Mk 22 Spitfire, PK481 in Eastern Avenue just prior to being shipped to Australia. The aircraft is on the spot where 1440’s buildings stand today!
A recent chance discovery has led to some exciting prospects for Shoreham Air Cadets.
While researching the aircraft that the Royal Air Force used at Shoreham Airport (Brighton City Airport) during World War 2 the cadets of 1440 (Shoreham-by-Sea) Squadron, Air Training Corps made an exciting discovery about a Supermarine Spitfire on the other side of the world that used to live in Shoreham. This one wasn’t to be found at the Airport, but was instead kept in Eastern Avenue where the Squadron has been based since the 1950s!
Supermarine Spitfire PK481, a Mark 22 version of the iconic aircraft, entered service with the RAF in September 1945, flying with 611 Squadron until it was retired in 1953 which is where the story gets interesting…
The aircraft was purchased by the Brighton and Hove Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) who used it as part of their fundraising work, towing it around the local area as part of their Wings Appeal collection each year. Most of the time, however, it was kept at the Territorial Army Centre in Eastern Avenue (where Eastern Close and the Cadet Centre is today), being looked after by members of 1440 Squadron for the next few years.
The story doesn’t end there, as PK481 didn’t end up on the scrap heap but instead found itself a new home. It left Shoreham in 1959 for a long sea voyage to Perth, Western Australia! The aircraft was sold by RAFA to the Royal Australian Air Force Association who shipped it across the world to put on display outside their headquarters in Perth. It remained there until the 1980s where it was fully restored. Today PK481 is the only Mk22 Spitfire in Australia and is proudly on display at the Aviation Heritage Museum in Bull Creek, Western Australia.
Neil Worth, Civilian Instructor at 1440 Squadron said: “A quick internet search led to some fantastic opportunities for our cadets. We’ve been in touch with the Aviation Heritage Museum in Bull Creek and we are planning all sorts of exciting things together with them and the local Australia Air Force Cadets squadron.”
Neil added: “Although we’ve been sent some information by the museum, we’d really like to learn more about the history of “our” Spitfire and its time in Shoreham. If anyone has any photographs or information, we’d love for them to get in touch!”
If you have any information on the Shoreham’s Spitfire or the history of 1440 Squadron you can contact them through their Facebook page @1440ShorehamSquadron or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
1440’s Tribute To “The Few”
On Sunday 7 July 2019 cadets and staff from 1440 (Shoreham-by-Sea) Squadron, Air Training Corps were privileged to attend the annual parade and memorial service at the Battle of Britain Memorial in Capel Le Ferne near Folkstone. The Squadron had been invited to represent Sussex at this year’s event, joining over two hundred cadets from across Kent.
In the presence of veterans, invited guests and senior representatives of Commonwealth and allied air forces, including Poland, the cadets joined the Central Band of the Royal Air Force, and members of 600 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force parading the Queen’s Colour of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, in being inspected by the current deputy head of the Royal Air Force Air Marshall Andrew Turner CB CBE RAF.
Speaking to the cadets after the parade Air Marshall Turner told them how extremely proud he was to be associated with such inspiring young people and thanked them for their efforts during the parade. He went on to extol the virtues of service with the Air Cadets and urged the cadets to take full advantage of everything that the organisation has to offer, including flying, gilding and academic qualifications.
Following the parade the cadets and assembled guests were treated to a flying display by two Spitfires from the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – paying tribute to “The Few” who fought for freedom all those years ago. Cadet Corporal Thomas Worth, 14, from 1440 Squadron said: “It was a real pleasure for us to attend the parade and although it was hard work, it was definitely worth it to be here with the Central Band and the veterans. We’ll definitely be back next year!”
It May Have Been the Holidays But…
It may have been the Easter Holidays but the cadets from 1440 (Shoreham-by-Sea) Squadron, Air Training Corps, didn’t let it stop them. From attending a camp at RAF Brize Norton to flying, to a private helicopter flying display, the cadets have been doing it all!
Starting at the beginning of the holiday Cadet Corporal Morgan Buchanan-Wilson (aged 16 from Lancing) and Adult Sergeant Naomi Easterbrook joined cadets and staff from across Sussex for the first of the year’s annual camps at the Royal Air Force’s largest station, RAF Brize Norton. During the week-long camp they took in visits to various parts of the station including the Fire Section and the Survival Equipment Section where they learned about how the RAF’s aircrews are equipped and trained to deal with emergency situations. They visited the RAF Police Flight to learn how they work together with the RAF Regiment to protect bases and aircraft and spent time with each of the flying squadrons at the base, visiting their respective aircraft, including the Airbus A400M Atlas. To top off a great week the cadets were incredibly fortunate to be able to “fly” the RAF’s multi million-pound Atlas simulator! Morgan, who has been an Air Cadet since 2015, said: “The camp at Brize Norton was great. We spent the week learning lots about the different parts that make up an RAF base; we got to visit the different aircraft based there but the best thing of all was being able to use the Atlas simulator.”
Airbus A400M Atlas C1
Not to be outdone, Cadet Corporal Rosie Dyett (13) and Cadets Josef Ramet (15), Ethan Remorino (15), Zachary Herring (14) and Josef Tryantoro (13) spent a day with No 2 Air Experience Flight at the home of the Empire Test Pilots’ School, MoD Boscombe Down. The cadets were there to fly and after a full safety briefing, they got to take to the skies in the RAF basic trainer the Grob Tutor. Each cadet was given a flight that latest approximately 30 minutes where they had the chance to take the controls of the aircraft and to experience aerobatics (but only if they wanted to!). Rosie said: “I absolutely loved flying in the Tutor. I was really nervous to start but my pilot was really great and showed me that there was nothing to worry about – I even did a loop!” Ethan added: “I really want to fly when I’m older so the opportunity to fly with the cadets is great. I can’t wait until the next time!” Adult Sergeant Charlotte Paynter said: “The cadets really enjoyed their flights and it was really good to see how they were able to put the things they’ve learned at the Squadron into practice.”
Cpl Rosie Dyett takes control
As if all that wasn’t enough the Squadron spent an evening at Shoreham Airport as the guests of Shoreham Helicopters Ltd where they were treated to a tour of one of their aircraft by the company’s Captain Andrew Wood. Andrew spent time with the cadets explaining how helicopters fly, what the different controls do and how they operate; building on things they learn as part of their ongoing syllabus of training. Having gone through the theory Andrew treated the cadets and staff to their very own private flying display where he demonstrated exactly what his helicopter could do. Back on the ground there was just time to grab a team photo and Andrew pulled another surprise by rewarding Cadet Katie Atkinson (14) with the promise of a trial flight! Katie said: “I’m so happy to have won the flight in the helicopter – It’s a real dream come true and I can’t wait to go up!”
Learning how helicopters fly
Cdt Katie Atkinson (14)