3 14 16 The B(I)8 Gallery 59 88 213
Canberra B(I)8 Gallery - 5
( The pictures are sorted in aircraft serial number order which continues from Galleries 1, 2, 3 & 4)
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B(I)8 - XM276
(Upper Photo : Via Eric Chamberlin, ex-3 Sqn)
(Lower Photo : Lemmy Tanner, ex-3 Sqn pilot)

A couple of 3 Sqn's B(I)8s looking smooth and colourful in the sunshine on the Cervia detachment in 1971 . The near aircraft is XM276 and the far aircraft is XM279 (see below). XM276 was ready for collection on 6 February 1959. It was immediately taken on loan by the Controller (Aircraft) and passed to the Royal Aircraft Establishment for IBS trials. Over a year later, on 28 March 1960, this B(I)8 was returned to the English Electric Co for a program of modifications. It is not know how long this program took but its next move was to be issued to the Charge of 59 Sqn at RAFG Geilenkirchen so it must have been before January 1961 as in that month 59 Sqn was re-numbered to 3 Sqn (an historic fighter squadron).

XM276 flew with 3 Sqn until 26 September 1966 when it was transferred, on loan, to the Ministry of Aircraft. [This B(I)8 was therefore on 3 Sqn during my own time with them at Geilenkirchen.] The loan to the MoA saw XM276 going to Marshalls of Cambridge where it was involved in trial installations of harness restraints. before being returned to RAF Germany and 3 Sqn on 29 November 1966.

In January 1968, XM276 would have moved to RAFG Laarbruch with 3 Sqn and stayed with them until it was alloted Ground Instructional number 8178M on 8 October 1971. This however was cancelled and XM276 was moved to RAF St Athan where, eight months later, on 16 May 1972, it was declared a Non-Effective Aircraft and a candidate for disposal. It remained this way for nearly two years before being sold to Marshalls (18 April 1974) who converted it to B(I)68 configuration for Peru. It was test flown on 23 November 1977 and delivered to Peru in 1978 as serial 256. It could just be still flying!


Click pics for larger image

XM276 in flight

B(I)8 - XM277
(Photo : Courtesy of
Niederrhein Aviation Society)

XM277, ready for collection on 27 February 1959, was first issued to Station Flight at RAFG Geilenkirchen. From there it was transferred to 88 Sqn at RAFG Wildenrath and stayed with them when they re-numbered to 14 Sqn in December 1962. Later XM277 was transferred to the charge of 3 Sqn, probably when 14 Sqn stood down in June 1970. By that time, 3 Sqn were at RAF Laarbruch having moved from Geilenkirchen in January 1968. In Jan 1972, 3 Sqn converted to Harriers and XM277 moved onto the charge of 16 Sqn. This sqn also flew B(I)8s at Laarbruch and was the last operational RAF sqn with these Strike Canberras. XM277 was Struck off Charge on 23 June 1972 and, two months later, was flown to RAF Chivenor for use as a Fire Fighting airframe. Eventually, after almost 16 years service, this B(I)8 was sold for scrap on 10 January 1975.

XM277 Lands at RAFG Laarbruch, 1972

B(I)8 - XM278
(Photo John Corby, ex-3 Sqn)

XM278, ready for collection on 25 February 1959, was taken on charge by the MoD and issued to 16 Sqn then resident at RAFG Laarbruch. This B(I)8 spent its RAF life with each of the B(I)8 Strike Squadrons, initially 16 Sqn, then 14 Sqn (RAFG Wildenrath) and finally 3 Sqn (RAFG Geilenkirchen). When 3 Sqn converted to Harriers in 1972 XM278, along with many other B(I)8s, was transferred to RAF St Athan where, on 16 May 1972 it was designated as Non-Effective Aircraft. After languishing for nearly two years, XM278 was sold to Marshalls of Cambridge on 3 April 1974. Marshalls converted XM278 to B(I)68 configuration after which it was test flown as G52-12 and delivered to Peru as No 257 on 5 July 1978.

3 Sqn B(I)8s await disposal at Warton (or RAF St Athan?)

B(I)8 - XM279
Tim Garden, ex-3 Sqn Pilot)

Another of 3 Sqn's B(I)8s looking very graceful in the bright blue sky. This is a fine colour shot showing the later, silver undersides (so therefore sometime in 1965), the "small" serial number and the squadron number, "L", on the green band on the fin. When 59 Sqn re-numbered as 3 Sqn, their B(I)8s had squadron numbers painted on top of the aircraft's nose in front of the cockpit. This practice was gradually dropped but a couple of the B(I)8s still retained nose-top identification up to mid 1964 or so. [Obviously re-painting didn't happen all at once.] XM279 entered service with 16 Sqn and finished its time with 3 Sqn.

The nose section of this B(I)8 is preserved: see the Surivors page for XM279.


B(I)8 - XM936
(Photo :
Jan de Buur)

Another of 3 Sqn's B(I)8s on finals at Geilenkirchen. taken by Jan de Buur, who lives about one mile off the end of the runway. XM936 is shown coming in from the Brunssum/Schinvel end around, Jan says, late 1964, early 1965. Note that XM936 has been painted with the later silver undersides and has the 3 Sqn fin-flash and badge.
My own photo of XM936 taking off at Geilenkirchen is here, (click to view).

This B(I)8 was built as a single aircraft contract to replace WT329 which had been sent to New Zealand as B(I)12, number NZ6101. XM936 was built in 1959 and entered service with 59 Sqn. It stayed with them when they re-numbered to 3 Sqn at RAFG Geilenkirchen. In June 1962, this B(I)8 was declared "Non-Effective Aircraft" at RAF St Athan and sold to Marshalls of Cambridge for conversion to a Peruvian B(I)68, number 254.


Christmas Card - 3 Sqn, 1963
(By Les Bywaters)

Thought I'd include this here amongst the B(I)8s. This was the 3 Sqn card for that year and depicts a few of the "funnies" that had happened on the squadron. If anyone remembers either the card or wants to "interpret" the snags, I be glad to hear from you.

Also, please note the sharkmouth and eye! This was well before 16 Sqn adopted this motif. Could they have been influenced . . .

Christmas Card

B(I)8 - 3 Sqn, 1967
(Photo : Roy Lavis)

This fine colour picture of a B(I)8 was sent to me by Roy Lavis an ex-Radar Fitter Sgt from 3 Sqn. Roy, the guy in the picture, flew with a 3 Sqn B(I)8 when it did a detachment to RAF Wyton in 1967. The mission was, in Roy's words, ". . .to annoy the Army in the Welsh hills." Sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately, Roy can't remember the number of the B(I)8, but as it is a fine picture I'll include it here anyway.

Note the gunpack fitted in the rear of the bomb bay and the typical red-doped fabric strip covering the leading edge of the Canberra's wooden fin. (The small inset was my idea not Roy's!)

B(I)8 at Wyton

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