Air Enthusiast 1998-01
A.Thomas - I Kill & Return
To extend the type’s range, the Venoms were usually fitted with wingtip fuel tanks. On No 118’s aircraft they also provided an additional canvas for the squadron flash as evidenced on WE388 ‘A-M’.
No 118 Squadron was re-formed in the early 1950s as part of the RAF’s German based 2nd TAF. Vampire FB.5 WA382 ‘A-J’ about to touch down at Fassburg in June 1952.
The Vampires were later camouflaged; WA374 ‘A-M’ is seen after a minor mishap at Fassburg. The nose flash was outlined in white on camouflaged aircraft
No 118 regularly took part in visits to other RAF and NATO bases - one of its Hunters, WT748 ‘S’ on a tree-lined dispersal at Bruggen in May 1957, shortly before disbandment.
To modernise its German-based fighter force, the RAF deployed the Hunter F.4 in a number of squadrons, including 118 whose aircraft are shown on arrival at Jever in May 1955. No 98’s aircraft are beyond.
In Germany, 118 Squadron formed part of 121 Wing whose leader was W/C C S ‘Hammer’ West. His personal Hunter, XF315, bore the markings of all four of ‘his’ squadrons as well as his rank pennant.
Rare view of a 118 Squadron Mustang III shows ‘NK-V’ at Luneberg on June 2, 1945. It was one of four aircraft which had escorted Trenchard on a visit there.
S/L Tony Drew (right), 118’s CO, and W/C Sutherland the Wing Leader stand in front of an all-silver Mustang at Bentwaters in mid-1945. Although wearing unit codes, this aircraft’s serial has, unusually, been removed.
W/O Bill Marriage stands on the wing of his 118 Squadron Mustang III before a long range escort mission from Bentwaters in the spring of 1945.
Spitfire IIa P9088 ‘NK-K’ of 118 seen at Ibsley in 1941 was a presentation aircraft, named ‘Borough of Lambeth’.
During the middle years of the war 118 flew the cannon-armed Spitfire Vb and gained most of its ‘kills’ during offensive operations with this Mark
During the spring of 1944 No 118 used Spitfire IXs for long-range escort work for a time, one of these is seen at Detling carrying an external fuel tank.
No 118 was re-formed for security duties in Northern Ireland in support of the RUC. Sycamore HR.14 XG502 dropping off a police patrol on the troubled border in 1962.
Although a short-range transport unit, 118’s Sycamores perpetuated the fighter markings as seen on XG544 in full tactical camouflage during a visit to Ballykelly.
For flying checks etc, during the mid-1950s the squadron used the Vampire T.11 such as WZ517 seen during a practice formation trip over Germany.