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48 Sqdn Hastings..

Old 22nd Mar 2022, 20:18
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48 Sqdn Hastings..

Does anyone who served at Changi around '68 have memories of the final squadron flypast, the handover of aircraft for scrappage..any details how the swap of aircraft went..
I was an engine fitter on the squadron forced to go on the practice parade..complete with flypast. ..so missed it other than seeing on tv the week I arrived back home ..much to my surprise. Finishing up at Brize Norton I lost contact with events at Changi.after '67, recently having had a chat with a couple of other ex 48 members thought something must have been put together...I believe a book has been published ..but anyone who can complete the history of the Hastings of 48 which certainly played its part while based at Changi and flying to just about everywhere in the Far East.
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Old 23rd Mar 2022, 09:19
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Hi Patkinson,

I can't help you with the flypast I'm afraid as I was still at Nav' School when the 48 Hastings were retired and arrived on the squadron as a young Hercules nav' in late '67.

The Hastings squadron was disbanded on 1/4/67 and reformed with the Hercules on 2/10/67 ( dates extracted from Jefford's RAF Squadrons ).
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Old 24th Mar 2022, 07:51
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Hello Patkinson

I have no connection with 48Sqn just an interest in Hastings.
Not sure by what you mean regarding the swap of aircraft but the following list gives detail of seventeen aircraft that were on strength in the final years.

TG516 Returned to UK RAF Shawbury, scrapped 7/68.

TG520 48 then Far East Communications Squadron until damaged and SOC 27/1/67 RAF Gan. Undercarriage collapse, scrapped.

TG523 SOC on 15/2/1967. Final fate is unknown.

TG525 SOC on 9/3/1967. Derelict Singapore RAF Changi (Paya Lebar) in 1968 with all engines removed then moved to the fire training area, burned out by Feb 1977.

TG526 SOC on 9/3/1967. Fate is unknown.

TG531 SOC on 1/11/66. Seletar marked as ‘lot 41’ scrapped.

TG536 Returned to UK, use by SCBS SOC 1974, Colerne Museum, Scrapped Catterick.

TG569 SOC on 1/11/66. Seletar marked as ‘lot 40’ scrapped.

TG612 SOC on 14/11/66. Seletar marked as ‘Lot 42 scrapped.

TG614 SOC 9/3/67. Fate unknown.

TG620 SOC 9/3/67. Fate unknown.

WD479 SOC 6/3/67 as Cat5(c) Broken for spares.

WD488 SOC 26/11/65 broken up Changi.

WJ332 SOC 13/8/68. To Seletar for scrapping but plans changed, flown to Gan for fire practice.

WJ333 SOC 14/03/66 48 then Far East Comms Flt partial VIP fit.. Fate unknown.

WJ336 Far East Communications Squadron. Named CAL1. Made the last ever re-supply flight by a Hastings from Changi to Hong Kong and back. Out of service by 11/68 and SOC 06/69. Scrapped Changi.

WJ337 SOC 5/11/68 48 then Far East Communications Squadron. Used for fire practice at Changi.

Richard

Last edited by sandringham1; 24th Mar 2022 at 19:38. Reason: Spacing modified
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Old 24th Mar 2022, 17:34
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Hi Richard,
Thanks very much for that info ..I worked on a number of the aircraft you have listed so pleased to see that. Although this all passing interest for me as being ex RAF and I was at Colerne on 36 Sqdn and I..just a few years later I was an outstation engineer with Dan Air whose home base was Lasham ..any connection?
Your mention of a museum at Colerne is interesting, perhaps I will check that out should I be passing there !

Just while I remember there is a chap due to have a book on the Hastings due to be published this year and I am sure he would like to add your list unless he already has seen a similar listing! Would he have your permission?

Many thanks

Pete
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Old 24th Mar 2022, 18:42
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Hi Brian,
Thanks for the info..never heard of Jeffords listing of RAF Squadrons. So between that and and the date 48 Sqdn Hastings was disbanded again something I had not known, so I was interested in how it was done and how the new C130's fitted into a new role as the 'new 48'.
It was ironic that only a few months later I flew to Malaysia to change an engine on a Belfast that was extended because the engine and prop being delivered by queen mary transport had an en route stop due to the propeller rolling over the RR Tyne engine when it hit a low religous or other structure. We never found out but the phone lines were pretty hot between KL and Changi as to where the transport with the engine and prop was . After a day or two the transport arrived with engine (dented) tailpipe and a prop with very bent blades!
So more phone calls and a C130 was depatched with a new engine and prop from Gan..could you have been the nav?
Life was never dull in those days...not that it has been dull in my civvy aviation career!
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Old 24th Mar 2022, 20:23
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Pete
My interest in Hastings began when I was a nipper living West of Colerne under the 23 approach, then moved away but my ATC Squadron camp in July 67 took me back to Colerne, unfortunately the Hastings had just been withdrawn and were parked in a sad row on the airfield. The museum there closed after five years or so and the aircraft were either relocated or scrapped, TG536 was part of it and was moved on to Catterick where it was eventually scrapped, the plan was for the wing to be used in the build of the Elvington Halifax reconstruction but in the end only the centre section was used due to corrosion in the outer wings. I have always lived not far from Lasham, visited there in connection with gliding and with ATC(Aviation Tool Company) when they were doing 737 maintenance.
The list is only what I gleaned from various sources so please us it.

Richard

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Old 25th Mar 2022, 09:36
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Pete,
I've got a book entitled ' Hastings, including a brief history of the Hermes' by Tim Senior. I noticed copies on the shelves in W H Smiths in Hereford yesterday. It seems to be one of a series of books about British aircraft types.

Talking of the museum at Colerne - we had a skipper on 48 who told me one of his "Secondary Duties' as a young pilot at Colerne had been officer i/c. He sometimes posts here as Lou Scannon. Although he'd be about 80 now I'm sure he is still 'on the perch'. He and I are both members of 48Sqn association - our next reunion is in June.

I wasn't the nav on the flight you mentioned - they wouldn't have trusted a 21yr old spotty Plt Off!

48 reformed with 3 waves of Hercules arriving in Oct, Nov and Dec '67. One of the first big tasks was one of the crews searching for the Shackleton that crashed into the sea on a flight from Gan to Changi. They located the crash site, but sadly there were only 3 survivors, one of whom was a passenger hitching a lift to his son's wedding in Singapore.

Cheers, Brian

Last edited by Brian 48nav; 25th Mar 2022 at 09:37. Reason: missing word
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Old 25th Mar 2022, 10:40
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I have a photo of WJ 332 when it was on 99 Sqn, taken a Lajes Field in the Azores in January 1958 when it was on the way home to RAF Lyneham after a detachment in Christmas Island. It was damaged at Lages during a gale when it broke from its moorings and ran back into a Portugese B17 SAR.


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Old 25th Mar 2022, 11:08
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Shackleton WL786

The Shackleton that crashed into the Indian Ocean on 4th November 1967 was initially located by the crew of a 215 Squadron Argosy. I was one of the navigators on the Shackleton that subsequently dropped Lindholme gear (dinghy and survival packs) to the survivors. The survivors were eventually taken to Penang by the navy.
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Old 25th Mar 2022, 21:18
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Originally Posted by patkinson View Post
Hi Richard,
Thanks very much for that info ..I worked on a number of the aircraft you have listed so pleased to see that. Although this all passing interest for me as being ex RAF and I was at Colerne on 36 Sqdn and I..just a few years later I was an outstation engineer with Dan Air whose home base was Lasham ..any connection?
Your mention of a museum at Colerne is interesting, perhaps I will check that out should I be passing there !

Just while I remember there is a chap due to have a book on the Hastings due to be published this year and I am sure he would like to add your list unless he already has seen a similar listing! Would he have your permission?

Many thanks

Pete
To avoid you wasting your time, the museum at RAF Colerne closed in 1974 and the collection was either dispersed or scrapped.
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Old 26th Mar 2022, 16:02
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Ref the Colerne museum: I understand that most, maybe all, of the surviving aircraft went to Cosford.
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Old 26th Mar 2022, 16:35
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Originally Posted by kenparry View Post
Ref the Colerne museum: I understand that most, maybe all, of the surviving aircraft went to Cosford.
Certainly not all, some were scrapped, to great dismay and much embarrassing publicity at the time, as some quite rare types were included.
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Old 26th Mar 2022, 18:21
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Certainly not all, some were scrapped, to great dismay and much embarrassing publicity at the time, as some quite rare types were included.
I have just consulted the list for Colerne in Ellis's W&R Lost Aviation Collections of Britain. I could not find any evidence of aircraft being scrapped: all seemed to pass on to new homes mostly in the UK but some abroad....
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Old 26th Mar 2022, 19:10
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Thanks for the pic..332 was a 48 a/c a mk2 I think because the tailplane was lower for some reason than the Mk1.. I do remember driving a flight eng or loadmaster on one occasion ...between a/c and somehow as I approached the rear of the a/c at Changi..the rh guard on the tractor ..snagged the tailplane trailing fairing ..I wasnot very popular with that incident!
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Old 26th Mar 2022, 20:17
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[QUOTE=patkinson;11205234]Hi Richard,
Thanks very much for that info ..I worked on a number of the aircraft you have listed so pleased to see that. Although this all passing interest for me as being ex RAF and I was at Colerne on 36 Sqdn and I..just a few years later I was an outstation engineer with Dan Air whose home base was Lasham ..any connection?
Your mention of a museum at Colerne is interesting, perhaps I will check that out should I be passing there !


Pete

the museum at Colerne is long gone, I too was on 36 from mid 66 to 67 before moving on. The museum shared a hanger with Bannerdown gliding club of which I was a member so we got to see some odd aircraft which seemed to get dispersed around to lots of other museums.
the hanger is still there but heavily fenced off.

CDR
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Old 28th Mar 2022, 04:20
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RAF Colerne museum

Please excuse the thread drift patkinson....
The museum at Colerne stockist as of 1 Dec 72 was as shown below (from Leslie Hunt's Veteran and Vintage Aircraft Ed4).
People more current than me probably can say which aircraft are still in existence.

TX226 Anson CX1X

VT812 Vampire F3

XD542 Vampire T11

WT346 Canberra B(I)8

WJ676 Canberra B2

TJ138 Mosquito PR34 (ex 3CAACU TT35)

VT229 Meteor F4

WK935 Meteor F8 Prone conversion

WS838 Meteor NF14

XA634 Javelin FAW4/9

VR930 Sea Fury FB11

VX272 Hawker P1052

WB188 Hunter P1067 Mark 3

WN907 Hunter F2

XF690 Percival Provost T1

VV106 Supermarine 510

BL614 Spitfire V (B)

WD159 Valetta CMk1

WG725 Westland Dragonfly HR3

120227 He162 (VH513)

191904 Me163B (AM217)

Bloodhound Missile Mk2

G-AEEH Pou-de-Ciel

G-AVXV Bleriot X1 225 on loan from Cdr Goldsmith

G-ASPX Bensen Gyrocopter on loan Cdr Goldsmith

G-AEKV BAC Drone owned by Wg Cdr Macdonald
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Old 28th Mar 2022, 05:40
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Had two ATC Summer Camps at Colerne, 1961 & 1963. Managed to see part of the collection on the first visit while sitting on a small embankment in front of the hangar waiting for a Hastings flight.

Found this photo on the Newark Air Museum Twitter feed. Not sure what date it was taken.
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Old 28th Mar 2022, 08:11
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bonajet, I can help with two of your list. The Prone Meteor and the Flying Flea are both at Cosford. The pilot who did most of the prone flying was Bill Else, who trained and checked me in both left and right-hand seats of the F27, more years ago than I care to remember.
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Old 28th Mar 2022, 08:29
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I've got Leslie Hunt's book - he barely scratched the surface of what was still around, but it's an excellent effort!

Using Bonajet's list, this is what I've come up with as to present disposition of Colerne's residents:

TX226 Anson CX1X- at Montrose museum for restoration

VT812 Vampire F3 – RAF Museum, Hendon

XD542 Vampire T11 – Private owner Patrington

WT346 Canberra B(I)8 – under restoration at Ardmore

WJ676 Canberra B2 – was Wroughton gate guard, scrapped and nose preserved

TJ138 Mosquito PR34 (ex 3CAACU TT35) – RAF Museum, Hendon

VT229 Meteor F4 – Kermit Weeks, Florida

WK935 Meteor F8 Prone conversion, RAF Museum, Cosford

WS838 Meteor NF14 – Midland Air Museum, Coventry

XA634 Javelin FAW4/9 – Jet Age Museum, Staverton

VR930 Sea Fury FB11 – Airworthy, Navy Wings, Yeovilton

VX272 Hawker P1052 – FAA Museum, Yeovilton

WB188 Hunter P1067 Mark 3 – Tangmere Museum

WN907 Hunter F2 – Robertsbridge Museum (think this was incomplete wreck when at Colerne?)

XF690 Percival Provost T1 – airworthy with John Beattie group at Yeovilton

VV106 Supermarine 510 – FAA Museum, Yeovilton

BL614 Spitfire V (B) – RAF Museum, Hendon

WD159 Valetta CMk1 - scrapped

WG725 Westland Dragonfly HR3 – preserved Nowra

120227 He162 (VH513) – RAF Museum, Hendon

191904 Me163B (AM217) – Luftwaffe Museum, Berlin

Bloodhound Missile Mk2 - no idea

G-AEEH Pou-de-Ciel – RAF Museum, Cosford

G-AVXV Bleriot X1 225 on loan from Cdr Goldsmith – ditched in the Channel in 1989, and recovered! Now in France…

G-ASPX Bensen Gyrocopter on loan Cdr Goldsmith – apparently crashed in 1989

G-AEKV BAC Drone owned by Wg Cdr Macdonald – Brooklands Museum
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Old 28th Mar 2022, 08:49
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Originally Posted by lauriebe View Post
Had two ATC Summer Camps at Colerne, 1961 & 1963. Managed to see part of the collection on the first visit while sitting on a small embankment in front of the hangar waiting for a Hastings flight.

Found this photo on the Newark Air Museum Twitter feed. Not sure what date it was taken.
It was taken between 12:20 - 12:40 on the 19 June 1975. It appears on the front cover of Ellis's "Lost Aviation Collections of Britain" 35 aircraft in total...
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