Thanks must be given to:
Roy Bowie, Pete Biddiscombe Dick Dicken, Mike Goodfellow,
Eric Sharp, David Styles and Tommy Tompson
for their inputs into this presentation.
In January 1958, the re-equipment of 208 Squadron began with Number 34 Squadron at Tangmere being re-numbered 208 and its Hunter F5s changing their colours to those of 208. The “live” 208 continued to operate its Meteors at Tai Kali in Malta until the new Hunter unit had replaced its F5s with F6s (2) and relocated to Nicosia under the command of Sqn Ldr John Granville-White (3). Thus began a turbulent period. Three months after its arrival in Cyprus, a flight of six Hunters went on a detachment to Amman as part of Britfojor 1958 (4). The night before their planned departure the squadron had two serviceable Hunters but by dint of much hard work and help from the local Maintenance Unit they had ten to go next day and two ‘heaps’ at the end of the pan. The detachment was to support King Hussein of Jordan following the coup d’état in Iraq; the squadron was out there for four months and became the first F6 squadron to have the 60lb rocket as its main air to ground weapon. They returned to Nicosia at the end of October to recommence normal training.
The Author is delighted to correct an apparent slur on the groundcrew of the Squadron in Cyprus. Dave Gill takes up the story:
Hunter Chapter 1974 – 1981
Guest of Honour 2008
208 worked the normal Nicosia day and had three, 8 man battle flight shifts covering the period of 30 minutes before dawn to sundown. The UK government made the decision to send assistance to Jordan late on the night of the 16th July. The late battle flight stood down, as usual, at dusk with two armed aircraft ready for the early start the following day, 17th July.