Gnat T.1 ‘XP541/ 41’and C-124C Globemaster II ‘0-15205’ by Alan Wilson
Part of the static display at the 1963 RAF Finningley Battle of Britain day
In the foreground is Hawker Siddeley Gnat T.1 ‘XP541 / 41’
c/n FL543, she was built in 1963 and delivered on 10th June that year.
Seen while being operated by No4 Flying Training School (4FTS) based at RAF Valley.
She was retired in November 1978 and went to Abingdon for Battle Damage Repair Training with the Maintenance serial 8616M. She moved to Catterick in April 1986 but was sold in April 1987 and exported to the USA where she flew with the civil registration N8130Q. She was one of the Gnats used for filming the ‘Hot Shots’ movie in 1989, painted in US Navy colours but with ‘THE NAVY’ titles. She has since been deregistered and was on display at the Santa Maria Museum of Flight in California until at least 2015.
Stealing the shot, however, is Douglas C-124C Globemaster II ‘0-15205’
c/n 43615, her full US military serial was 51-5205
Seen while being operated by the 52nd Troop Carrier Squadron, part of the 63rd Troop Carrier Wing of the United States Air Force based at Hunter AFB in Georgia.
She was retired to MASDC, Davis Monthan AFB, in January 1972 and eventually broken up.
Visible at the nose of the C-124 is Westland Lysander ‘R9125 / JR-M’, now part of the RAF Museum.
In the background from left to right are:-
Avro Vulcan B.2 ‘XL389’ from 230 Operational Conversion Unit (230OCU). Built in 1962 with c/n PS40, she was retired and scrapped in 1981.
English Electric Canberra PR.7 ‘WT532’ from 31 Squadron based at RAF Laarbruch in Germany. Built in 1955 with c/n 71449, her nose is now preserved at the Bournemouth Aviation museum.
Vickers Varsity T.1 ‘WJ941 / B’. Built in 1955, she was retired and scrapped in 1975.
Avro Shackleton MR.2 ‘WL748 / X’ from 203 Squadron at RAF Ballykelly. Built in 1953, retired in 1972 and expired at the Catterick Fire Training School
Vickers Valiant B.1 ‘WP219’. Squadron not known. Built 1955, retired 1965.
And finally, just visible under the rear fuselage of the C-124 is:-
Handley Page Victor B.2 ‘XM718’ from 100 Squadron at RAF Wittering. Built earlier in 1963 and delivered on 2nd May that year, she was later converted to SR.2 standard for strategic reconnaissance. She was retired in March 1976 and later scrapped.
Scanned from a slide taken by J.Smith on 14th September 1963