PR.7 - WH791

WH791 - Newark
WH791 - A couple of days after its arrival at its new home - Newark Air Museum (Photo : LesB)

WH791 was moved by road over the weekend of 28/29 November 1998 to the Newark Aviation Museum.
It was reassembled by an RAF team over a two day period - of course none of the flying controls, hydraulics or other systems have to work.
Other pictures at the bottom.

Entering RAF service in 1954 with 542 Sqd at RAF Wyton, this PR.7, spent the early part of its service life at that station. It was transferred to 82 Sqd, also a RAF Wyton probably when 542 converted to the Canberra B.2 and moved to RAF Weston Zoyland in December 1955. WH791 was on the move again when 82 Sqd shut-down in September 1956, this time to 58 Sqd - also based at RAF Wyton at that time, not a long distance to move. In the early 60s (1960/61), when 58 Sqd took the PR.9 aboard, WH791 was transferred to 81 Sqn - at RAF Tengah in Singapore, its longest move yet!

While with 81 Sqn, WH791 would have been involved in the "troubles" in Borneo in 1962, flying low-level PR missions over the jungle and coastline, probably out of Labuan. The black and white picture (below) shows WH791 jacked up with bottle jacks on its main undercarriage only. This procedure was used to allow the fitting of a flares/photo flash crate for night photo-recce operations. This was the first time 81 Sqd had dropped photo flashes which explains the number of people present I guess. [Note the guy squatting by the starboard u/c leg. He must be a rigger (on the jacks) waiting until everybody's finished so as he can get the kite down again.]

All good things come to an end however and, eventually, WH791 was returned to the UK. It was stored at RAF St Athan, alloted the ground number of 8115M, and then 8176M and was stuck off charge as scrap in February 1972. Luckily, this was cancelled and this PR.7 was moved to RAF Cottesmore as Gate Guard in October 1972. Initially it was marked as WH7171, but this was corrected in 1973. Now it wears the fin emblem of 231 OCU, I wonder why.

If you are in the UK and interested in military aircraft at all, go along to the Newark Air Museum and see its three "full" Canberras and a Canberra nose - more Canberras than any other museum. There is a Vulcan as well for "V" fans; a Shackleton, Swift, Javelin, Hastings, Gannet, and many more - even a Blue Steel! The shop there is very well stocked with all manner of aviation related stuff . . .and the coffee in the cafe is excellent,

WH791 - 81 Sqd 1962 WH791 - with 81 Sqd at RAF Tengah 1962. Main undercarriage jacked up to give clearance and allow the fitting of a photo-flash crate in the flare/bomb-bay.
(Photo : Via Ken Delve)
WH791 - 81 Sqd 1966 WH791 - with 81 Sqd at RAF Tengah 1966.
(Photo : Via 88 Sqd Association)
WH791 - Newark WH791 - at Newark Air Museum, port side. (Photo : LesB) WH791 - Newark WH791 - with Newark Air Museum's Vulcan. (Photo : LesB)
WH791 - Fin detail
WH791 - Fin detail showing the bottom rudder pintle panel removed, no tailplane lower panels and the prominent fin badge of 231 OCU. (Photo : LesB)
WH791 - Cottesmore
WH791 - As Gate Guard at RAF Cottesmore.
(Photo : Damien Burke)