Buccaneer 1974 - 1981 (1)

Buccaneer 1974 - 1981  Page  1  2  3  4  5

Buccaneer 1974 - 1981 (2)

Buccaneer Chapter 1974 – 1981

Graham Pitchfork

Flight Commander 1974-76

Commanding Officer 1979-81

Three years after disbanding at Muharraq, 208 Squadron reformed on 1 July 1974 at Honington as the RAF’s fourth Buccaneer squadron (1).  It was a quiet start with just four officers, twenty groundcrew and (2) no aircraft. On 6 September, the Boss, Wing Commander Pete Rogers, and I picked up the first aircraft (XT 275) from Sydenham and, within minutes of landing, immediately disappeared into Eng Wing (3) for the next three weeks. Finally, on 1 October we flew the squadron’s first sortie when we took part in Exercise Blue Moon over Denmark (4). During the enforced inactivity, thought was given to the markings to be displayed on the aircraft and we decided to resurrect the 1930’s ‘Flying Eye’ and the fighter flash from the Hunter days.  The ‘Flying Eye’, which was to be painted on the fin, was also selected to be the badge awarded to aircrew on reaching operational s06 208 form.jpgtatus and to be worn on the right breast of the flying suit (5 and 6). The squadron was given a unique role and was one of only two RAF squadrons permanently assigned to the Northern Region of NATO.  Hence, a great deal of training, and nearly all our squadron detachments, was to Norway with (7) a few forays into Denmark. The squadron inherited some outstanding air and ground crews from the Germany squadrons who, not only had to get over the culture shock of no LOA, cheap petrol and booze and a holiday gateway to Europe, but to the Strike Command version of Taceval. This was a somewhat more casual affair than those of RAFG and the concept of actually going into an air raid shelter dressed in NBC kit (8),


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