3 14 16 The B(I)8 Gallery 59 88 213
Canberra B(I)8 Gallery - 2
( The pictures are sorted in aircraft serial number order which continues from Gallery 1. )
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B(I)8 - WT339
(Via Rick Kent)

After serving with 88 Sqn at RAFG Wildenrath, this B(I)8 was transferred to RAF Cranwell for instructional use by their Engineering Dept. WT339 had an ignominious end on the fire dump at Barkston Heath in 1987. Note 88 Sqn's "Snake" emblem on the fin.
There could be some confusion over the squadrons that were stationed in RAFG. No 88 Sqn formed at Wildenrath in 1956 and was renumbered 14 Sqn in December 1962.


B(I)8 - WT340
(Photo : Steve Williams)

Another B(I)8 which began its service life with 88 Sqn. WT340 entered service in 1956 and flew with 88 Sqn, 16 Sqn and finally, 3 Sqn. Sold to Marshalls in 1973, it was converted to B(I)58 standard for Peru and delivered in 1975 as 251.
Steve's excellent photo shows WT340 in the 16 Sqn markings with camouflage top and the silver underside. This would tend to date the photo around 1965/66.
An air-to-air of WT340 when it was with 16 Sqn is


B(I)8 - WT341
(Via Rick Kent)

This is a great shot of the B(I)8 showing the gunpack fitted. The aircraft is with 16 Sqn of RAFG Laarbruch as denoted by the "Cross Keys" squadron emblem on the nose and the yellow-edged black band around the body. The photo must have been taken pre-1965 as the undersides are still in "Night Interdictor" black.
This B(I)8 ended up as a fire practice kite at RAF Little Rissington.


B(I)8 - WT345
(Photo : J P Speirs)

WT345, bult in 1956 by Short Bros, was one of the first of the then new B(I)8s and was issued to 59 Sqn at RAFG Gutersloh in April 1957. It stayed with the sqn when they moved to RAFG Geilenkirchen to be re-numbered as 3 Sqn. Eventually WT345 was transferred onto the strength of 14 Sqn (at RAFG Wildenrath), then onto 16 Sqn (at RAFG Laarbruch) before returning to 14 Sqn's charge and then, finally back to 16 Sqn. In the end it was struck off charge on 23 April 1971 and assigned as a Ground Instructional airframe, No 8150M. A month later WT345 was literally put out to grass as a decoy aircraft at RAFG Laarbruch.

The photo by Pat Speirs, a 59 Sqn navigator, shows WT345 in 59 Sqn colours as part of a four-ship display team (callsign "Silver Formation"). Pat writes . . .
Don't think there are too many instances of BI8's doing formation runs. Pic was taken through the stbd nose window and suffers a bit from poor exposure setting. 59 was allocated the task of 'show the flag' Sqnn in 1959 and we went to various Air and Open days in Holland (Eelde), Denmark (Karstrup?), Norway (Gardermoen) and a couple of the 2TAF bases. Routine was fairly simple with formation take-off (2 pairs), form up and low level pass with four in diamond, then back in echelon with the lead going up into a half-loop half roll to come back in at 420 KIAS for a LABS pull up. The other tootled round for a run-in and break with the LABS guy theoretically tagging on to the end of the stream landing.

Click pic for larger image

The Team comprised . . .

   Wg Cdr Preddy (the "Boss") and F/O Kenyon (Leader);
   Flt Lt Pratt and F/O Speirs (No2);
   Flt Lt Fitton and Flt Lt Ward (No3);
   F/O Tilsley and Flt Lt Parnell-Smith (No4 and Solo).

This team list from the back of the menu for the dinner given to all participants at the Eelde open day 18 May 1959.

B(I)8 - WT346
(Photo : Alan Barley)

Alan's photo shows this B(I)8 in 16 Sqn colours at RAF Cosford in August 1991. Since this Canberra was the only B(I)8 surviving in the UK it seems a downright shame that someone in the Establishment decided to sell it for srcap. It was "saved" by a New Zealand Museum though, see the Survivors pages - WT346 for detail and a potted history.
The misguided decision means that the only example of a B(I)8, as flown by the RAF's Strike Squadrons, in the whole of Europe is in Germany - see XM264 (although a B(I)8 cockpit section does exist in the UK - XM279).

An "in-service" photo of WT346 is here showing WT346, with 88 Sqn's "Snake" on the fin, resting in the revetments at RAFG Geilenkirchen.

WT346 - Cosford

B(I)8 - WT362
(Photo :
Tim Garden - ex-3 Sqn pilot)

Just before it lost its B(I)8s in 1972, a mission was flown by 3 Sqn to take a picture of a one of their aircraft over Stonehenge. This picture was intended to grace the front cover of the 3 Sqn disbandment programme at RAFG Laarbruch. In Tim's own words - "I seem to recall that we were surprised how small Stonehenge is, and got a number of complaints for flying so close to it in formation." This is a particularly good photo of the twilight days of the B(I)8s and shows the last camo pattern, the 3 Sqn "Cockatrice" fin-flash and the squadron's individual aircraft identification letter. Click the pic for a larger image.

Awaiting collection in May 1956, WT362 first entered RAF service with 88 Sqn. It stayed with this squadron when they re-numbered to 14 Sqn at RAFG Wildenrath but finally ended up with 3 Sqn at RAFG Laarbruch. When 3 Sqn lost its Canberras WT362 was transferred to RAF St Athan where it was declared a "Non Effective Aircraft" in May 1972 and Struck Off Charge in January 1973. It was eventually moved to the Fire Fighting School at RAF Catterick. The cockpit section was supposedly extant in 1988.

WT362 - Stonehenge

B(I)8 - WT363
(Photo : Author's Archive)

Built by Short Bros and awaiting collection in January 1955, WT363 had a fairly standard career. First issued to 59 Sqn this B(I)8 was eventually to be owned by all the Strike Squadrons in Germany at that time - 59 Sqn, 3 Sqn, 88 Sqn, 14 Sqn, 16 Sqn and then back with 14 Sqn (except 213 Sqn of course).

It is shown here in the markings of 14 Sqn having some work done on the port engine. When on 14 Sqn, WT363 was in involved in an air-to-air collision with XM278 whilst formation flying. It crashed near Roermond on 11 June 1968.


B(I)8 - WT364
(Photo :
Tim Garden - ex-3 Sqn pilot)

As with all the RAF's Strike Squadrons, 3 Sqn flew many and varied Lone Ranger missions. This photo, from Tim Garden, shows WT364 staging at Tehran on March 17, 1970. Click in the pic for a larger image.

Awaiting collection in May 1956, this B(I)8 had a fairly interesting career. Used in radio and nav assessment trials; fitted with "Orange Putter" IFF "G" Scope in 1957; to 33 MU for overhaul 1958, then onto 16 Sqn at RAF Laarbruch. Transferred to 59 Sqn and stayed with them when they re-numbered to 3 Sqn at RAFG Geilenkirchen. At the disbandment of 3 Sqn WT364 moved to RAF St Athan and was sold to Marshalls where it was converted to B(I)68 configuration for Peru. It was delivered as "250" in 1975.

WT364 - Tehran

B(I)8 - WT365
(Photo : Flying Review 1965)

Awaiting collection in June 1956, WT365 was issued to the charge of 88 Sqn at RAFG Wildenrath, the first of the Strike Sqns to be equipped with the new B(I)8 Interdictor Mark. This B(I)8 stayed with 88 Sqn at RAFG Wildenrath for virtually its whole working life continuing with them when 88 Sqn was renumbered to 14 Sqn in December 1962. It is shown here in 14 Sqn markings. When 14 Sqn itself was stood down in June 1970, WT365 was transferred onto 16 Sqn at RAFG Laarbruch. Finally it was transferred to 23 Maintenance Unit at Aldergrove (16 April 1971) as 'Non-Effective Aircraft' (surplus to requirements). WT365 was eventually Struck Off Charge on 8 October 1971 and scrapped in January 1972.


B(I)8 - WT366
(Photo : Author's Archive)

Another airframe built by Short Bros, WT366 was ready for collection on 16 January 1957. Issued initially to 59 Sqn this B(I)8 was transferred to the charge of 88 Sqn at RAFG Wildenrath staying with the squadron when it was renumbered 14 Sqn in December 1962. It was next transferred to the charge of 16 Sqn at RAFG Laarbruch and is shown here in that squadron's markings.

On 5 October 1971, WT366 stalled and crashed one mile north of Xanten, Germany sustaining Cat 5 damage with both crew killed. It was struck off charge six days later on 11 October 1971.


B(I)8 - WT368
(Photo :
Mike Richards - ex-3 Sqn navigator)

When photographed sitting on the pan at Kauntan, Malaya, in 1964, WT368 was flying with 14Sqn. This fine photo, from Mike Richards, shows it with tip tanks fitted and identified as "L" on the squadron.

Awaiting collection in June 1956, this B(I)8 was first issued to the charge of 88Sqn at RAFG Wildenrath and was still with this squadron when they re-numbered to 14Sqn in December 1962. It flew with them until 14Sqn's close-down [June 1970] when it was transferred to 16Sqn at RAFG Laarbruch. Finally WT368 was transferred to 3 Sqn who, by that time had moved to Laarbruch from RAFG Geilenkirchen. When 3Sqn gave up its B(I)8 Canberras for Harriers in 1972, WT368 was sent, as were most of the B(I)8s, to "Non-Effective Aircraft" status at RAF St Athan. It was eventually sold, in October 1973, to Marshalls of Cambridge where it was converted to B(I)68 configuration for Peru. It was delivered as "247" in March 1975.

WT368 - Kauntan

B(I)8 - XH204
(Photo : Via
Ron Ledwidge - ex-3 Sqn pilot)

XH204 was one of the first B(I)8s to enter service with 59 Sqn in 1957 while they were at RAFG Gutersloh [picture here]. It stayed with them when 59 moved to RAFG Geilenkirchen (November 1957) and remained on strength when 59 was re-numbered to 3 Sqn in January 1961. The picture, from Ron Ledwidge a 3 Sqn pilot at the time, shows XH204 at a Bombing Competition meet at Chaumont, France in late 1966.
Note the camo scheme of silver underside and the 3 Sqn fin band (green edged with yellow). Also noteworthy is the fact that there is no individual squadron letter on the fin. This practice resumed a year or so later (see WT362 above). Click the pic for a larger image of this fine shot of a B(I)8.
On 9th May 1967 XH204 crashed near Wesel, Germany. It was being flown by Ron Ledwidge and his nav Jack Stewart when its controls jammed. Both Ron and Jack got out safely. Ron was awarded the Air Force Cross for his airmanship that day.


  [The picture of XH204 on 59Sqn via Garry Hallion]

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