B.2/T.17 - WD955
WD955- Team
The team and WD955 in the hangar at Bodo(Photo : Mick Birch)
WD955
The bulbous nose of a T.17 - WD955 in Bodo's hangar
(Photo : Mick Birch)

Built as a B.2 by English Electric at Preston in 1951, WD955 was ready for collection on 7 December 1951. Taken onto RAF charge, it was first issued to 101 Sqd at RAF Binbrook. When 101 Sqd converted to Canbera B.6s in June 1954, WD955 was transferred to 617 Sqd also at Binbrook. 617 Sqd also converted to B.6s in April 1955 and WD955 was on the move again, this time to 21 Sqd at RAF Scampton. It would have moved to RAF Waddington with 21 Sqd in June 1955 and probably flew with them up until they too received B.6s in October 1958. After a short period of duty with RAF Waddington's Station Flight, WD955 was transferred yet again to the charge of 245 Sqd at RAF Watton. 245 Sqd also had a branch at RAF Tangmere until August 1963 so it is possible that WD955 flew from there. April 1963 saw 245 Sqd being re-numbered to 98 Sqd at RAF Tangmere, WD955 was one of the B.2s taken over.

In 1964, WD955 was one of twenty-four B.2s flown to Samlesbury for conversion to the new T.17 configuration. This conversion gave the RAF (and the Fleet Air Arm) an EW/ECM training capability and resulted in the famous "warty" nose of these Canberras.

Once converted, WD955 joined the newly formed, joint RAF/FAA, 360 Sqd at RAF Watton. In 1975, it relocated with 360 Sqd from RAF Cottesmore to RAF Wyton. Improvements in the navigation and EW equipment resulted in the T.17A. WD955 was flown to Samlesbury in 1985 to act as trials aircraft for the new electronics and subsequently returned to 360 Sqn at RAF Wyton and served with them until 360 was disbanded in October 1994.

There is obviously a story behind why/how WD955s ended up at Bodo in Norway. Maybe someone can let me know.

Mike Birch, who sent the pictures, comments :
I was based at RAF Wyton 360 Sqd from 1987 -90. I am now support manager for a company specialising in active noise and vibration control systems on turbo-prop aircraft and rear engine jets. During a recent training session I gave at Bodo, Norway I visited the military base with a Cpt. Odmund Bjoernaly. He showed me one of my old T17A canberras, tail no EM (the oldest canberra). It is immaculate and the Cpt is a big enthusiast in all aircraft restoration. The Canberra is due for their museum. It will be displayed as it landed, not polished and false. The aircraft is complete in every way with engines and full equipment, starter cartridges, fly away tool kits and all the aircraft Form 700s.


At Bodo
In front of the hangar at Bodo(Photo : Mick Birch)
Taxying
Taxying in after its last flight, Bodo (Photo : Mick Birch)
In Flight
Flying with 360 Sqd (Photo : Unknown)
Pre-Flight
On the line at Wyton. From the left :
Andy 'Strops' McCrae; Andy 'The Fly' Webster; Mick Birch. Front - Rory Underwood
(Photo : Mick Birch)
Bitburg
On display at Bitburg, May 1993 (Photo : J.W.Harris)
Yeovilton
Seen at Yeovilton, July 1992 (Photo : Nick Challoner)