WEST GERMAN B.2 - 99+35 [ex-WK138]
99+35 at Museum
99+35 shown at the Luftwaffenmuseum
(Photo : Christoph Westhaus)
Close Up
Close up of nose showing the various badges
(Photo : Peter Hughes)
Taking off from a Cottesmore Open Day
(Photo : Peter Hughes)
99+35 at Cottesmore
Taxying at RAF Fairford, 1991
(Photo : Nick Challoner)

Awaiting collection in September 1954, this B.2 was taken into the RAF and issued to 102 Sqn at RAF Waddington. 102 Sqn was actually re-formed in October 1954 at Waddington and issued with their B.2s in the November of that year. A month later the squadron de-camped for RAG Gutersloh and WK138 would have moved with them to Germany. This was to be this Canberra's introduction to the country that eventually bought and flew it. When 102 Sqn stood down in August 1956, WK138 was transferred to 59 Sqn at RAFG Bruggen. It would have flown with this squadron until October 1957 when they re-formed with B(I)8s.

Then comes a period of nine years when WK138 seems to have dropped out of sight. It next turns up being sold to BAC on 28 March 1966 and Marshalls of Cambridge "converted it to B.2 configuration"! What had it been doing in those nine years? BAC sold it on to the West German Air Force and it was delivered, as YA+153 in October 1966, along with two other B.2s - ex-WK130 [YA+151] and ex-WK137 [YA+152]. These three B.2s were all painted in a fetching all-over orange colour scheme for use, initially in a target towing role, by Erprobungstelle 61 of Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich. They were later to be employed in experimental work and trials flying by Militarische Geographisches Amt based at Jever.

WK138 [and its sister aircraft] underwent no less than four changes of serial number. In 1968, YA-153 was re-numbered to 00+03. Transferred to Militarische Geographisches Amt in 1970 and again re-numbered to D9567. Then finally, this B.2 was allocated to special duites and re-numbered 99+35 [as it is today]. There was a lot of interesting work carried out by 99+35 and her sister Canberras including special camera fits for geographical and survey purposes.

Christoph was kind enough to send me a photo, taken in early November 2000, of 99+35 at the Luftwaffenmuseum [Berlin-Gatow]. It shows this colourful B.2 standing outside (since 1993) but still, according to Christoph, in good looking condition.