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RAF strength 1953

Old 20th Apr 2022, 16:54
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RAF strength 1953

This pic showed up on Facebook recently - an impressive display of hardware at Odiham celebrating the recent Coronation, including a 600-ship flypast. Apologies if it's already been posted.


Crown copyright
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 17:10
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Indeed a magnificent display of the technology of the day.

As to capabilities in 2022, one would have to regard this [sadly] as a Museum Collection.
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 17:19
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They are very impressively straight lines of aircraft and people.
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 17:23
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Manpower-wise my father who was in then says about 250,000 personnel - helped by national service of course.
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 21:24
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FWIW Composition of the Odiham Coronation Review flypast.


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Old 20th Apr 2022, 21:29
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Coincidentally, in 1953 the RAF lost over 400 Gloster Meteors in crashes/accidents!
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 00:04
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Fly past

Some famous pilots on there!What would this list look like now!
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 06:43
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Looks like the last five a/c on the list were flown by company test pilots.
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 06:48
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They could at least have taken the covers off that Hastings.
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 06:57
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Originally Posted by The Flying Stool View Post
Coincidentally, in 1953 the RAF lost over 400 Gloster Meteors in crashes/accidents!
I think the actual number for that year was around 150 (still a lot, though!).
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 07:30
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Originally Posted by oldpax View Post
Some famous pilots on there!What would this list look like now!
And at least 3 of them with Battle of Britain victories to their name, Dennis Cowley-Milling, Bobby Oxspring and Paddy Barthropp.


Its also sad to see out of that long list of bases, only Shawbury, Waddington & Marham are left as active RAF bases.
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 07:45
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And another impressive fact about the Coronation Flypast and Static Display: I understand that ALL the aircraft involved were UK based, not a single one from Germany or farther afield.......
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 08:40
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The last four large aircraft in the second row, are those Boeing B-29's? Were they part of the UK Air Force?
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 08:45
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Originally Posted by washoutt View Post
The last four large aircraft in the second row, are those Boeing B-29's? Were they part of the UK Air Force?
Apparently so- on loan, known as the Washington B1, phased out shortly after the photo was taken.
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 08:53
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Originally Posted by washoutt View Post
The last four large aircraft in the second row, are those Boeing B-29's? Were they part of the UK Air Force?
Washingtons not....oh bugger.
(I had a Dinky Toy one)
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 09:51
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Originally Posted by washoutt View Post
The last four large aircraft in the second row, are those Boeing B-29's? Were they part of the UK Air Force?
Yes, as mentioned, in early 1950, the RAF acquired 87 early B-29A's (Washington B.1) on loan from the USAF, that had just been taken out of service and were due to go into desert storage.
These were a stop-gap in the nuclear role until the Canberra was able to take on that role, and all the B-29's were returned to the USA in early 1954.
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 16:05
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[...]all the B-29's were returned to the USA in early 1954[...]
Not quite all! One was lost over Morecambe Bay, another crashed near Marham and another near Coningsby.

Perhaps there were further losses?
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 17:33
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Originally Posted by ancientaviator62 View Post
Looks like the last five a/c on the list were flown by company test pilots.
By my reckonings the last six aircraft on the list were flown by company test pilots. That would figure as the aircraft were Ministry of Supply aircraft, not RAF squadron aircraft... Could be regarded as " the industry's " contribution to the great show....!!
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 17:37
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Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
Its also sad to see out of that long list of bases, only Shawbury, Waddington & Marham are left as active RAF bases.
Wattisham sneaks onto the list via the Army Air Corps.....!!
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 18:44
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Originally Posted by Planemike View Post
Wattisham sneaks onto the list via the Army Air Corps.....!!
...and Boscombe Down.
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