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15th July 1953
Royal Review of the RAF at RAF Odiham
three 115 Sqn Washingtons [WF513, WF560 (briefly ex-207 Sqn), WF552] overfly aircraft representing every RAF Command, among which is 207's highly polished WF565: photo taken by a Press photographer in the 207 vic of 3 (via John Laing)
Fl Lt Bill Adams (centre, front) and some of his 207 Squadron 'A' Flight [via John Laing]
Flt Lt H St John 'Judy' Garland (4th right, front) and
some of his 207 Squadron 'B' Flight [via John Laing]
L-R: Flt Lt H St John 'Judy' Garland OC 'B' Flight, Sqn Ldr Geoffrey O'Neill Fisher, OC 207 Squadron
Flt Lt WH 'Bill' Adams OC 'A' Flight (who had served on 207 just before WW2 ended).
Note 207 badge on the aircraft [via John Laing]
Sqn Ldr Geoffrey O'Neill Fisher presents (left) Flt Lt H St John 'Judy' Garland
and (right) Flt Lt Bill Adams with a sports trophy [via John Laing]
Flt Lt AR Scott's crew: L-R : Scott (Captain), P/O Donovan (Pilot), Sgt Nick Walton (Nav Radar),
F/Sgt Paddy Shepherd (Nav), F/O Van Toen (Signaller), F/Sgt George Warren (AG),
Cadet John Laing (AG), Cadet Peter Higgins (AG): the two Cadets did not get brevet or Sergeant
rank until they completed their Washington conversion course. [via John Laing]
Fighter affiliation - impossible to say which Washington this is:
note that the American fighter has its air brakes deployed [via John Laing]
Gordon Watmough adds: "By the way I took the photograph of the Washington and the Sabre.
I sold a few in the crew room for sixpence each (quarter plate)."
Gordon Watmough, Air Gunner 8/51-12/52 kept the Squadron Christmas card of December 1951.
The aircraft photo shown inside is, as can be seen below, serial 461559.
Now the fun starts: according to the records (eg the Air Britain Washington File)
and confirmed by Chris Howlett of the Washington Times then this was
WF511 344-61559 B-29A-35-BN.
Except that it was received by 44 Sqn 10.3.51, went to Scottish
Aviation 24.2.53, Disposal Flt 18.8.53 Returned to US.
John Laing comments: "The Christmas card was certainly the one used by the squadron in 1951 and
I'm sure it was a 207 aircraft. I just can't imagine Geoff Fisher using a photo of another squadron's
aircraft but it could have been a shot used by every squadron at Marham." Editor: It gets worse: 44 Sqn
was not even at Marham in December 1951. They arrived on 7/2/51 and on 9/4/51 departed for Coningsby!
Clearly a 207 Sqn aircraft: Geoffrey Fisher 'inspecting' Judy Garland's crew?
Pre flight: "Taken with a very primitive camera, 127 film. However it does record an instant in time
long past which may be of interest because it shows, ground crew in the background and
the power source for starting the engines, on top of which are our ration boxes."
source Gordon Watmough (front)
A Signaller's view: Gordon Watmough writes "A Signaller friend of mine (F/Sgt Johnson rings a bell, but I am not certain) was interested in photography and gave me some tips on enlarging, there being a dark room at Marham for those interested. He had been on the Berlin airlift and had aquired a Leica, much better quality the current British cameras. Anyway he gave me this print. He wasn't on 207, rather I think on 90 Sqn - I can just make out a leaping deer on the squadron crest, or is it my imagination? [Editor: and who cares, it's an evocative photo!]
Port Scanner: Gordon Watmough shown "Port scanner shows the gunsight in the port blister.
The cap was not service issue, Sgt Robertson, who lived off camp hunted some down for the gunners.
An American pilot on the Conversion Unit, Major Cotton, used to wear a red one, we had to be content with green."
[via John Laing]
Tuesday Market, King's Lynn. Gordon Watmough writes: The white building, top right is the Globe Hotel, at the back of which, side entrance, was the Palm Court Bar. I showed the barman the photograph and he asked to borrow the negative. He had a large framed print made which he hung on the wall. If I was in the area in the 80/90s I used to stay at the Globe but the bar had become a restaurant, a Berni I think, and no sign of the print. The large flat roof belongs to the Corn Exchange where dances were held on a Saturday night, big band night. Across the square is the Maid's Head pub. At that time it was where American servicemen met the 'ladies' of the district, it was however, an interesting place to have a mild and bitter. The bus service was run by a private company which I think was based in Shouldham.