T.4 - WH840
WH840 at the Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, Suffolk in 1999 (Photo : Les Bywaters)

One of a batch of 12 T.4s built by English Electric for a 1950s contract, WH840 was ready for collection in March 1954. It was taken on charge by the RAF and delivered to 231 OCU at RAF Bassingbourn. At some time after January 1956, this T.4 was attached to 88 Sqd (at RAFG Wildenrath). WH840 appears next with 151 Sqd at RAF Watton so, by now, it must have been after January 1962. Its next squadron was 97 Sqd, also at RAF Watton, having been formed there in May 1963.

In 1964, WH840 moved to the Boulton Paul works at Seighford for trial installations of radar mods. It was on the move again when it was transferred to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment briefly before being re-assigned to the RAF. This T.4's next posting was to 3 Sqd at RAFG Gielenkirchen so it may have been the stable-mate of WH846 and been the "other" T.4 that I worked on when I was on 3 Sqd.

It didn't stay too long at Geilenkirchen however as it was assigned to Station Flight at RAFG Bruggen and then on to Station Flight at RAFG Laarbruch. In 1974 WH840 was sent into store at RAF St Athan but was almost immediately transferred, as Gate Guard, to RAF Locking (April 1974) where it joined two other Locking Gate Guards - a Meteor and a Spitfire. In 1986, the Spitfire was replaced by a Folland Gnat T.1 (XM708) and these three stayed together for three years. WH840 and the Meteor were removed in 1989 under the policy of one Gate Guard per RAF station.

Now 35 years old, WH840 was sold to Staffordshire Aviation Museum and then moved to Seighford in 1991. It has since been acquired by Ian Hancock and is on display at the Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, Suffolk where I photographed it in 1999.