Buccaneer 1992 - 1994 (1)

Buccaneer Chapter 1992 - 1994
Squadron Leader ‘Skids’ Harrison

Buccaneer Chapter Rep 2015

The Missing Years

The End of a Buccanera?

At the 208 Sqn Association Dinner in 2011, a decision was made for the guest speaker to move forward from the Sqn’s involvement in the First Gulf War to Hawk T1 training at Valley. On reflection, this created an impression that little happened on the Sqn at that time: as the following paragraphs show, nothing could be further from the truth. Or at least one version of the truth, as these memories are being reassembled after twenty years from the Sqn diaries, the F540 and a few fuzzy recollections following too many happy hours. Yes, the end of the war brought a bit of an anti-climax; the demise of the Buccaneer seemed to have been put on hold, she even received a face-lift in the form of a Sky Guard Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and an attempt at integrating the nav system and new GPS (despite the threat of strike action by the nav union). However, savings had to be made and there was little real chance that the old girl would be extended beyond 1994.

With Bill Cope still at the helm, the Sqn had its 75th Anniversary - it was a tense affair with 12 Sqn almost spoiling the party; thankfully the execs took a tactful retreat leaving the Junta to accelerate (for the benefit of the gathered guests), the demise of another musical masterpiece and some serious carpet time with the Stn Cdr (John Ford). The highlight was a call from 24 Sqn SAAF wishing us well!  After many years of Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) drought, 208 Sqn were invited back to Belgium to take part in course 91-6, unfortunately we had to take a 12 Sqn crew with us. This was ostensibly a short-range course with the addition of two F111s (only one ever got airborne) and all the other roles (including Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD) and Recce) being completed by the Buccs.


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