EE Canberra PR.7 WH779

Aircrew Page 2.

Hi Guys, great job! I live in Lincoln and still fly WK163, engines allowing. Would love to come down to visit

brgds, Andy Rake 100 Sqn 1984-87

 

WH779 13 Sqn
 

I first flew 779 6th Jan 1960 when it came out of the hangar after a Minor Service on arrival at Akrotiri. First two flights were 20 minute airtests for, from very rusty memory, trim in the event of stab runaway. It obviouly failed the first one.
It was one of our four aircraft so flew it regularly until 18th Nov 1960 when I took it to Cambridge via Luqa. Left it with Marshalls for night photo mods.
Picked it up again 27 Mar 1961 and returned to Akrotiri.
We never flew with tip tanks as the loss of climb performance and added drag for 6 hours would offset the extra fuel. The added weight would have made hot and high takeoffs even more interesting than they already were.

Regards Brian Shadbolt.

  The close formation ones Neil Williams (later aerobatic champion) was flying it. Unusually we had two aircraft in Nairobi at the same time. Seem to remember there was a bit of a drama after our new CO heard about the formation aerobatics. The other two, John Lewis was flying. We were both on our way from Akrotiri for a long Libyan survey session hence the venting fuel as we used to squeeze in every last drop.

Regards Brian Shadbolt

3 more pictures from Brian Shadbolt. I was flying 779 posing for the squadron christmas card over Mt Troodos Cyprus.

    Copies from Pilot Brian Shadbolts log book.

 
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David Coleman, I was a pilot on 13 Squadron at Akrotiri from March 1960 until May 1962 and flew just over 73 hours in WH779 until we converted to the PR9 in October 1961. Copies of  his log book below.

Copies from Pilot David Colemans log book showing his flights in WH779 smiley

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 Info below was sent to me by Paul McDonald...

PR7 WH779 – XIII (PR) CANBERRA SQUADRON RAF LUQA 1976 TO 1978

I arrived on XIII (PR) Squadron at RAF Luqa in Malta on 27 August 1975, at the age of 26, for my second tour flying the Canberra.

My first tour had been with 7 Squadron at RAF St Mawgan in Cornwall flying the B2, T4 and TT18 variants.

On arrival, XIII Squadron was equipped with both the PR7 and PR9 variants. The PR9s were gradually being withdrawn to the UK and to 39 Squadron at RAF Wyton and replaced by more PR7s.

As I didn’t fly WH779 during my first year on XIII Squadron, it would seem likely that WH779 was one of the replacement aircraft.

During my tour in Malta I flew a total of 908 hours 30 minutes of which 844 hours 50 minutes were on the Canberra PR7.

Thirty sorties totalling 63 hours 35 minutes were as captain of WH779.

My final sortie on XIII Squadron was from RAF Luqa to RAF Wyton near Huntingdon on 3 October 1978 when the Squadron re-deployed from Malta to the UK.

I was posted to the Central Flying School the following day.

SORTIES IN WH779:

27 July 1976.... Pilot, Fg Off McDonald.... Nav, Flt Lt Stokes...

Low level navigation, Southern Italy .... 1.45

7 October 1976...Fg Off McDonald.... Flt Lt Stokes...
Night Photography, Filfla, Malta .... 0,45

11 October 1976... Fg Off McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes...
RAFLuqa to RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus .... 2.15*

12 October 1976.... Fg Off McDonald.... Flt Lt Stokes.... Sqn Ldr Topham...
RAF Akrotiri to Mashad, Iran .... 3.55*

13 October 1976... Fg Off McDonald.... Flt Lt Stokes... Sqn Ldr Topham...
Mashad to RAF Akrotiri ... 4.20*

14 October 1976... Fg Off McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes...
RAF Akrotiri to RAF Luqa ... 2.35*

“ Note: These sorties are described in Chapter 4 of Winged Warriors –The Cold War from the cockpit.


21 October 1976... Fg Off McDonald.... Flt Lt Perrem...
Low level shipping recce ... 2.45

3 May 1977... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes... Night currency training .. 1.00

6 May 1977... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes... RAF Luqa to IAF Villafranca, low level ... 2.50

14 May 1977... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes...Plt Off Norrie....
IAF Villafranca to Naples, low level ... 1.30

14 May 1977... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes... Plt Off Norrie...
Naples to Villafranca, low level ... 1.30

30 May 1977... Flt Lt McDonald.... Flt Lt Boyle... Low level navigation, Sicily ... 2.30

30 May 1977... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Birse... Night navigation and currency ... 2.45

29 July 1977... Flt Lt McDonald ... Flt Lt Stokes... Sqn Ldr Crook...
RAF Luqa to RAF Akrotiri Cyprus ... 2.05

29 July 1977... Flt Lt McDonald ... Flt Lt Stokes... RAF Akrotiri to RAF Luqa ... 2.15

12 September 1977... Flt Lt McDonald.... Flt Lt Stokes... Low level navigation, Sicily ... 2.10

12 September 1977 Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes... Low level navigation, Sicily ... 2.50

3 October 1977.... Flt Lt McDonald.... Flt Lt Stokes... Cellina Meduna Range recce, Northern Italy... 2.05

4 October 1977.... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes... Cellina Meduna Range recce and air-to-air photo... 2.05

13 October 1977... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes.. Night currency, approach at IAF Sigonella Sicily... 2.00

3 January 1978.... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes... Night photography, Pachino Sicily... 2.00

6 January 1978... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes... Recce Soviet Task Group Kiev... 3.05*

* This was the first sortie flown by XIII Squadron to locate and photograph Kiev and her two escorts, a Kara Class cruiser and a Krivak Class destroyer. Kiev had entered the Mediterranean from the Atlantic following her launch in 1977. This sortie confirmed that the Forger aircraft was operational from Kiev. The sortie is described in Chapter 4 of Winged Warriors – The Cold War from the cockpit and the book also contains some of the photographs taken during this sortie.

3 May 1978.... Flt Lt McDonald ... Flt Lt Stokes... RAF Luqa to Villafranca... 1.40

3 May 1978.... Flt Lt McDonald .... Flt Lt Stokes... Villafranca to RAF Luqa... 1.25

18 May 1978... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Stokes... high level photography, Sicily and Italy... 3.05

12 July 1978.... Flt Lt McDonald.... Flt Lt Stokes... Low level navigation, Sicily... 1.15

25 August 1978... Flt Lt McDonald.... Flt Lt Cole... Post Minor Servicing Air Test... 1.05*

29 August 1978... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Cole... Post Minor Servicing Air Test... 1.00*

31 August 1978... Flt Lt McDonald... Flt Lt Cole... Post Minor Servicing Air Test... 1.30*

* Normally, Post Minor air tests would be successfully completed in one sortie. Part of the air test schedule was to intentionally shut down each engine in turn to ensure that the relight system worked correctly. As I recall, on this occasion the air test had to be re-flown because the high pressure fuel cock could not be physically re-opened on one engine following shut down. This resulted in an asymmetric landing.

11 September 1978...Flt Lt McDonald.... Fg Off Warren.. Low level navigation, Sicily... 2.35

Aircraft flown whilst serving on XIII Squadron:

Canberra T4: WH 848, WJ848, WJ872, WT478

Canberra PR7: WH773, WH 775, WH779, WH794, WJ815, WJ817, WJ821, WJ825, WT509, WT519, WT530*, WT 537, WT538

*WT530 was destroyed in an accident which occurred at RAF Luqa on 7 December 1979. The aircraft was taking off to return to XIII Squadron’s new home base at RAF Wyton following a training flight to Luqa. One of the two navigators on board was killed.