2 Squadron History

RAF Marham 1950 - 1953

RAF Marham 1950 - 1953 - Washington's
Between 7th and 15th October 1950, Washingtons at Marham took part in exercise “Emperor”. Also taking part in the exercise at Marham were B50’s of the 93rd BG, USAF. On the night of 22nd January 1952, Avro Lincoln SX923 of 49 Sqn was diverted to Marham from it’s home airfield at Upwood. While circling to land, the aircraft crashed near the Downham Market road at Black Drove, Fincham. The wreckage was spread over a wide area. Rescuers managed to drag the only survivor, Sgt J F Green clear who was seriously injured. In July 1952 the Washingtons of 90 Sqn won the RAF Bomber Command bombing competition. The main part of the competition consisted of four seperate cross-country night-flights and visual bombing on a range, with points awarded for accuracy and navigation skills. Sqn Ldr Sloane, CO of 90 Sqn was presented with the Laurence Minot Bombing Trophy by MRAF Sir John Slessor on 14th October 1952. Washington B1 WF570 of 35 Sqn crashed at South Acre, near Swaffham on 14th December 1952, killing three of the crew and injuring six others.

In the gales and floods that devastated the northwest coastline of Europe during the last days of January 1953, Norfolk suffered heavily. The river Great Ouse burst it’s banks near Magdalen, flooding hundreds of acres in the Watlington, Setch and Wormegay areas. Over 100 officers and men from RAF Marham joined forces with students from Cambridge University and employees from the local catchment authorities to help with the relief work. The Marham Washington Wing took part in further training exercises including “Ardent” during October 1952 and “Jungle King” during March 1953. On 15th July 1953, twelve Washingtons from Marham took part in the Royal Review Flypast at Odiham.

During September 1953, Marham was host to a Battle Of Britain Open Day”. Static displays included B-45A Tornado, Vampire T11, Canberra B2, Meteor F8, Harvard T2b, Oxford, Meteor NF11, Chipmunk, Tiger Moth, Lincoln B2, Brigand, Washington and Sabre.The highlight of the flying display was two supersonic dives by a Sabre, but unfortunately the “sonic boom” missed the airfield.

An “enemy fort” in the middle of the airfield was bombed by Mosquitos and a trio of Oxfords (following instructions given by members of the public at the control point). Formation flypasts were given by 16 Meteor F8’s, 12 RCAF F86 Sabres, 3 Lincolns, 4 Ansons, 4 Canberras of 109 & 139 sqns. Other displays included those given by a Sea Hawk and a B47 Stratojet of the 30th Bomber Wing USAF.

Although not on the programme, Washington WF566 of the resident 207 Sqn landed just before 1700 hrs; this aircraft arrived from Cyprus after taking staging post personnel to Singapore for the England to New Zealand Air Race in October.

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