Buccaneer Boys: True Tales by those who Flew the 'Last all- British Bomber'
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Twenty-four aircrew who flew the iconic aircraft with the Fleet Air Arm, the Royal Air Force and the South African Air Force (SAAF) relate their experiences and affection for the Blackburn Buccaneer. Arranged in chronological order, the book traces the history of the aircraft and the tasks it fulfilled. In addition to describing events and activities, it provides an insight into the lifestyle of a Buccaneer squadron and the fun and enjoyment of being a ‘Buccaneer Boy’ in addition to being part of a highly professional and dedicated force. The introduction into service is fully described before further chapters cover the development of the air force’s maritime tactics and the deployment of two squadrons to Germany in the overland strike role. Two chapters deal with the aircraft’s stunning successes at the Red Flag and Maple Flag exercises flown in North America which took the USAF hierarchy by storm. A further chapter is devoted to the intensive but little known Bush War operations by 24 SAAF Squadron on the borders of Angola. Two USAF exchange officers who flew Buccaneers relate their experiences and the aircraft’s deployment for the Lebanon crisis and the reinforcement exercise to the Falkland Islands is examined. The introduction of new air-to-surface anti-ship missiles is covered before the Buccaneer left to go to war in the Gulf where it distinguished itself providing precision laser marking for the Tornado force in addition to carrying out its own precision bombing attacks. This lavishly illustrated book concludes with accounts of the aircraft’s final days in RAF service and some reflections on its impact on maritime and overland air power.
ground-attack squadron, based in Cyprus from 1963-1966. He was one of the first RAF navigators to be attached to the Fleet Air Arm to fly the Buccaneer. His first tour was with 801 Squadron embarked in Hermes before becoming an instructor with 736 Squadron. After five years with the FAA, he returned to RAF service as a founder member of the newly-formed Buccaneer OCU as an instructor. He completed his five years of RAF Buccaneer flying with 12 Squadron as a squadron QWI, before moving to group
life ashore. There was an intermittent supply of old newspapers, no TV, occasional film shows, mobile phones and personal computers having not yet been invented. I had a tiny cabin deep in the bowels of the ship, and right outside it in the passageway was a big hole; you could see a propeller shaft rotating noisily at the bottom of it. There were no floors, ceilings or windows, only decks, deck-heads and portholes, and portholes were pretty rare. The inside of the ship was a labyrinth of
questions that came our way were very comical. Such as, “So this is an American Buccaneer”, “did you bloody Yanks steal this aircraft”, “What the ---- are you two doing with a British aircraft.” On another occasion, Wg Cdr Wilkinson asked me if I would mind taking a Hunter to Cottesmore and fly the AOC (Sir Mike Knight) to Lossiemouth. Of course I said yes. As the day approached, he told me not to let the AOC fly in the left seat, as he would have been drinking champagne at the ribbon-cutting
approach configuration and around the radar and visual circuits that the aircraft took a bit of mastering. But the Bucc at low level doing anything from 400 to 580 knots was an absolute joy. The high-wing loading and the area-ruled fuselage both contributed to the smooth, leggy and easily-controlled flight of this wonderful aircraft doing what it was designed to do. The other ‘new’ experience for many of us was the extra dimension of flying with a navigator. From the start, I was very
reds……hook up……check lights out…….‘1,500’….‘2,000’…..roll left….don’t pull…… stay unloaded….watch speed….150 kts…..speed increasing……select 0-0-0…‘cheeses moving’….‘cheeses moving…..‘cheeses STOPPED’…. change hands on the stick …… ailerons to high speed…..change hands again…….confirm clean with Fat Boy…… keep pulling….. still on steady note …….descending…….hold the steady note……hope i’ve judged this right as can’t pull any harder…..for God’s sake don’t bust the crowd line…….. Made it……relax