Fifty Golden RAF Years – 14th June 1968

June 14, 2018

Thankyou Malcolm for this piece and the pictures,
Fifty Golden RAF Years
Her Majesty The Queen has made few visits to Abingdon during her long reign but she did carry out a Royal Review of the Royal Air Force on the airfield exactly 50 years ago on 14th June 1968. The occasion was a celebratory one marking the 50th anniversary of the RAF and included a flying display with tactical demonstrations together with a mass flypast of fighters and bombers. An impressive static display comprised many aircraft representing types in service during the first 50 years.
Fifty Golden RAF Years
The ‘50′ formation took place the day of the Royal Review.

The day of the Royal Review was a closed event but the display was repeated the following day when the base was open to the public.
Fifty Golden RAF Years
On the public day the Jet Provosts increased in number to form the Queen’s Cypher.
Fifty Golden RAF Years
The Lockheed Hercules was new into RAF service in 1968 and is shown here carrying out an ultra low-level air delivery (ULLA) as part of the mock assault set-piece. The ULLA system was developed by the Air Transport Development Unit (ATDU) in conjunction with the Joint Air Transport Establishment (JATE), both units were based at RAF Abingdon at the time. I think the MoD has a liking for acronyms!

This year the Royal Review to mark the centenary of the RAF will take place at RAF Fairford on the first day of the Royal International Air Tattoo. Three days beforehand, on the 10th July, a mass flypast of one hundred aircraft will overfly The Mall and Buckingham Palace. Let’s hope the weather then is as good as it was in Abingdon in 1968!

Fifty Golden RAF Years
Last picture is for anybody who grew up in the 60s showing the BBC1 schedule for 14th June 1968 taken from The Birmingham Post in British Newspaper Archive – All Rights Reserved. The Newcomers, the soap opera to rival ITVs Coronation Street, was on at 7.05pm.

Filed under: heritage

2 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Julian  |  June 14, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Was that starring our very own “Newcomer”? Wow, infamy! ;-)

  • 2. Malvin  |  June 14, 2018 at 9:14 am

    It is great to see those pictures again, somewhere in the house I have my own set of colour slides of the day as I was there whilst I was in the RAF, and one of those slides was of the Queen in her Rolls Royce as she drove around the perimeter track

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