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Thread: Hastings TG560 aircraft and I.R.S.

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    Default Hastings TG560 aircraft and I.R.S.

    The following was found in the service file of Warrant Officer William George Jackson, RCAF, who at the time was on strength of No.426 Squadron. May someone advise me as to the meaning and nature of "I.R.S." in this case ?

    In June 1954 a letter was sent from Air Ministry to RCAF Joint Staff, London; an Air Commodore G.D. Randle seems to have been involved. The subject was “Commonwealth Air Force Network - Liaison Visit by I.R.S., R.A.F.” and the text was as follows:

    "With reference to the recent visit of I.R.S. to Canada, it is desired to express this Department’s appreciation of the assistance rendered by Royal Canadian Air Force personnel on the occasion of the mishap to Hastings aircraft TG560 at Torbay. Whilst being taxied on Wednesday, 31st March, it was noticed that the aircraft’s tail wheel lock was defective. Local efforts to cure this fault were unavailing and HQ Ottawa at once responded to an appeal for skilled assistance by sending Warrant Officer Jackson who arrived at Torbay at midday on the 4th April. The Warrant Officer’s successful work enabled the aircraft to leave for Ottawa on the 6th April to continue the I.R.S. programme.

    "The prompt and generous action by HQ Ottawa in sending Warrant Officer Jackson some 900 miles to give such assistance is, I repeat, greatly appreciated by all connected with the I.R.S. organization."

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    Try: Instrument Rating Squadron. This appears in Ken Delve's book "Source Book of the RAF".

    It fits in with the sort of tour which might be undertaken by the RAF to various Commonwealth and friendly countries, where a group of 'trappers' would carry out assessments and give guidance to others who might not have the same level of indigenous capability.

    Old Duffer

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    Just to nit-pick a little. Hastings TG560 (I thought that ident rang a bell) was, at one stage, the a/c used by the Inspectorate of Radio Installations and Services on their world-wide ATC "snooping" trips. R/t callsign "IRIS". IRIS and IRS were sometimes used interchangeably for the same 90 Grp Section. Yr man Randle was D Sigs(2) at the same time. Looks more towards Air Tragic 'trapping' than Drivers, Airframe, 'trapping'.
    In the mid-50's a number of Western Ranger, and Westabout, training flights were being undertaken often through Canada. A reason for TG560 to be in Torbay?
    Just checking!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 19th August 2011 at 13:26. Reason: Additional info
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    I concede that the IRIS 'interpretation' is probably the more plausible in this case, particularly as Peter has connected both the aircraft and the author of the letter to the plot.

    Old Duffer

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    Hugh/OD,
    I was interested in this thread in that I was a NSA Met Asst at El Adem in the mid-50's when this incoming Hastings announced itself as "Iris". To see SATCO and his minions running round like chickens with their heads cut off was intensely humorous for us low-level airmen!!
    I currently am reading "Finest Years - Churchill as Warlord 1940-45" by Max Hastings. In it he comments that Churchill looked upon even the self-governing Dominons as simply sources of cannon-fodder. I believe this attitude to be true. It caused 'some friction' between UK and those self-governing Dominions at Very Senior Military levels. After WW2 many of them, apparently, retained a degree of military coolness towards UK. MoD was keen to repair fences about this 'difficulty'.
    A couple of years before this episode the UK had detonated its first A-bomb at Montebello. The V Bombers were being invented to carry, and drop, it - should it prove necessary. I was at Wittering when it was made known that one of our Valiant Sqns was to carry out the first air-drop of the weapon in (or near) Australia. We, in the Met Office, were not told which route our a/c were to take to reach Oz. Iceland, Bermuda, Canada, USA, etc, (and even eastabout!) were all in the pot. We had to plan for all eventualities. In reality, the planning was Canada > USA > Oz. When was this finalised? We discovered it was UK > Canada (direct) when S Met O was made aware that his bank in Stamford had just received a huge amount of Canadian dollars - no other currencies!!!
    Thus, I suspect, this IRIS visit to E Canada. The fact that an Air Commodore (D Sigs(2)) in MoD wrote a letter of thanks to the RCAF thanking them for sending an RCAF Techie some 900 miles just to hit the tail-wheel of a gash Hastings with a big hammer seems, to me, to be more political than polite!
    But I have a notional PhD in Conspiracy Theory!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 20th August 2011 at 14:02. Reason: Additional info
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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