8 Squadron Galleries

1 - Life on the line

Other squadron galleries

Crème de la Crème     


On the range     




On Ops     


At ease!     


First Line

Armourers unload concrete headed rockets from trolley. (author)

"Don't worry, they wont go off", says Mike Halpin as he casually stands by a rocket-armed FGA.9 in Kuwait in 1961 (Mike Halpin)

The rockets on the two inboard pylons are 60lb SAP (Semi Armour Piercing), used for penetrating armoured vehichles, while the rocket on the outboard pylon is a 60lb HE, used against soft targets, buildings, troops and convoys, etc.

Fred Rawson and Larry Forster prepare to arm a Hunter for the final time, Khormaksar 1963. (author)

Fred and Larry afix rocket to FGA.9 on their last working day at Khormaksar. Note mug of tea simmering on the aircraft wing (author)

Dave Wareing strapping in Pete Loveday at Khormaksar in 1963. (author)

Pete Wotton uses asbestos glove to douse the flames from the Avpin starter. (author)

When an engine failed to light-up at first attempt, fuel left in the tail pipe would often ignite on the subsequent attempt. Khormaksar 1964 (author)

Pete Wotton marshalling Chris Cureton out in FGA.9, XE618. (author)

Jock Harman making safe Hunters returning from the range. (author)

Ginger Rees marshalls a Hunter in assisted by Terry McNally on the steps. (author)

In the heat of a midday sun, Ray Byatt signals Bill Shepherd to apply the brakes on XF421-C, Khormaksar, 1964. (author)

Taff John marshalling 'orphan' 208 Sqn Hunter under the watchfull gaze of Dave Curryer and Les Burridge. (author)

Bob Cailes and Jock Harman change a gunpack in record time as 'Baz', our trusted Arab, collects used links, Khormaksar 1963 (author)

Firedrill. As firemen lay foam, groundcrews begin to move aircraft to safe distance. (author)

Firedrill. Three Hunters are pushed to the back of the pan, out of harms way. Note attendent Sycamore. (author)

8 Squadron 'Camel Corps' formate in line abreast on their new mounts, Khormaksar, 1963. (author)

Squadron armourers in Bahrain, Xmas 1961. (Alan Lowe)

Jock Jarvis, Bob Burton, Johnnie Crombie, Alan Lowe, Ivor(?) Radford, Johnny Walsham, Larry Forster, Mick Rogers and Paddy Weatherup

Merv Patterson and Taff Price show what they think of Air Cdre Johnie Johnson's enforcing of the 3" above the knee rule. Khormaksar 1964 (author)

8 Sqn groundcrew wait patiently for the return of their aircraft from an up-country operation (Peter Lewis)

Of interest are the HE rockets on the trolleys to the left, ready for loading as soon as the Hunters are turned-round.

Moonies! Ben Bennett points to new arrivals Vic Cozens and ANOther as Pete Hall (left standing) and others look on, Khormaksar 1962 (Ben Bennett)

Mick Bennett once again at Khormaksar in 1963 with the Squadron mascot (Slops??). (author)

A pride of plumbers outside the line caravan at Khormaksar in 1961 with Alan Lowe, Bob Burton, Colin Moore, and Johnny Crombie (Alan Lowe)

Following warnings of an over-zealous 'snoop' at Bahrain, Ginger Rees takes care while snapping a visiting Vulcan (author)

Dave Barnes about to begin work on one of the squadrons's T.7s at Khormaksar in 1963. (Dave Barnes)

Not that handle, the one over your head! Baz the trusted Arab worker, does not look too happy in the ejector seat, Khormaksar 1963 (Dave Barnes)

Tom Banks and Baz Clake inside the line caravan at Khormaksar in 1962. (Ken Rochester)

'Brum' Robinson and Ray Byatt take a well earned break at Khormaksar in 1963 (Vic Cozens)

The only shield from the sun for the first line team at Khormaksar was this tatty line tent (Vic Cozens)

Ancilliary tradesmen Ray Deacon, Terry McNally, Taff Evans and Taff Price have taken up refuge

Vic Cozens prepares to take the weight of the FR.10 nose cone once it is detached as Ray 'moonie' Deacon leaves him to it (Vic Cozens)

Anyone know the other guy's name?

Two stalwart engine fitters, Tim Rolt and Tom Banks, use their wizardry to inject some life into the squadron Land Rover, 1963 (Ken Rochester)

Having succeeded in getting the engine started, Tim moves off to give the Rover a thorough 'off-road' test (Ken Rochester)

An official view of Ben Bennett marshalling XE600-G onto its spot on the new concrete pan at Khormaksar in 1960 (Ben Bennett)

XE620-F taxies in following a ten-ship flypast over Khormaksar on 8 March, 1960 (Ronnie Hush)

Note the different underwing configurations - four rocket rails on XE620 but only two on the aircraft to the right - the squadron being in process of evaluating the best operational configuration for the Aden theatre.

These three aircraft, XE592, XE609 and XE618, are having the ejection seats removed by crane, a sure sign of an urgent modification, 1963 (Tom Banks)

Interruptions were commonplace on the line but a chat with the C-in-C, Lt General Charles Harrington, a rarity. Here Merv Patterson and .....

..... Ray Deacon have an exchange of views with the C-in-C on the Khormaksar pan. The British withdrew from Aden four years later!

With a Beverley on short finals, two Venoms taxi onto the 8 Sqn pan at Khormaksar, towards the end of the aircraft's tenure in Aden (Bill Horspole)

In may not look like it but Bill Horspole is hard at work in the cockpit of this Venom, Khormaksar, 1959 (Bill Horspole)

Perfectly captured in this 1963 image at Ksar are six groundcrew awaiting the return of their Hunters from an up-country mission (Taff John)

l to r: Dave Wareing, Lance Collington, Dave Barnes, Bill Cooper, and Bob Cailes.

Taken a short while later, these five airmen are resting in front of the Avpin store (Taff John)

l to r: Bob Cailes, Tom Banks, ANother x 3.

The opportunity to fly in a T.7 was offered to airmen approaching tourex and Ray Deacon jumped at the chance to fly in XL613 with Sid Bottom at the controls in February 1964 (author)

Despite being busy for most of their shift, Dave Curryer and Jock (?) find time to join one of the regular card schools in the line tent (Taff John)

Not quite the Three Musketeers but Dave Curryer, Taff John and Tim Rolt could give a pretty good impression if required. Khormaksar, 1963 (Taff John)

Neil Mason removes the cover prior to topping up the Avpin reservoir on an FGA.9 at Khormaksar in 1963 (Taff John)

Second Line

The Hunter Wing hangar at Khormaksar seen from 26 Sqn Belvedere, XG457-D, on 1st April, 1963. (author)

Stan Ovington sitting comfortably while replacing Hunter internal wing tanks. (author)

Snaz keeps watch, Jona supports the fire extinguisher, while Pete Cussels (cockpit) and Jock ??? perform an engine run on XG237-T, Ksar 1963 (author)

Chiefy Wright demonstrates his wiz-bang new aircraft washing system while an armourer works on ejection seat mountings, Khormaksar, 1963 (author)

When Chiefy's fantastic system proved a failure, he turned to getting the lads to wash aircraft down with fuel removed during maintenance. Author contracted Dermatitis and was on light duties for two weeks!

Airmen push XE589-V back into the hangar in 1963 (author)

Bertie Bell and Taff Evans take it easy as an Airframe fitter works on XF440's tailplane mechanism, Khormaksar, 1963 (author)

Jona Jones at Khormaksar in this 1962 scene, with Taff Evans removing the aerial from the air intake while others contemplate their tasks. (author)

Vic Cozens can just be seen by the nose wheel while Ken Rochester and Dave Barnes are in discussion underneath the radio/electrical bay.

Pete Cussels has joined the team and seems to be fiddling with something in the Hunter's spinal area. Khormaksar 1962 (author)

Taff Evans is working on the intake aerial to the left, as Jona Jones and colleague ponder over a technical issue.

As one of the hardworking 2nd line hangar-bound team, a rare view of 'Jona' Jones out on the line shortly before becoming tour-ex in 1963 (author)

Stan Ovington takes a well-earned breather while changing integral fuel tanks in rear section of XK150-A, Bahrain 1963 (author)

Although minor paint touch-ups were carried out on Hunters in Aden, it was rare for a whole aircraft to be resprayed. XK151-J, Ksar, 1963 (author)

Just the roundels and fin markings to go! XK151-J, Khormaksar, 1963 (author)

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