Neil's Nostalgia

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• HMS Sanderling - RNAS Abbotsinch •

Photos by Neil Aird © and Gordon Macadie © John Mounce Collection

Not too long a bicycle trip from my Cardonald home - always an exciting adventure to visit. I went to a couple of Air Shows there, in fact I still have a 1/- (one shilling) entry ticket and a program from one such Show. I went on an "offical tour" once with a bunch of like minded friends, and this included a visit to the tower, with a request to see "the log" - I made hasty scribblings to tie up serials of sightings as I matched up a long list of requests from chums. Boy, what a coup!
Rows of stored aircraft greeted the visitors, part of the huge inventory of the Aircraft Maintenance Unit of the Fleet Air Arm. Here a gaggle of Fairey Gannet aircraft sit heavily chocked, not going anywhere. I always found the location of Abbotsinch strange, as it most certainly did not have low humidity desert conditions! Main aircraft types , stored were Supermarine Attacker, Grumman Avenger, Hawker Sea Hawk, de Havilland Sea Venom as well as the Fairey Gannet. Photo: Neil Aird © 1959
XA411 (F9281) XA413 (F9283) XG783 (F9351) Fairey Gannet AS.4 FAA plus friends. XXXXXXXXXXXXX Photo: Gordon Macadie © 1961
XA393 Fairey Gannet AS.1 (F9263) FAA CU/772. d/d 05/03/1956, sold as scrap on 13/12/1960 to J N Connell Ltd, Coatbridge. XXXX Photo: Gordon Macadie © 1961
Photo: Gordon Macadie © 1961
XE438 Armstrong Whitworth Sea Hawk FGA. 6 (AW6359) /516 FAA parked with some Sea Venoms and more Sea Hawks in distance. XXXXPhoto: Gordon Macadie © 1961
WW141 de Havilland Sea Venom FAW.21 (12715) FAA LM/651. d/d 01/06/1955, scr. 15/10/1961 at Abbotsinch by Aircraft Holding Unit. Photo: Gordon Macadie © 1961
XE411 Armstrong Whitworth Sea Hawk FGA. 6 (AW6355) FAA. d/d 21/07/1955, sold to Armstrong-Whitworth, Baginton for spares for the Indian Navy contract. WF287 Armstrong Whitworth Sea Hawk FB.5 FAA. d/d 04/05/1954, sold as scrap 13/12/1960 at Abbotsinch to J N Connell Ltd, Coatbridge. WM906 Armstrong Whitworth Sea Hawk FB.5 (AW5958) FAA. d/d 10/05/1954, sold as scrap 20/06/1963 at Abbotsinch to Star Metal Co., Ltd., Ascot. XXXXXXXXXXXXPhoto: Gordon Macadie © 1961
WF217 Armstrong Whitworth Sea Hawk F.1 FAA. d/d 19/11/1953, sold as scrap 28/07/1960 at Abbotsinch. WF184 Armstrong Whitworth Sea Hawk F.1 FAA. d/d 25/06/1953, sold as scrap 28/07/1960 (?) at Abbotsinch to Kitson Vickers & Sons, Sheffield, both not long for this world. XXXXX Photo: Gordon Macadie © 1961
Photo: Gordon Macadie © 1961
WT949 Douglas Skyraider AEW.1 (7962) FAA /414. Ex BuAer127947, f/f 10/1952, d/d 19/02/1953, s.o.c 23/01/1962 at Scottish Aviation Ltd, Prestwick, to G-31-5, to SE-EBB 23/10/1962, preserved Stockholm-Arlanda, Sweden. XXXXX Photo: Gordon Macadie © 1961
XB328 / 266 Grumman Avenger AS4 / ECM6 (2245) RN ex 831Squadron 'Hep Cat' - Unknown photographer © 08 July 1961 - John Mounce Collection.

Delivered 19 May 1953 ex 69506. Scrapped 1963

XB364 / 265 Grumman Avenger AS.4 / ECM6 (3451) ex.831 Sqadron 'A Dicey Do' - Photo: SB © 08 July 1961 / John Mounce Collection.

Delivered 19 May 1953, ex 53389, scrapped 1963.

WA473 Supermarine Attacker F.1 FAA. The long standing gate guard at the western entrance. d/d 25/07/1951, to Abbotsinch for display, now preserved at the FAA Museum, Yeovilton, Somerset. XXXXXXXXPhoto: Gordon Macadie © 1960
WN375 Fairey Gannet AS.1 (F9147) FAA. d/d 17/06/1955, sold as scrap 27/02/1962 at Abbotsinch to H. Kitson Vickers & Sons, Sheffield. Photo: Gordon Macadie © 1961
XE399 Armstrong Whitworth Sea Hawk FGA.6 (AW6343) FAA. On parade at the 1961 Open House. d/d 13/06/1955, sold as scrap 13/04/1967 at Fleetlands. XXXXXPhoto: Gordon Macadie © 1961
WJ231 Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 FAA. Visits Abbotsinch again ten years later!

22/11/1951 - Taken on Charge at Anthorn (2.20 hours)
10/12/1951 - Abbotsinch (4.25 hours)
19/02/1952 - RNAS Sembawang (4.25 hours)
03/05/1952 - HMS Unicorn (6.20 hours)
19/05/1952 - Iwakuni (6.20 hours)
12/06/1952 - 802 NAS on HMS Ocean (7.15 hours)
05/08/1952 - Returned to Iwakuni (87.05 hours)
13/09/1952 - HMS Unicorn (87.05 hours)
12/12/1952 - RNAS Gosport via HMS Ocean (87.05 hours)
17/06/1953 - RNAY Donibristle (88.45 hours)
28/01/1954 - RNAY Anthorn (95.50 hours)
01/03/1954 - 810 NAS via RNAS Ford (99.00 hours)
20/08/1954 - RNAS Hal Far (258.25 hours)
26/01/1955 - RNAY Donibristle (258.25 hours)
14/02/1956 - RNAY Anthorn (260.00 hours)
15/10/1957 - Aircraft Holding Unit at RNAS Lossiemouth (261.05 hours)
24/03/1960 - Fleet Requirements Unit Airwork Ltd at Hurn (265.05 hours)
10/05/1962 - Station Flight at RNAS Yeovilton (853.20 hours)
04/08/1965 - Struck Off Charge
To FAAM store at Wroughton
Back to FAAM
25/04/1990 - RNAY Fleetlands for Open Day (16th June)
RNAS Lee on Solent Open Day
20/07/1991 - Returned to FAAM


WP325 Boulton Paul Sea Balliol T.21 FAA AC/971 Abbotsinch Station Flight. f/f 06/08/1954, d/d 27/08/1954, s.o.c. 17/03/1964 at Lossiemouth and sold as scrap to J G Williamson of Elgin.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXPhoto: Gordon Macadie © 1961
XA157 de Havilland Sea Vampire T.22 (15499) FAA LM. d/d 04/06/1954, sold as scrap 02/06/1965 at Brawdy to Bradwell & Co, Bournemouth. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXPhoto: Gordon Macadie © 1961
XG730 de Havilland Sea Venom FAW.22 (121131) FAA. d/d 02/05/1957, sold as scrap 12/05/1969 at Belfast to H. Trainer. XXXXPhoto: Gordon Macadie © 1961
XD212 Supermarine Scimitar F.1 FAA /614. f/f 11/01/1957, d/d 04/06/1958, w/o 20/09/1961. Photo: Gordon Macadie © 1961
At the time of the 1959 Open House, this de Havilland Sea Vixen, XJ514 was new to the Royal Navy inventory. It was strange to see the off-set cockpit arrangement.
The old next to the new. Fairey Swordfish LS326/5A was a regular to Air displays in the United Kingdom.
Moving along the static disply, the very sleek Hawker Sea Hawk, displaying selection of stores.
A rather a poor shot of Grumman Avenger XB311, light got into my camera...not for the first or last time! It is a record shot of a magnificent aircraft.
23510/BR Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6 (1300) RCAF. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxPhoto: Wilf White © 20 June 1959
23510/BR Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6 (1300) RCAF made the short trip from Scottish Aviation facilities at Renfrew or Prestwick. xxxxxxxxxPhoto: Neil Aird © 20 June 1959
XL148/Y Blackburn Beverley was the largest participant in the airshow of 1959.
Hawker Sea Hawks land in formation after their display. Long lenses were a far off dream at the time! One just had to make do.
Hawker Hunter steams her chute passing the parked Sea Hawk display team.