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Guynemer Trophy

Guynemer Trophy
Author: HughAHalliday
Time Stamp:
12:54:57 04 April 2002
Post:
For a period (1950s and 1960s) NATO teams competed in gunnery for the Guynemer Trophy. I have several questions.

1. When was it instituted ?

2. When was it discontinued (I assume it was when aerial gunnery was replaced with missile capability).

3. Were all competitions held at Cazaux ? (The 1958 and 1959 competitions were).

4. What countries (and units) won it in successive years ?

5. Can anyone (regardless of nationality) offer me a short first-hand account of a Guymener competition ?



RE: Guynemer Trophy
Author: Steve (Guest)
Time Stamp:
18:03:26 04 April 2002
Post:
The trophy was instituted in 1958 and was won three years running by the RCAF Air Division, all three competitions were hald at Cazaux, France.


RE: Guynemer Trophy
Author: HughAHalliday
Time Stamp:
20:33:11 04 April 2002
Post:
Did it have no history before 1958 or after 1960 ?

Supplemental question. A USAF team withdrew from the 1958 competition. Does anyone know why ?


RE: Guynemer Trophy
Author: Chris
Time Stamp:
00:18:43 05 April 2002
Post:
Hi Hugh

I went through my archives and put this together for you.

Cheers...Chris

First off, the Guynemer Trophy aerial gunnery competition was held at the French Air Force base in Cazoux from 1958 to 1960. The 1961 competition was held at Leeuwarden Air Base, The Netherlands.

N.A.T.O.'s Allied Air Forces Central Europe first competed for the Guynemer Trophy in 1958. The teams for the first year included:

No. 1 Air Division Europe (R.C.A.F.)

R.A.F. assigned N.A.T.O. forces in Germany

French Air Defence Command

Netherlands Air Force

Belgium Air Force

The Canadian's score was almost twice that of the second place R.A.F.

The following year (1959), eight teams were vying for the trophy. The Canadian's competition came from:

R.A.F. assigned N.A.T.O. forces in Germany

R.A.F. Fighter Command

French Air Defence Command

French First Tactical Air Force

U.S.A.F. in Europe

Netherlands Air Force

Belgium Air Force

The R.C.A.F. was tops again with R.A.F. Fighter Command taking second place. Additionally, the Canadians captured the top three individual scoring honours. The overall R.C.A.F. team standing was not as wide a margin as the first year, winning by 270 points.

The 1959 winning team was made up of pilots and groundcrew from No. 421 'Red Indian' (F) Squadron and No. 430 'Silver Falcon' (F) Squadron from No. 2 (Fighter) Wing, Grostenquin, France. One of the team members was Flying Officer David J. Barker. He would go on to be the first alternate Red Knight and take over from Ray Goeres in 1962. In 1963, Barker became a member of the Golden Hawks

Along with the R.C.A.F., the 1960 competition included the following teams:

R.A.F. Fighter Command

French Air Defence Command

Netherlands Air Force

Danish Air Force

R.A.F. assigned units in Germany

French First Tactical Air Command

Belgian Air Force.

The R.C.A.F. had bragging rights when they placed first and second place in the individual scoring. Some of the members of the 1960 Team included:

F/O A. McMullan from No. 427 'Lion' (F) Squadron, No. 3 (F) Wing Zweibrucken, Federal Republic of Germany. He placed first in the individual scoring with 355.5 points.

F/O W. McArthur from No. 422 'Tomahawk' (F) Squadron, No. 4 (F) Wing, Baden-Soellingen, Federal Republic of Germany. He was second in the individual scoring with 352.5 points. Incidentally, McArthur was a Kiwi from Auckland and had competed as part of the 1959 winning team.

F/L R. Spencer (Team Captain) from No. 430 'Silver Falcon' (F) Squadron, No. 2 (F) Wing, Grostenquin, France.

F/O G. Tremblay from No. 439 'Sabre Tooth Tiger' (F) Squadron, No. 1 (F) Wing, Marville, France.

F/O N. Granley from No. 444 'Cobra' (F) Squadron, No. 4 (F) Wing, Baden-Soellingen, Germany.

The 1961 Guynemer Trophy competition won by No. 1 Air Div was held at Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. It was the fourth year in a row for the Royal Canadian Air Force victors. Some of the pilots included F/O R. K. Flavelle, F/L R. W. Spencer (Team Captain), F/O B. B. Reid, F/O J. M. Swallow and F/O G. Brooks.

Hugh, I can not find any reference to the U.S.A.F. participating from 1959 to 1961 although they supported it by providing officers and N.C.O.'s to mark drogues, record scores and other like duties. The same thing for personnel from Greece and Italy. They had similar tasks, which also included counting the number of rounds each aircraft carried prior to departing for air-to-air gunnery.



RE: Guynemer Trophy
Author: HughAHalliday
Time Stamp:
11:46:53 05 April 2002
Post:
This is great stuff, Chris. It is almost embarrassing for a modest Canadian to find how much bragging rights we had on the trophy. I am surprised, though, that it was not created until 1958.