Twin Bases - RAF Bentwaters, RAF Woodbridge


Aircraft of the 81st


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From George Pennick's huge collection

All images on this page are © Copyright George Pennick, except where credited otherwise.

Includes comments from the pilot! (22 April 2002)

 

F-86A Sabre (49-1162) 78th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Lt. Joe Williams aircraft
1. F-86A Sabre (49-1162) 78th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Lt. Joe Williams aircraft taxis out at Shepherds Grove, Suffolk, circa 1953. Credit: J M Williams via MSgt David W Menard (ret.).

 

Here's an interesting additional caption from that very Joe Williams, in April 2002

Interesting story behind the F-86 number 162, my aircraft. That photo was taken on arrival back at Shepherds Grove from a gunnery camp in Tripoli, Libya. It was our first trip there as a Squadron I believe and we all were very intrigued with the Fez.

We also knew that the wives would be waiting at the base with a big welcome home party. So we all bought Fez's in Tripoli and the plan was to have the Squadron form up after landing at the far end of the runway, and then pass in review in front of Ops where the wives were with all the pilots wearing their Fez's. It went over very well.

Since we had more pilots than planes to fly home, the rule was that the guys with the highest gunnery scores would fly the planes back home, and I am sorry to say, that is not me in my aircraft, #162.

 

F-86A Sabres of the 92nd Ftr Interceptor Sqd circa 1953. Credit J M Williams via MSgt David W Menard (ret.)
2. F-86A Sabres of the 92nd Ftr Interceptor Sqd circa 1953. Credit J M Williams via MSgt David W Menard (ret.)

Joe Williams added in April 2002
This picture is of the 92nd sitting on the runup pad, probably during gunnery at the Grove. We used to fire out over the North Sea, towing banners with an F-86.

 

 

F-84F Thunderstreak (52-6499) 78th Ftr. Bomb Sqd. Lt. Joe Williams aircraft circa 1955/56. Credit J M Williams via MSgt David W Menard (ret.).
3. F-84F Thunderstreak (52-6499) 78th Ftr. Bomb Sqd. Lt. Joe Williams aircraft circa 1955/56. Credit J M Williams via MSgt David W Menard (ret.).

Joe Williams added in April 2002
The picture of the F-84F is also my bird after we converted from the F-86 to the F-84F. We went from Day Fighters to Special Weapons. Not near as much fun as the day fighter program.

 

 

F-84F Thunderstreak (52-7114) 92nd Ftr. Bomb Sqd. Credit J Austin via MSgt David W Menard (ret.)
4. F-84F Thunderstreak (52-7114) 92nd Ftr. Bomb Sqd. Credit J Austin via MSgt David W Menard (ret.)

 

Lockheed T-33A (53-5819) 81st Ftr. Bomb Wing at Duxford 14 August 1960 for Royal Observer Corps display. Carrying wing shield on fin and Day-Glo anti-collision markings.
5. Lockheed T-33A (53-5819) 81st Ftr. Bomb Wing at Duxford 14 August 1960 for Royal Observer Corps display. Carrying wing shield on fin and Day-Glo anti-collision markings.

 

DHC L-20A Beaver (52-6138) 81st Ftr. Bomb Wing. Wing shield on fin and lots of "spit and polish" on metal. At Bentwaters "Open House" 14 May 1960.
6. DHC L-20A Beaver (52-6138) 81st Ftr. Bomb Wing. Wing shield on fin and lots of "spit and polish" on metal. At Bentwaters "Open House" 14 May 1960.

 

Douglas C-47D (42-100883) 81st Tactical Ftr. Wing. Wing shield on nose, at a damp "Open House" Bentwaters 11 May 1963.
7. Douglas C-47D (42-100883) 81st Tactical Ftr. Wing. Wing shield on nose, at a damp "Open House" Bentwaters 11 May 1963.

 

F-100D Super Sabre (52-2967) 79th TFS based Woodbridge. Seen here at Wheelus AB Tripoli 15 June 1958, on weapons training TDY. Credit Robert Anderson via MSgt David W Menard (ret.).
8. F-100D Super Sabre (52-2967) 79th TFS based Woodbridge. Seen here at Wheelus AB Tripoli 15 June 1958, on weapons training TDY. Credit Robert Anderson via MSgt David W Menard (ret.).

 

F-86D Sabre (52-10035) 512th Ftr. Interceptor Sqd. Based at Bentwaters between December 1954 to 1958. Credit late MSgt Peter Hutting (ret.)
9. F-86D Sabre (52-10035) 512th Ftr. Interceptor Sqd. Based at Bentwaters between December 1954 to 1958. Credit late MSgt Peter Hutting (ret.)

 

F-4C Phantom (64-0855) 91st TFS. One of the first F-4Cs to be delivered to the wing, seen here at Bentwaters 21 May 1966.
10. F-4C Phantom (64-0855) 91st TFS. One of the first F-4Cs to be delivered to the wing, seen here at Bentwaters 21 May 1966.

 

F-4D Phantom (66-7560/WR) 91st TFS landing at Bentwaters October 1978.
11. F-4D Phantom (66-7560/WR) 91st TFS landing at Bentwaters October 1978.

 

>> More Phantom pictures on John Czarnota's page.

 

F-4D Phantom (66-7553/WR) 91st TFS. On display at Mildenhall
12. F-4D Phantom (66-7553/WR) 91st TFS. On display at Mildenhall

 

F-4D Phantom (65-0772/WR) touching down at Bentwaters May 1979.
13. F-4D Phantom (65-0772/WR) touching down at Bentwaters May 1979.

 

A-10A (77-0235/WR) 81st TFW has final checks on ramp before take off. Still in original grey colour scheme, before camouflage was brought in. Bentwaters May 1979.
14. A-10A (77-0235/WR) 81st TFW has final checks on ramp before take off.
Still in original grey colour scheme, before camouflage was brought in.  Bentwaters May 1979.

 

A-10As (inc. 79-0123) touching down at Bentwaters 2 September 1980. New final check ramp under construction.
15. A-10As (inc. 79-0123) touching down at Bentwaters 2 September 1980.
New final check ramp under construction.

 

A-10A (81-0977/WR) 92nd TFS taxis out for take off at Bentwaters 3 March 1989.
16. A-10A (81-0977/WR) 92nd TFS taxis out for take off at Bentwaters 3 March 1989.

 

A-10A Thunderbolt II with P-47D Thunderbolt displaying at "Open House" at Bentwaters 14 September 1991.
17. A-10A Thunderbolt II with P-47D Thunderbolt displaying at "Open House" at
Bentwaters 14 September 1991.

 

A-10A (82-0655/WR) Commander's aircraft. 81st TFW Col. Roger R Radcliff
18. A-10A (82-0655/WR) Commander's aircraft. 81st TFW Col. Roger R Radcliff

 

A-10A 82-0655/WR tail markings on commander's aircraft, with four squadron colours at top fin/rudder. Bentwaters 5 September 1992.
19. A-10A 82-0655/WR tail markings on commander's aircraft, with four squadron colours at top fin/rudder.
Bentwaters 5 September 1992.

 

F-16C (85-0479/01) 527th TFTAS/81st TFW commander's aircraft taxis out for take off. Russian Bear marking on fin. Bentwaters November 1989.
20. F-16C (85-0479/01) 527th TFTAS/81st TFW commander's aircraft taxis out for take off.
Russian Bear marking on fin. Bentwaters November 1989.

 

F-16A (85-0453/02) 527th TFTAS/81st TFW on finals to Bentwaters November 1989.
21. F-16A (85-0453/02) 527th TFTAS/81st TFW on finals to Bentwaters November 1989.

 

Voodoo F-101C, 56-0022, 81st TFW, location unknown. Credit: Kierbow via Dave Menard
22. F-101C, 56-0022,  81st TFW,  location unknown. Credit: Kierbow via Dave Menard
(See more F-101 Voodoo photographs through this link).

 

Phantom F-4D, 66-7692, 81st TFW/ 92nd TFS landing Bentwaters 17 Nov 1978
23. F-4D, 66-7692,   81st TFW/ 92nd TFS landing Bentwaters 17 Nov 1978.

 

Warthog/Tankbuster A-10A, 77-0246, 81st TFW/92nd TFS landing Bentwaters 23 March 1979.
24. A-10A,  77-0246,  81st TFW/92nd TFS landing Bentwaters 23 March 1979.


 

Collecting and sharing contributions about the Twin Bases of RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk, England since 1995. Copyright © 1995-2009 Linn Barringer, All Rights Reserved.