B.2 - WH739
(Photo : Terry Robinson)

A "warbird" Canberra! As a B.2, it flew in action, with the RNZAF, in Malaya during the Confrontation troubles period.

One of a contract for 86 aircraft, WH739 was awaiting collection on 16 July 1953 from the English Electric Co works at Preston. It entered RAF service and was issued to 101 Sqn (RAF Binbrook) in 1953. After a short service with 101 this B.2 was transferred to 50 Sqn, also at Binbrook at the time, around 1954 or so. It went with 50 when they moved to RAF Upwood in Dec 1955 and would have been transferred onto Upwood's Station Flight preparatory to its transfer to the RNZAF in 1958.

WH739 was one of 15 B.2's loaned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force as part of the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve in 1958. It joined the newly formed RNZAF 75 Sqn at RAF Tengah, Singapore, and saw active service in Malaya during Confrontation. An interesting Canberra and sister ship to WH740.

Currently, WH739's cockpit section is in the charge of 2475 (ATC) Sqn at Ammanford in Carmarthenshire, Wales. The squadron's Warrant Officer, Terry Robinson, has supplied the picture and says "At the moment the nose section is looking rather sorry for itself after being vandalised. The squadron is trying to restore the section and would appreciate any help you may be able to give with regards to the source of parts. The inside has been stripped of all instruments."

As you can see, the cockpit section looks basically in good shape with a full canopy and nose glazing. The squadron is obviously proud of its Canberra and would appreciate any advice and help on getting it back to some semblance of displayable condition. Please e-mail Terry Robinson if you can be of any service.