'C' Squadron, A&AEE Boscombe Down

Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bedford / West Freugh


Many thanks to Noel Rawbone Lt RN (Ret'd) for supplying the C Squadron crest shown above; Noel is a former Buccaneer Observer who served on 736, 800 (twice, Mk1 & 2) and C Squadron from 1961 to 1969 and moved to New Zealand on retirement. I am still looking for a history of C squadron and I would be very grateful if someone could supply this!

Trevor Spafford (Cdr Ret'd) has supplied details of the first Hot Weather Trials carried out with the Mk1 Buccaneer in 1961 at RAF Tengah, the Observer was Tony Walsh; the aircraft was transported by ship to Singapore. In 1965 Trevor Spafford returned to the UK to resume R & D test flying at RAE Bedford. He carried out most of the catapult trials of the Mk2 Buccaneer (On Bedford's raised catapult) and the deck trials aboard HMS Hermes in 1967 in co-operation with C Squadron.

Terry Stow ex C Squadron maintainer has generously supplied information and several photos taken on board the USS Lexington in 1965 during the Tropical Trials of the Mk2 Buccaneer. The Aircraft operated out of NAS Pensacola, Florida http://militarybases.com/florida/pensacola/ after flying there from the UK. The two trials aircraft XN974 & XN976 flew to Pensacola via Keflavik, Goose Bay, and Patuxent River (Maryland), the aircrew were Lt Cdr E.N. Palmer & Lt E. Proctor, Lt J.D. Eagles & Lt C.A. Chase. Both aircraft arrived at Pensacola on July 23rd 1965 fully serviceable. Buccaneer XN974 also achieved a record on its return flight from Goose Bay to Lossiemouth by becoming the first Fleet Air Arm aircraft to fly the transatlantic route non-stop without refuelling.

C Sqdn Photographs

Click on link above to see more pictures


Buccaneer Ground Crew aboard USS Lexington 1965

XN976 about to Launch from USS Lexington

Cdr G.R. Higgs & Lt Cdr J.A. Taylor

Cdr G.R. Higgs & Lt Cdr J.A. Taylor

View Movie

View Film of the Buccaneer Mk2 Hot Weather Trials aboard the USS Lexington during 1965 in the Gulf of Mexico, the film was taken in 8mm so it has its limitations. Film kindly supplied by Terry Stow.

Commanding Officers

Page last updated 06 July 2017 (Recent additions highlighted)

Cdr C. E. Price   RN 1958 - 1960
Cdr R. M. 'Mike' Crosley

'Up in Harm's Way'

RN 1960 - 1963
Cdr G. R. Higgs

Frontline & Experimental Flying

RN 1963 - 1966
Cdr N. T. 'Nick' Bennett   RN 1966 - 1968
Cdr F. 'Fred' Hefford   RN 1968 - 1971
Surname First Name Unit Other Details Rank Start End Email
Chase C.A. C Sqdn   Lt      
Eagles J.D. C Sqdn   Lt      
Palmer E.N. C Sqdn   Lt Cdr      
Proctor E. C Sqdn   Lt      
Rawbone Noel C Sqdn OBS Lt 1961    
Spafford Trevor C Sqdn MTP Lt Cdr 1961 1961 Yes
RAE Bedford MTP Lt Cdr 1965 1967
Taylor J.A. C Sqdn   Lt Cdr      
Walsh Tony C Sqdn OBS   1961 1961  
C Sqdn Personnel
Surname First Name Nickname Rate/Rank Start End Email
Amory Dave . NAM/LAM(AE) 1965 1966 Yes
Bibby John   LAM(A/E) 1967 1971 Yes
Castle Rodney Rod or Roy NAM(AE) 1962 1964 Yes
LAM(AE) 1967 1968
Clarke Douglas Doug AA1 1964 1968 No
Green Allan Jim NAM(A/E) 1968 1970 Yes
Longly Richard . . 1964 1965 Yes
Russell Raymond   LAM(AE) 1961 1964 Yes
Skelton Peter Red AA1      
Stevens Jan   LREM(A) 1963 1965 Yes
Stow Terry lash-up REM(A) 1964 1964 Yes
LREM(A) 1965 1966
Waller John Wol LEM(A) 1968 1969 Yes
Wiles Peter   EA2(A) 1964 1966 Yes
Williamson Grahame Bungy NAM(AE) 1970 1971 Yes
RAE West Freugh Personnel
Surname First Name Nickname Rate/Rank Start End Email
Castle Rodney Rod or Roy Civvy/MOD 1969 2001