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Thread: Wing.Co. F.M. Hegarty. V Bomber Squadron 1962

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    Default Wing.Co. F.M. Hegarty. V Bomber Squadron 1962

    Wing.Co. Hegarty was to take over a V Bomber squadron following a refresher course. Sadly he was KIFA
    during the course in early 1962.

    Does anyone know which squadron he should have joined? I thought originally that it was Vulcans, but now think it was possibly Valiants?

    JeanB

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    JeanB,

    I've had a look through the HMSO official history of RAF nuclear weapons. I specifically looked to see if any squadron commander appeared to have been in post too long or whether there were any obvious indications of a rapid move. However, I could not identify anything obvious which might suggest someone remaining in post, a squadron leader holding temporary command perhaps or any indication of the need to find somebody else quickly.

    Given Wg Cdr Hegarty's age at death, could he have been actually going to be promoted and command a station? Does his immediate past service history suggest that he might already have commanded a Canberra squadron, for example, or that he had had several appointments as a wing commander already?

    In January 1962, he was carrying out a course at the RAF Flying College at Manby but was he just refreshing after a ground tour or was he actually getting some experience of flying a jet with more than one engine?

    Unfortunately, I don't think his previous flying experience will necessarily tell us too much about which type he was to fly. For example, I know of a Valiant flight commander but who, on promotion, he went to command a Vulcan squadron.

    The Valiant was already past its prime in 1962 but both Vulcan and Victor still had much to offer, particularly with the Mk 2 versions of both types coming along.

    I have tried to think of what surviving sources there might be which would point towards which squadron he was destined for. Do you know if he had or was expecting to move to a new married quarter, or perhaps his family had already done so? Are there any hints about when he was due to take up his new appointment or where was he going to do his 'type conversion' - Victor and Valiants at Gaydon, Vulcans at Finningley.

    I see that he had an AFC. Was the award of that fairly recent and was it in anyway related to the introduction into service of one of the 'V' types?

    Sorry to ask so many questions and provide no answers! His logbook and personal correspondence might provide some clues.

    Colin Cummings

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    Jean,

    According to The Times, Hegarty was the pilot of a 2-seat Meteor operating from RAF Strubby on the day of the accident. The aircraft crashed at East Halton. The second occupant was Flt Sgt Black of Glasgow. As Hegarty came from Llanelly it might be worth your while to see if the local paper carried an obituary or report of the accident. Similarly try the local paper covering the East Halton area (near Kingston-upon-Hill).

    Brian

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    The LG icontains several references to Hegarty (service number 164406). I've not gone through them all, but they include a Bar to the AFC; his promotion to W/C was effective from 1 July 1960.

    Brian

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    Default Wing Co. F.M. Hegarty. V Bomber Squadron 1962

    Thanks for your comments Brian. I already have the LG details, and also the details of Frank`s fatal accident. And I do have a copy of his full Service Record. I was just hoping that someone, somewhere might know which V bomber squadron he was due to join after the Meteor course (during which he died) and following a Valiant course at Gaydon, which he was to take after the Meteor course.

    I am grateful to you and to Colin for taking an interest.

    JeanB

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