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F-4 CAP

Old 1st Nov 2020, 06:13
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F-4 CAP

I remember a story doing the rounds.

My memory is a bit hazy but it goes something like this:

Back in the mid 80s there was a certain new F-4 Sqn being declared to NATO. As a bit of a celebration they thought they would show the world how good they were - so they announced they would be manning a CAP near the Wash.
" Come and have a go if you think you are hard enough"

Lots of units did have a try and how well they fared is outside the scope of this story.

But news of the challenge reached a specialised unit in the Lincolnshire countryside - it so happened they were doing a solo airtest that day - so the pilot thought he would try his luck - and climbed up as high as he could go .
Before diving into the CAP box as quick as he could go.

On CAP was a 2 ship and in the lead F-4 was the Sqn boss and his Nav - searching for trade.
The Nav checks six and sees a familiar shape diving out of the heavens just approaching gun range
He then immediately calls on the intercom "Boss - you wont believe this - but we have a Spitfire in our trousers"

Hope it was true?

Last edited by typerated; 1st Nov 2020 at 08:04.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 07:15
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PLEASE let it be true!
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 07:55
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Mid 1980s was when the F-4s were leaving CY, being replaced by the F-3.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 08:04
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Mid 1980s was when the F-4s were leaving CY, being replaced by the F-3.

It was 74 Sqn - allegedly
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 09:58
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Yes it was 74 (Tiger) Squadron and the OC was Cliff Spink. If the story is true the Spitfire pilot was almost certainly "The Major"?
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 10:44
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Originally Posted by Dominator2 View Post
Yes it was 74 (Tiger) Squadron and the OC was Cliff Spink. If the story is true the Spitfire pilot was almost certainly "The Major"?
And probably flying one of the PR.XIX's at the time.

Ironically, 10 years later Cliff would be flying with BBMF as well as civilian warbirds with Ray Hanna etc.

There was a story IIRC, that during the making of the Battle of Britain film in 1968, a couple of RAF Canberra's strayed into the NOTAM area in for the filming and popped out the other side of a cloud formation and found themselves in the middle of a gaggle of 109's and He111's in a dogfight with Spitfires......



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Old 1st Nov 2020, 11:24
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Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
There was a story that during the making of the Battle of Britain film in 1968, a couple of RAF Canberra's strayed into the NOTAM area in for the filming and popped out the other side of a cloud formation and found themselves in the middle of a gaggle of 109's and He111's in a dogfight with Spitfires......
Welcome to the twilight zone ...
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 12:23
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Downwind in the circuit at Valley in the early 70s I was slightly gobsmacked when an SE5 trundled across my bows, followed by a red Fokker Triplane. They were on their way back from the Isle of Man where they'd been filming "The Blue Max".
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 15:53
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The story is quite true, and was related in Bob Cossey's excellent history of No.74 Squadron.

It was in late July/early August 1985, and the squadron did indeed put out an all comers message. They were supported by a NATO E-3A and No.360 Squadron Canberra T.17s, and had a lot of RAF and other aircraft running the gauntlet. Unfortunately, the aircraft that was 'shot down' by the Spit (which was indeed being flown by Paul Day) had Dick Northcote, 74's OC at the time, in the front seat. Cliff Spink did not take over until the end of 1986.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 19:11
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Originally Posted by Martin the Martian View Post
The story is quite true, and was related in Bob Cossey's excellent history of No.74 Squadron.

It was in late July/early August 1985, and the squadron did indeed put out an all comers message. They were supported by a NATO E-3A and No.360 Squadron Canberra T.17s, and had a lot of RAF and other aircraft running the gauntlet. Unfortunately, the aircraft that was 'shot down' by the Spit (which was indeed being flown by Paul Day) had Dick Northcote, 74's OC at the time, in the front seat. Cliff Spink did not take over until the end of 1986.

You have made my day - Nice one Martin - shall have to see if I can find a copy
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 20:32
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Originally Posted by Martin the Martian View Post
The story is quite true.......
Yay! Outstanding!!
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 21:14
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Talking

Dakka Dakka Dakka!
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Old 2nd Nov 2020, 07:00
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I am reminded of the story of when the TTTE had just been established at Cottesmore and an, older, Luftwaffe pilot was in the circuit and was advised by ATC that he had a Spitfire in his six o’clock and relied “Not again”.....

And of the, personal, occasion when I was controlling a Lightning which popped up vertically in front of a Lufthansa 747 before pitching over and going vertically downwards again (“I wasn’t there for long, I was just losing some energy”) .

When I asked LATCC, fatalistically, if he was filing, I was informed the answer was no, but could we be more careful as he had already been in the North Sea twice curtesy of the RAF and didn’t want to repeat the experience a third time.
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