Squadron.
Looking further WiKi has a long list of RAF Ferry Units here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ce_ferry_units
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Old 24th Sep 2016, 10:21
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On 16 April 1956 the Ferry Support Squadron was formed at Benson replacing the Ferry Transport Flight. The Support Squadron's name was changed to the Ferry Squadron on 1 January 1958. The squadron absorbed 147 and 167 Squadron's on 15 September 1958[2] and was disbanded at Benson on 1 December 1958.[6]
In my very fallible memory, the ferrying of the Indian AF Hunters was completed by the time that the RAF Liaison Party moved from Istres to Orange in May 1958.

I do not remember ever seeing any IAF Hunters at Orange.
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Old 24th Sep 2016, 11:41
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As an ATC cadet I spent a week at Benson some time in the mid 50's. I was given a flight in a Valletta picking up ferry pilots from Kemble, St Athan and Hawarden. I distinctly remember the raucous cheers from the passengers as we bounced slightly landing back at Benson.
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Old 25th Sep 2016, 11:40
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My father was stationed at Benson 1957-59, when I was a young and avid fan of all things aeronautical. The Ferry Support Squadron at that time had two Valettas and two Meteor 7s, used I suppose for continuation training and general taxi work.
I recall seeing IAF Hunters passing through Benson for onward delivery. The presence of the Ferry Squadron also gave rise to other interesting visitors to what was otherwise a rather quiet station: Lincolns, Shackletons, Beverleys circuit-bashing from Abingdon, Canberras, Javelins, Meteor NFs, once a Comet transporting Eisenhower back to the US. And once - I could hardly believe my eyes - a Beaufighter TT10 sitting on a hardstand near the road as I pedalled my way to school in Ewelme. Happy days!
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Old 25th Sep 2016, 22:39
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KJ994
once a Comet transporting Eisenhower back to the US
Not quite, it was to and from Aberdeen. I was there and took some photos of Ike's return to Benson. See here on PPRuNe:
http://www.pprune.org/military-aviat...ml#post5527893

Post #6
WT
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Old 28th Sep 2016, 12:39
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Thank you Warmtoast, I hadn't spotted that Benson thread. Great photos!

KJ
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Old 28th Sep 2016, 14:11
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Spent happy fortnight with 114 Sqn in 1965 (self arranged visit, the Towers course showed you everything but the RAF). memories of SEAC packs at Watchfield, MSPs going out the back and the crew lending me a loadie's flying suit so I could attend on the Towers Junior Entries returning from King Rock in Germany - got some VERY funny looks. Years later, like 30 odd, when I was at the Royal Lymington a guy came round flogging gismos to put on gas and water pies to reduce usage and save money (no I did not buy it either); turned out he was the captain I had done most of my 114 flying with. Sorry, name won't come
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