41 Squadron

41 Squadron

From 1958, 41 Squadron operated the Javelin and disbanded as a Javelin squadron in December 1963.

41 Squadron reformed as a Bloodhound surface-to-air missile unit at RAF West Raynham in September 1965. Changes to the Bloodhound squadrons saw No 41 disbanded as a Bloodhound unit in September 1970.

The Squadron reformed on 1 April 1972, at RAF Coningsby equipped with Phantoms. In 1976, a shadow squadron was formed at RAF Coltishall, flying the Jaguar GR1, which then became 41 Squadron. The Squadron finally disbanding in April 2006.

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RAF West Raynham

41 Squadron operated with six sections with 8 missiles per section. The sections were known as MS-1 to MS-3 (T87's) and MS-4 to MS-6 (T86's). Prior to 41 Squadron disbanding in 1970 it exchanged equipment with 25 Squadron at RAF North Coates to form six missile sections with T86 radars prior to 25 moving to RAF Germany in 1970/71

Contribution by Graham Sandford Jones

I joined 41 Squadron at RAF West Raynham in September 1967 as a brand new Corporal, straight from Apprentice training at RAF Locking. Other members of my entry (107th) to arrive on 41 at the same time were Nigel Ayling, Dave Coulter and two other ex 107 guys whose names I have forgotten. Over the course of two years I worked in almost every area from Ops, through Missile Servicing, Armaments and Handling, but with most time being spent on the sections MS-3, MS-4 and MS-6.

If my memory serves me right the winter of 1968/69 was bad with approx 1.5 to 2 feet of snow.  During this time I spent a short time on Missile Handling driving a Side-Loader and putting missiles onto launchers etc.  As cold-weather gear, all we got was a white donkey jacket which did nothing for keeping the feet warm and dry.  I scrounged my Father's WW2. Fleece lined flying boots and wore them.  For this, I was charged and hauled in front of the C.O. for wearing non-regulation clothing.  The charge was thrown out for the simple reason that they had been 'official Issue' and still had the W.D. label inside!  After that, Iím sure that I was the only guy working outside who had warm and dry feet.

41 Squadron did a detachment to Cyprus in April 1969 (I think), as part of a NATO exercise, and opened up the old transmitter site just outside Episkopi.  For some reason, I got a C.O.'s Commendation out of that.

In 1970 41 Squadron disbanded and we became a part of 25 Squadron, with an influx of people from North Coates and Hank Costain as C.O. By this time I was serving as a Tech Sup. on the sections. I remember working with Dave Clegg on MS3 ... but I can't remember whether it was as 41 or 25 Sqn. (41 Sqn I think).

As 25 Squadron, we took the T86 sections to Germany in Oct 1970 - 2 to RAF Bruggen and 1 to RAF Wildenrath.  RAF Wildenrath was made up to 2 sections by a section from RAF North Coates with  2 more North Coates sections going to RAF Laarbruch.

In my 41 Squadron days, people were rotated onto training courses at RAF Newton.