Eric O’Brien Ex. 192 Squadron, RAF Watton. B29 Air Radar Mechanic. 1956/1957, got in touch and has donated theses great pictures.

Eric writes . . . I worked as a Air Radar Mechanic servicing and maintaining all the “Spec Ops” Air Interception and identification radar and wireless equipment on Washingtons until they were replaced by the Comet. I also did some limited work on the Canberra decoy.
I logged quite a few flying hours in the B29’s on their training flights and some on the Varsities that carried the ground crew to various destinations. When the Comet first appeared I had the opportunity to fly back to Farnborough several times to enable the engineers to check the many instruments that were installed to check stress levels on the airframe.


192 Squadron Washington
192 Squadron Washington
192 Squadron Washington
192 Squadron Washington
192 Squadron Washingtons
192 Squadron Washingtons
192 Squadron Washington


Edit: 5th October 2020 As per Eric O’Brien’s comments below: 

I sent some more photo’s which I found in my collection, They will probably be interesting to quite a few of the previous 192 Squadron crew members as they will hopefully be able to identify themselves and others which will enable them to make contact if they wish to.  Might bring back some memories for some of you!

The picture above I believe was taken in Malta in 1957, I am in the back row in the centre and in the larger group (below), which was taken about the same time, I am in the back row second from the left.  I do remember some of the faces but unfortunately with names I am not so good and as it was over 60 years ago I am not surprised!

If you recognise yourself or anyone else, please comment below.

23 thoughts on “More Washington pictures from 192 Squadron”

  1. I was on 192 squadron from 1957 to when it disbanded in 1958.Salome of the names I have read come to mind,especially Roger Manning who I think was an engine mech on the Washington’s.The photo of the merry making was taken in Watton village
    Ben Hope -airframe mech

  2. Looking for information in relation to my father Kenneth Maynard Horton who served in the RAF at Watton between 1956 to 1962 in 192 Squadron he was a Ground Engineer attached to the Boeing Washington B1.Currently building a model of a B29 & would like to hounor this build by having his planes Marking placed on it.I think I have narrowed it down to WZ966 55;WZ967 56;WZ968 57.Would also like any other pennats that where placed on the aircraft.

    1. John Cooke ex LONGTON HIGH C. C. F. and Flt. Lt. RAFVR(T) O. C. 239 Longton Squadron A. T. C. says:

      Also my uncle ‘s Washington, WW346 which I had my first flight in on 3rd April 1956. He was Ft. Lt. Ben Burton A. F. C. His was the only one to retain it’s forward gun turret. He got his’ gong’ for bringing it back from a mission in the Middle Easton two engines. Both port engines failed! This was a rare occurrence even during the Pacific War. WW346 ended up on the Range as a target at Wainfleet.

  3. I recall one of the celebratory group, seated on the floor second from left. I cannot remember his name but do recall he was I think an Engine Mech. who came from a coastal town in Lancashire. Not Morecombe but in that area. He was particularly mates with a lad from North Wales who owned a beautiful Jowett Javelin. They both married at about the same time I did (1957) he and I lived out in Norwich. The Welsh lad married a Watton lady and I think they lived in or near Watton.
    I was also in touch for some years with Brian Kettlewell from Middlesbrough. He too was an Instrument Mech/Fitter on B Flt. After demob Brian emigrated to Canada joined the RCAF and was commissioned. I’ve not heard from Brian for about five years now.

    1. I haven’t heard from Brian Kettlewell since 2016 Brian. I did try to contact him in 2021 but had no reply. Julian

  4. I’m in picture to the right of the Dickie bow names completely gone now,myself engine meck from 56 to 58 fantastic days get crews fab aicraft to fly in ,wonderful times.

  5. Hi,
    Ted Grey, are you a Scot?
    I recall on my first flight in the Varsity, 1954, we flew to the Midlands then to Middleton St George. I sat with a Scotsman called Grey..
    Not an uncommon name I know. I think we were both in Rm. 2 in the H block.
    There was an Armstrong in the billet too. I went back to Melksham 1956 before returning to the Sqdn in 57 shortly before I married.

  6. Hi
    My father Adam Derek Armstrong served in both RAF 192 and 51 squadrons working with the B29 and Canberra aircraft and I’m keen to hear from any other people who may have served with him
    He always speaks very proudly of his time in the RAF and it would be great if we could get in touch with anyone who might have known him – he is now 84

    Best regards

    1. I too served as an Inst Mech at the same time as your dad and I will be 85 in three weeks. Unfortunately I’m not good on remembering names after such a long time.

  7. Great to see these photos, brought back memories. I’m second from the end, right side middle row. in the large group picture. Will look forward to hearing from anyone who recognises me.

  8. Hello – What super photographs – thank you! I am Roger Byron Collins the son of 639630 M/Navigator Arthur Collins whom I lived with my father and mother, Doreen at 10 Dickson Road at RAF Watton ithroughout 1957 through to early 1959.. My father was aircrew on the B29 Washingtons and I was lucky enough to have been with my father on board on several occassions. He arrived at RAF Watton from RAF Waddington where he was based on Avro Lincoln Bombers and the B29. He was posted from RAF Watton to RAF Khormaksar Aden where he joined his old WW2 57 Squadron flying Twin Pioneers as he always commented on the massive difference between the two aircraft, Does anyone rememeber my father or indeed myself as I attended Hamonds Grammar School in Swaffham whilst I lived in Watton? Thank you Roger

  9. Thank you
    Eric O’Brien.
    I confess I cannot remember the names of any in the photographs. I’m not even sure if I am on any of them.
    I was an Inst.Mech on A flt. Like Roger I served from Sept 1954-Jan 1959
    Brian O’Riordan

  10. Former SAC Brian “Geordie” O’,Riordan
    Joined 192 Sqdn. as an AC1 Inst Mech in September 1954 and I was demobbed, after transferring to 51 Sqdn.; when 192 was disbanded; in January 1959.

  11. I was a SAC air wireless mechanic in 192 Squadron 1957/58 working on B29s comets and Canberras. An interesting time during the cold war when we knew what we were doing was really important. My experience was similar to that of Eric O’Brien. Hope anyone from the squadron that remembers me will get in touch.
    Might be able to find some photos which I will forward

    1. Hello Harvey
      My Father Adam Derek Armstrong was also in 192/ 51 Squadron serving about the same time as yourself – he is now 85 and is bravely battling dementia – Do you perhaps remember working with him? He was originally from Kelso in Scotland
      Best regards


      1. I remember your Dad Neil. We were in the same room in the H block for about 18 months before I was sent ion detachment to Melksham for further training. When I returned I was in a different room and because the Wireless Section had its own Crew Room they didn’t mix with the other Trades so saw little of him.

        1. Hello Brian
          Thank you so much for getting in touch – wonderful that you remember my Dad!
          What can you remember about him? Are you able to remember/ share any stories or maybe even have any pictures from that time?
          You are the first person I have met after all these years who new Dad so its quote exciting – Dad always spoke very highly of his time in the RAF however Im not sure he stayed in touch with many whom he served with.
          Dad is now in a care home in Huntington which is ironically quote close to RAF Wyton where I think he also spent some time
          Where do you live now?

          I live in Australia with my family having moved over here 17 years ago from UK – Covid was tough as Dad had a fall last year whilst walking to school with the grand kids – unfortunately the fall prompted them to do some mental health checks which revealed he had dementia and didnt make it back home again

          Would be delighted to keep in touch and maybe even organise a call with you if you were keen

          Best regards


  12. I was posted to RAF Watton as a SAC Air Radar Mech.1959=my position was servicing Jamming equipment in a little hut that contained a Fara day Cage -very dodgy-but I survived till 1961 and civi street-Now after 60 years I am helping in the Museum at Watton that contains all the infro aand films .Lots of visits from former RAF and enquires from the Americans from 1943/5.

    1. Hello. I was also at Watton from 1959 and into spring 1962. I was in communications and we used to be in the same H block i think. I was down the road from you while training at Compton Basset. Spent evenings in The Crown but never sitting in Mr Abel’s seat then across the road at the coffee bar.

  13. Hi Eric
    I remember you on A flight,( Flt Sgt “Larky” Lark in charge) I was there from 1954-1958
    Hope you are keeping well
    Roger Manning

    1. Hi Roger, I have only just seen your message , so sorry I didn’t reply earlier. Time gets more important as we get older so I should have got back to you sooner.
      I have just sent Julian 2 pictures of 192 Squadron personnel which he will probably publish on this site and they are still clear enough to identify people, I am in both and I believe he will make a note of where I am positioned so hopefully you will recognise me. When you see them it would be nice if you could identify yourself, and others if possible. I do remember faces but names were never my strong point and I struggle to remember my own sometimes.
      Nice to hear from you.

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