Hunter 1958 - 1965 (3)

Sqn Ldr Granville-White has received a very mixed press but it cannot be denied that he was an extremely capable fighter pilot being one of only 14 foreign aviators to have received the American DFC: he was awarded this medal for his exploits in Korea with the USAF (his medals may be viewed in the 208 Squadron Medals Collection Here).

As mentioned earlier the Hunter F6 was bedevilled with unserviceabilities

and furthermore, the posting plot of pilots to the squadron had seen a vast overbearing of very experienced pilots and few if any JPs – Junior Pilots and this led to considerable friction within the squadron. This friction and the problem of poor serviceability could well have led to the decision to disband the squadron. The disbandment (6) took effect in March 1959; however, the next day 142 squadron in Nairobi Kenya renumbered to 208.

142 Squadron had reformed three months previously with Venom FB4s at Khormaksar (7) in Aden to be the second Ground Attack Squadron. However, Khormaksar was undergoing extensive renovations so 142 was moved to Eastleigh near Nairobi, claimed its aircraft, and commenced workup.  Three month later, they became 208 (8).  Their aircraft, the Venom FB4 were supposedly new aircraft out of the Maintenance Units but in fact, they were the last remaining Venoms collected from East of Suez bases. They had three categories:

               A Cat - OK to fly normally.

               B Cat - no more than 4G

               C Cat - tighten the wing bolts after every sortie and no more than 2G!

Sqn Ldr Bob Ramirez (9) was in command and for the next year and the squadron flew in all areas within the Middle East Command from Rhodesia to the Persian Gulf.  These long transit sorties were flown with rudimentary navigation aids and to the limit of fuel endurance! They even had time to form a formation aerobatic team that performed all round the region and actually looped 9 Venoms (10).


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