3 14 16 The B(I)8 Gallery 59 88 213
Canberra B(I)8 Gallery - 3
( The pictures are sorted in aircraft serial number order which continues from Gallery 1 & 2. )
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B(I)8 - XH207
(Photo : Mick Crewe)

Ready for collection on 12 October 1956 this B(I)8 was earmarked for issue to 59 Sqn. 59 Sqn had been at RAFG Bruggen, flying Canberra B.2s, until moving to RAFG Geilenkirchen in February 1957 and working up with the then fairly new B(I)8s. It is entirely possible that XH207 joined the squadron when they were still at Bruggen.

XH207 spent just over two years flying with 59 Sqn at Geilenkirchen. On 4 March 1959, it crashed in bad weather 3 miles south of the Sorpe dam in Germany. Both crew were killed. The aircraft was classified Cat 5 and struck off charge the same day.

Mick Crewe's photo shows XH207, fitted with a gunpack, during an Open Day at RAFG Jever in 1958.


B(I)8 - XH208
(Photo : Les Bywaters)

This photo, one of only four pictures of B(I)8s I took when I was with them, was taken on an early-start and shows XH208 on the flight line at RAFG Geilenkirchen with the covers off, just after the before-flight and waiting for the crew.

XH208 was issued in 1957 to 59 Sqn (colour photo here) and stayed with them when they were renumbered 3 Sqn at Geilenkirchen. It is one of the rare B(I)8s that only ever flew with one squadron throughout its flying life. Struck off charge in 1977, it became a decoy aircraft at RAFG Bruggen. I have no information on how it was eventually disposed of - probably burnt on some fire dump more's the pity.
(Colour photo from J.P. Speirs, ex 59 Sqn navigator)


B(I)8 - XH209
(Photo : Unknown)

Ready for collection on 31 October 1956, this B(I)8 stayed with English Electric for its first two months under a trial installation program for Low Altitude Bombing System work (LABS) before being sub-contracted to Marshalls on 4 January 1967. Three months later XH209 was loaned to the Controller (Air) for an unspecified reason. Next in its travels, this B(I)8 was transferred to RAE Farnborough Armament Department (3 July 1957) where it spent a month before returning to Marshalls on 15 August the same year. Again, a month later, it was moved to 15MU (5 Sepember 1957) where, I assume, the aircraft was given a thorough service prior to being issued into the charge of the RAF.
XH209 was first issued to 59 Sqn in Germany, then back to the UK for a spell with the RAF's Handling Squadron on 27 January 1958. However, it was returned to 59 Sqn where it flew until it was transferred to 16 Sqn. This transfer was before 59 Sqn was renumbered to 3 Sqn because XH209 didn't fly with 3 Sqn.


The photo shows it in 16 Sqn's colours. Eventually, on 22 May 1972, it was alloted Ground Instructional No 8201M. It was stuck off charge a month later (8 June 1972), finishing up as decoy aircraft at RAFG Gutersloh.

B(I)8 - XH228
(Photo : Ray Deacon)

One of the B(I)8s built by Short Bros, XH228 was ready for collection on 19 March 1957. Delivered to 59 Sqn at RAFG Geilenkirchen, XH228 had a normal squadron life, staying with their fleet when the squadron was re-badged as 3 Sqn in 1961. The rest of its service life was with 3 Sqn at RAFG Geilenkirchen (later at RAFG Laarbruch), this B(I)8 ended its days when 3 Sqn converted to Harriers in 1972. Flown to RAF St Athan, XH228 and declared Non-Effective Aircraft on 16 May 1972. It was struck off charge on 22 February 1973 and delivered to Catterick for use by the Fire Fighting School - photo here.
Ray's photo shows XH228 baking in the sun at RAF Kohrmaksar in 1962 (no sunshades for visiting Canberras?). Note the basic 3 Sqn "Cockatrice" can be clearly seen on the fin without the green/yellow fin flash. Generally, the 3 Sqn aircraft didn't get the yellow-banded green fin flash until late 1964/early 1965.

Click pic for larger image.

Note also the positioning of the black/camo boundry in this 1962 photo. Compare it to the 1964/65 position in the photo of 3 Sqn line.

B(I)8 - XH231
(Photo : Author's Archive)

XH231 was built by Short Bros and was ready for collection on 11 April 1957. Initially, on 26 April 1957, it passed to the English Electric Co for trial installations of various modifications. The work was sub-contracted to Marshalls of Cambridge and was completed by 6 June 1957. XH 231 was issued to the RAF and, after acceptance servicing at 33 MU, RAF Lyneham, it was issued to the charge of 59 Sqn [RAFG Geilenkirchen]. On 27 August 1957, it was loaned to the RAE Armament Dept for 200lb TMB Electric System trials. These lasted a month and on 16 September 1957, XH231 was back with 59Sqn. It stayed with 59 Sqn when they re-numbered to 3 Sqn and, apart from a short time with 88 Sqn at RAFG Widenrath, it finished its time on that squadron.
Photographed here during its second sojurn with 3 Sqn, this picture shows XH231 with a gun-pack attached in the rear of the bomb bay.
XH231 crashed near Osnaburck, Germany, on 3 February 1965 - both crew were killed.


B(I)8 - XH234
(Photo : Author's Archive)

One of the B(I)8s built by Short Bros WT234 was ready for collection on 30 April 1957. As with most B(I)8s of this time it was initially issued to the charge of 59 Sqn and stayed with them when 59 Sqn were renumbered 3 Sqn at RAFG Geilenkirchen on 1 January 1961. The photo shown here may have been taken during that transition period noting the lack of squadron markings. XH234 was next transferred from 3 Sqn to 16 Sqn, both then at RAFG Laarbruch.

When the B(I)8s left Germany, XH234 was flown to RAF St Athan where, on 30 June 1972, it was declared as Non Effective Aircraft (NAE). Eighteen months later it was sold to Marshalls of Cambridge (22 January 1974) who converted it to B(I)68 standard for Peru. Tested at Marshalls as G-52-7, it was delivered to Peru on 22 October 1974 as "252".


B(I)8 - XK951
(Via Unknown)

Shown here with 88 Sqn, this picture of a B(I)8 vividly shows the offset, fighter-type canopy which led to B(I)8 pilots being known to the Canberra fraternity as the guys who sat sideways or "the sidesaddle pilots"

XK951 was one of a three-aircraft part-contract for B(I)8s that were built as replacements in 1956. The other two were XK952 and XK953 (which went to India as B(I)58 IF895). XK951 had a fairly easy service life serving first with 88 Sqn at Wildenrath, before being transferred to 16 Sqn and finally to 3 Sqn at RAFG Geilenkirchen. In 1973, XK951 was converted by Marshalls to B(I)68 standard for Peru being delivered in 1975 as 248.


B(I)8 - XK952
(Photo : J P Spiers)

"Jock" Speirs' was a navigator on B(I)8s, his photo shows XK952 with 59 Sqn in 1959.
XK952 was one of a three-aircraft part-contract for B(I)8s that were built as replacements in 1956, (see XK951 above). XK952 was built in 1956 and, after acceptance checks, was one of the first B(I)8s issued to the charge of 59 Sqn at RAF Geilenkirchen. It stayed with the squadron after 59 was re-numbered to 3 Sqn in Jan 1961. March 1963 saw it on loan to the Controller (Aircraft) where a series of EMC trials were undertaken by A&AEE, returning to 3 Sqn a month later. XK952 was transferred to 16 Sqn (Laarbruch - 1966?) and then, once again, being loaned to the Ministry of Aircraft in the November of that year. It returned to 16 Sqn in March 1967 briefly before being moved onto 14 Sqn at Wildenrath - and then returned to 16 Sqn in 1970 when 14 Sqn shut down Canberra operations. When 16 Sqn shut down their Canberra operations in 1972, XK952 was moved to RAF St Athan where it was declared Non Effective Aircraft - as were most of the RAF's B(I)8s. Moved again in 1974 to RAF Manston's Fire Fighting School, XK952's life was over, but it was last noted in 1974 at 17MU, RAF Bicester.

XK952 in 59 Sqn markings during formation parctice in 1959.
Photo by Pat "Jock" Spiers' - ex-59Sqn nav.

B(I)8 - XM244
Ron Ledwidge)

XM244 was at Kuantan (Malaya) when it had this unfortunate accident. Aircraft of 3 Sqn and 14 Sqn were detached to Kauntan to support the effort against the Indonesian terrorists - Confrontation. On 10 or 11 November 1964, 3 Sqn's XM244, flown by a 14 Sqn crew, suffered a port undercarriage retraction and dropped on the runway. This was after landing as indicated by the fact that the canopy is still in position (therefore no apparent problems before the landing). Damage to the port wing was pretty severe because of the tip-tanks levering the wing upwards, but I don't think it was much more than Cat 3. This was obviously repaired as XM244 rejoined 3 Sqn and moved with them to RAFG Laarbruch where it was struck off charge in June 1972. It then went on to be a decoy arcraft at RAFG Gutersloh and was eventually moved to the fire dump there in 1979. It was still there in 1990. Is it there still?


XM244 was involved in another, similar, incident in 1965 at RAF Manston. Click here for photos.

B(I)8 - XM245
Ron Ledwidge)

XM245 was ready for collection in August 1958 and was delivered to Boulton Paul at Seighford for installation of "Blue Silk" (Decca Mk8). It flew with A&AEE over the next few years before being reconditioned by English Electric in 1963. XM245 took part in further trials installations with Marshalls before joining 3 Sqn at RAFG Geilenkirchen in 1966. It was later transferred to 16 Sqn at RAFG Laarbruch and struck off charge there in 1972. It ended its days as a target on the Nordhorn Range.


B(I)8 - XM262
(Courtesy of the Adrian M Balch Collection)

Ready for collection on 19 September 1958, XM262 was first issued to 16 Sqn at RAFG Laarbruch. This B(I)8 spent the majority of its service life with that squadron and is shown in the photo in 16 Sqn markings. Photo taken at RAF Odiham on 10 September 1970. It was next transferred to the charge of 3 Sqn, also at RAFG Laarbruch, and finished its time with them.

When 3 Sqn converted to Harriers in 1972, XM262 was flown to RAF St Athan where it was declared Non-Effective Aircraft on 16 May of that year. Eventually, after languishing for nearly a year at St Athan, XM262 was Struck Off Charge on 23 March 1973 and moved to the Fire Fighting School at Catterick.


B(I)8 - XM263
(Via Ken Delve)

A wonderful photo of this 16 Sqn B(I)8 cleaning up just after take off. This B(I)8 served with 16 Sqn and 3 Sqn in Germany until it was declared a "Non Effective Aircraft" in 1972. It was moved to RAF St Athan for a couple of years before being sold to Marshall's of Cambridge in 1974. There, it was converted to B(I)68 configuration for Peru. It was test flown as G-52-10 and delivered to Peru in 1977 as 225.


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