No 360 [RN/RAF] SQUADRON 
[Aircrew Association]

This site was suggested at the 10th Anniversary of  Disbandment Reunion Dinner held at the Officers' Mess, RAF Wyton,
 on 16th October 2004. The domain is currently hosted on a site managed from Watton, the original birthplace of the Squadron.
BEST VIEWED WITH FIREFOX

   01/03/17
THIS SITE IS CO-SPONSORED BY
 THE ROTARY CLUB OF WATTON & DISTRICT (click to view)
& THE WAYLAND TOURISM ASSOCIATION (click to view)

INDEX

 A Short History

Presentation of Badge

Reunion Dinners & Golden End

Reunion Pictures 2015 & Earlier

Archive & Photo Album

Where Are They Now?

Acknowledgements & Contacts

+ Several linked pages

The  Joint Electronic Warfare Trials and Training Force, as the Squadron was first known, was born on 1st April 1966
from the marriage of 831 Naval Air Squadron (Gannets) and No 97 Squadron Royal Air Force (Canberras) at RAF Watton .
 The official designation, No 360 Squadron RAF, was declared on 23 September 1966; it was an unused squadron number with no 'associations'.
To appease the Admiralty and to recognise that the Squadron's personnel - air and ground crews - were drawn from both the
 Air Force and the Navy, the Squadron was referred to as No 360 [RN/RAF] Squadron in most communications.
 Initially, the Squadron flew a number of Canberra types: B2s, T4s (for pilot training) and a B6;
 the first Canberra T17 was delivered just before Christmas 1966.
 In October 1966 a sister Squadron, attributed with the designation No 361 Squadron, was proposed for deployment  to the Far East.
 However, following the Defence Review of early 1967 it became redundant before birth.
 Stillborn, 361 [RN/RAF] Squadron was never officially recognised but tankards were produced for the 20 officers already 'earmarked' for the unit.
 These were inscribed with the member's name, No 361 [RN/RAF] Squadron, and the motto:
 
          "We formed, They fumbled, It failed" 1967                             
 

The Canberra T17


In April 1969 RAF Watton was designated for closure and No 360 [RN/RAF] Squadron relocated to RAF Cottesmore
The official squadron badge was awarded in 1973; the Trident thereon represents the Royal Navy involvement,
whilst the moth, a Melese Laodamia, depicts the unique role of the Squadron in that this particular moth avoids
 predatory bats by jamming their prey-finding 'radar' system.
In 1975, to make way for the Tornado, the Squadron relocated to RAF Wyton, where it remained until disbandment in 1994.
 However, in 1991, the Squadron had achieved 25 years of Service, and was justly and proudly entitled to a
Squadron Standard, which was duly presented.
 No 360 Squadron has several unique aspects: a joint service flying unit, its role, its number had not been previously issued,
and it is the only squadron to have been formed, awarded a Standard, and disbanded during Her Majesty's reign.

The aircraft shown in both pictures above is WD 955 (Echo Mike) a Mk B2 built in November 1951 and converted to a Mk T17 in January 1968.
The first picture is in standard livery as a Mk T17; the second shows the same aircraft,
 one of only six to be further modified with new Electronic Counter Measures equipment - designated the Mk T17A.
This also shows the tail fin with a special colour scheme to denote not only the 25th birthday of the youngest
 RAF Squadron but also the special place of WD955 as the oldest operational aircraft in RAF service at the time.

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DISPLAY OF THE SQUADRON BADGE
in the Royal Air Force Club, Piccadilly.

The official badge of nearly every RAF Squadron is displayed in the splendid setting of
 the RAF Club, Piccadilly (see  https://www.rafclub.org.uk/ ).
  A noticeable absence was the badge of 360 Squadron.
Following an appeal, well over 30 members contributed
and the College of Arms
 was commissioned to produce a framed copy of the badge (at a cost of 600).
  The official presentation of the badge to the RAF Club took place at 1200 on 28th February 2017.
Wing Commander Michael Gilbert, a Trustee and Chair of the Arts Committee,
received the badge on behalf of the Club.

The Badge    Wg Cdrs Hannaford & Gilbert           The Assembled Company                          The Formal Celebratory Luncheon

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REUNIONS
A reunion dinner was held at the Officers' Mess, RAF Wyton, on 16th October 2004 to
 mark the 10th Anniversary of the Squadron's disbandment.
 Some 30 members accompanied by 15 partners attended, and every era of the Squadron,
 from inception in 1966 to disbandment in 1994, was represented.
 Except for 2005, reunion dinners took place at Wyton every year until:

The very last Reunion Dinner 2016
marking the Golden Anniversary of the Squadron's birth
was held in the
Officers' Mess, Joint Forces Command (RAF) Wyton.
 on
29th October 2016
Ex Squadron Boss, AVM Willie Rae presided, the youngest member on joining the
Squadron in 1966, Ian Gawn, took on the role of Mr Vice. Over 70 members and partners
attended
together with several other ex-Squadron bosses: Mike Maddox, Ron Saunders & Cliff Thomas.

O
n Sunday 30th October, seven Squadron Line Books, pictures and a number of other artefacts & memorabilia
were presented to Jim Blackwood, the curator of the RAF Wyton Heritage Centre.
 This was followed by a commemorative service in St Georges Chapel nearby, lunch in the officer's mess,
 and a longer visit to the Heritage Centre for those who wished.
 
Heritage Offers Form click here


DINNER TOP TABLE

         
Mike Maddox,      Martin Palmer,       Ron Saunders,               Wg Cdr Phil Owen (Stn Cdr), Willie Rae,         Cliff Thomas,                  Malcolm Young         

HERITAGE CENTRE PRESENTATIONS

       
Heritage Centre Curator, Jim Blackwood, receives pictures from Les Stephens and a Squadron "Flown Covers" display from Martin Anscombe
with members in attendance including (front l to r) Paul Southon, Dick de Verteiul, Eric Pigdon & Roger Hannaford.

Next time?
It is not intended to hold any further 'formal' reunions;
no doubt some may wish to organise informal gatherings.
A suggestion was made at the Badge Presentation that an informal meeting of members
could take place at the RAF Club on a fixed day annually (eg the last Tuesday of February)
at the RAF Club, and perhaps every 3rd year at the Navy Club. Members will be kept informed.

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For Reunion pictures 2015 and earlier
Click here

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SQUADRON ARCHIVE MATERIAL

Three large photo albums and 2 cartoon- style line books were 'found' and were brought to the 2010 reunion;
a further photo album and the original '68-'71 cartoon-style line book were delivered to the 2011 reunion.

They appear to be in fair condition and mainly complete though some photos are missing.
  All 7 books are now held by
RAF Wyton Heritage Centre (click for website and visit arrangements).
For a list of the line books and to view excerpts
CLICK HERE

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TREASURES

      
The Silver T17 presented to the Squadron by Sylvania              The 10th Birthday Cake                      Officers Commanding Board   
       (RAF Wyton, Officer's Mess silver collection)                        (Presumably eaten!)                      (RAF Wyton Heritage Centre)

                                                                                                                 * * * * * * * * * *

PHOTO ALBUM


Air and ground personnel of 361 Sqn at RAF Watton.
The picture was taken in 1967 at some time before the squadron became the one that never was.
At centre is the boss, Sqn Ldr Ron Dubock . Web editor is 2nd row up, 3rd from right. (Photo courtesy Bryn Sheridan)

  * * * * * * * * * *


 A Cyprus Detachment 1969 - Thanks to Eric Pigdon (66-69)
The web editor is front row, 2nd from right!
 
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These 2 pictures supplied by Ed Hughes show the Squadron in 1973, and a crew all with the surname Hughes!!!
 Ed is on the left.

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The 2 unusual photos below were taken during the 25th Canberra reunion celebrations at
 RAF Cottesmore in 1974, as supplied by Ray Hansford
.

* * * * * * * * * *


Canberra T17 WJ977 with wingtip chaff dispenser pods prior to a double exercise on 25 July 1978.
Post flight: the crew holding philatelic covers flown on the sorties to commemorate the
 35th anniversary of the first operational use of window (chaff). For more about this, the 1973 Award of Badge
  flown cover in the RAF MUSEUM series and the disbandment flown FDC please Click here.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW
 More nostalgia! A separate page lists the whereabouts of the few remaining Canberra 17 aircraft.
Only 2 appear to be complete, the rest are mainly cockpit/nose sections.
There are also listings for all the T17s produced and the upgraded T17As.

Click Here

CONTACTS
To update information held by the Association or to add your details to our database send e-mail HERE
Please include period(s) served on the Squadron; ideally use this Proforma.
 Communication will normally be by e-mail unless it is not available.

The 360Sqn Groundcrew website is  www.360sqn.co.uk (it has not been updated since 2011 but currently shows a new website is coming)

We will be pleased to include material & pictures (jpeg, preferably full size and not reprocessed).
Items for inclusion on the site may be sent to The Editor

Requests for contact or other information about members will be passed on to those who may know!

Acknowledgements

Watton Town Council for copies of the original Squadron Crest and Canberra prints, as displayed in the Council Offices.

Watton Rotary Club and the Watton & Wayland Visitor Centre for co-sponsoring web costs,
 and Julian Horn (Wartime Watton historian) for previous website hosting facilities and continued technical support.

The Association of Old Crows for listing us on their website  http://www.ukaoc.org

 

To the Marcus Herbote (Spotting Group Gutersloh): http://sg-etuo.de/Visiting-Aircraft/RAF-No360-Sqn

 

Thanks also to the late Les Bywaters for the link on the website:

TRIBUTE TO THE ENGLISH ELECTRIC CANBERRA
http://www.bywat.co.uk