This Hunter Aircraft, really belonged to the squadron from 1963 to 2005 for training purposes. It sat on the Airfield at RAF Aberporth for forty two years, making many tourists assume RAF Aberporth was a flying station.
(The airfield was actually operated by the RAE.)
The squadron photo’s below in Black & White ALL date from the 1960’s.
All the cadets in these photo’s could now be into their 60’s. Many could even be grandparents of the cadets in the squadron today! But I have no direct knowledge of this.
I, your host, arrived at RAF at Aberporth at the age of 24 when these were taken in 1966.
The squadron photo’s below in colour date from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. Some will enlarge if “clicked” but I have few names I can add to the earliest ones.
Were you one of these cadets?
Still working on this page @ August 20th 2015
About another 40 photo’s to be scanned, processed & added soon.
First flown on 6th October 1954, WT680 didn't have a long career and was retired to ground instructional duties by Christmas 1957.
The Hunter was acquired for the Squadron in January 1963 by Peter Thomas who was at the time a Squadron R.A.F., V.R. (T) Officer.
He was taking an R.A.F. Course in Engines at R.A.F. Wheaton, near Blackpool, when he discovered various Hunter aircraft were to be scrapped.
After making the usual request through M.O.D. and the H.Q. of the Air Training Corps, permission was granted for the aircraft to be transferred to the Squadron and transported to R.A.F. Aberporth.
Once in the Squadron's possession, an aircraft enthusiast, Chief Petty Officer Andrews who was stationed with the R.N.T.U. at R.A.E. Aberporth undertook some maintenance work and was responsible for the finishing of the aircraft as seen today.
R.A.F. Brawdy also gave the Squadron much needed advice and help in maintenance until they too closed down.
Interesting Facts and dates.
No. 45 MU 12 /11/54
DFLS 9/2/55 to 23/9/55
Hawker Flying Accident
Repaired in Works 24/10/55 to 17/10/56
No. 5 MU ... 23/10/56 to 16/9/57
NE 16/9/57 to 22/11/57
No. 8 STT (75 33m) 22/11/57
1429 Squadron A.T.C. 1/1/63
Anglia Motel, Fleet Harwood Lincs - Sold and transported in 2005
In 2005 she had to be sold during the WDA changes taking place at the RAF Aberporth camp site. She was refurbished and put on display in the car park of the Anglia Motel by the side of the A17.
While she spent a little time resting on her bottom with nose wheel in the air, she's now returned to a normal postion.
WT680 is complete with engine and her cockpit is also remarkably complete, which is unusual for ANY preserved Hunter.
WT680 in situ at it’s new home, the Anglia Hotel, Fleet Hargate, Lincolnshire.
Here are a series of Photograph’s taken by Sqdn Ldr(VR)T Chris Ford just before it was sold to a Motel in Lincolnshire for £3000! It had to go when developers at Aberporth wanted the ATC to move from their hut on the Airfield to new premises. (The ATC couldn’t take it with them.)
The images below show the corrosion the aircraft was suffering.
The Motel and their local ATC have since brought WT680 “up to spec”.
1429 Squadron (Cardigan and Aberporth) Air Training Corps ® No. 3 Welsh Wing as @ 1985 History
No. 1429 Squadron was first registered in May 1941 under the name of "The Teifi-Side Squadron" No. 1429 with two flights, under the command of Flight Lieutenant T. Evans, with its headquarters in Stanley House, Cardigan, and a strength of 120 cadets.
The Cardigan County School flight used the gymnasium to parade and drill in, whilst the classrooms were used for the general service training under the command of Flying Officer H. Lloyd Morgan, Squadron Adjutant. A Detached flight met in Newcastle Emlyn under the command of Mr D. W. Thomas.
By the end of 1941 when the Official Warrant was received, four flights of the Teifi-Side Squadron had been formed, the other two flights being Cardigan Town and District and Llandysul County School, the latter being commanded by Pilot Officer R. G. Llewelyn and formed into an independent school flight No. 1581 by late 1942.
The Squadron remained active throughout the war until it was disbanded towards the end of 1945.
On the 16th June, 1961, the Squadron was re-formed under the new title of 1429 (Cardigan) Squadron and was commanded by the C.O. designate, Mr J. B. Armstrong, later to become Fit. Lt. J. B. Armstrong, R.A.F. V.R. (T).
The Squadron headquarters was in the Guild Hall and later moved for a short period into St. Mary's School in Cardigan.
In April 1962 the Squadron, by now named Cardigan and Aberporth, moved to its permanent home at R.A.F. Aberporth, using the Education Centre as its headquarters. Its building on the airfield was provided by Air Training Corps funds and opened on 18th June, 1966.
The Commanding Officer in 1985 was, Fl. Lt. J. A. Tucker, R.A.F. V.R. (T), who had served as a Regular Officer in the Royal Air Force and was ultimately Chief Navigation Instructor on No. 228 (Phantom) OCU.
Notable achievements of this Squadron included the winning of the CELTIC TROPHY in 1977 and 1979.
Flying Scholarships awarded to cadets in 1962, 1964, 1978 and 1985 and University Cadetships in 1978, 1979 and 1985.
Corps `blues' have been gained for Rugby in 1976, 1977, 1980 and 1981, as well as Athletics in 1970, 1975 and 1977 ; Corps `blue' in Swimming 1981.
The Squadron always has an active strength of 50-70 cadets and is always among the top three Squadrons in No. 3 Welsh Wing, and is at present top Squadron in the Wales Region. (@ 1985)