Website Home             Airfields Home            Snapshots Home


AEROBATIC TEAM
Lightning squadron again chosen by RAF Fighter Command to give displays at the air shows
(Flying Review April 1963)
 

For the second successive year a squadron equipped with English Electric Lightning jet fighters

For the second successive year a squadron equipped with English Electric Lightning jet fighters has been chosen as RAF Fighter Cornmand's leading aerobatic team for the current year. Last year the honour went to No. 74 "Tiger " Squadron based at Coltishall, Norfolk, and now their near-neighbours, No. 56 Squadron at Wattisham, Suffolk, have taken over the job. Commanded by Sqdn Ldr. D. J. Seward, the squadron's nine Lightning F.MK.la aircraft will give a series of high-speed formation aerobatics at the major air shows at home and abroad, including the Paris air show in June.

Many of No. 56 Squadron's acrobatic team have past experience of this type of flying and two of them. Flt. Lts. Jeremy Cohu and Michael Cook, flew with No. 74 Squadron's acrobatic team. FIt. Lt. Cohu, the " B " Flight Commander. has been with No. 56 Squadron since July of last year while Flt. Lt. Cook, joined the squadron three months later. Another pilot with considerable acrobatic experience is Flt. Lt. John Curry. "A" Flight Commander. In March. 1960, he went to No. I I I Squadron andwas a member of the famous " Black Arrows" acrobatic team.

The squadron has an outstanding war record, and in both wars its pilots achieved many notable successes. After the last war, No. 56 Squadron flew Meteor jet fighters between April. 1946. and February, 1954. when it became the first squadron to receive the
Swift. Hunters came into use in May. 1955. and these gave way to the Lightning. carrying Firestreak air-to-air missiles, in December. 1960.

Last July the squadron made the first overseas non-stop flight refuelling exercises with Lightnings to Cyprus and back. The squadron badge shows a phoenix and the motto is "Quid Si Coelum Ruat ' (" What if the Heaven Falls "). The standard was presented at Waterbeach, Cambs., on April. 1956. by the Duchess of Kent. now Princess Marina. The squadron marking is red and white chequers on each side of the fuselage.