"TREBLE-ONE" Squadron's Standard
presentation, at North Weald on April 30, was also the first public
appearance of the unit's new acrobatic team, which has been selected
to represent Fighter Command at all major air displays in 1957.
Hunter 6s of No. 111 Squadron lined up
for the flying display following the presentation of the Standard.
The first eight aircraft in the glossy black finish have no squadron
markings and the fin marking is swept for the first time on Hunters.
Last year No. 111 Squadron raised the official team for No. 11 Group
with four Hunter 4s, but this season there is an added element of
novelty with the increase of the acrobatic formation to five Hunter
6s. These are painted distinctively and uniquely glossy black
overall, relieved only by national mark- ings, including highly
swept fin flashes, red serial numbers and tiny Union Jacks on the
nose. The team's first display followed the presentation ceremony,
which was performed by Air Chief Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst, K.C.B.,
K.B.E., D.S.O., D.F.C., A.F.C. Although now C.-in-C. Bomber Command,
Sir Harry had served with No. 111 Sqn., from January, 1939, to
January, 1940, when he had the distinction, as he was reminded by
Sqn. Ldr. Roger Topp, A.F.C., the present C.O., of shooting down the
first enemy aircraft to be destroyed by " Treble-One " in World War
As Sir Harry, who was accompanied by the C.-in-C. Fighter Command,
Air Marshal Sir Thomas Pike, K.C.B., C.B.E., D.F.C., and the A.O.C.,
No. 11 Group, Air Vice-Marshal V. S. Bowling, C.B.E., mounted the
rostrum on his arrival, a very pleasant surprise was the beautifully
co-ordinated fly-past over head of the R.A.F.'s Last Hurricane.
Flown by Wg. Cdr. Peter Thompson, from Biggin Hill, the Hurricane
commemorated the fact that " Treble-One " was the first R.A.F.
squadron to receive this famous fighter, in January, 1938.
After dedication of the Standard by the Chaplain-in-Chief of the
R.A.F., the Rev. Canon A. S. Giles, Sir Harry Broadhurst spoke
briefly of the squadron's past achievements. Of the future, he said
that the day of the robot in air warfare was a long way off, and he
had been assured by the C.-in-C. Fighter Command that No. 111
Squadron had a long life to. serve as a fighter squadron.
The parade ended, pilots and ground crews hurriedly changed for a
complete squadron " scramble" of 12 aircraft. Before the acrobatic
team began its performance, nine of the Hunter 6s flew past in "
Treble-One" formation, which, to show that formation capabilities
were not confined to a few pilots, proceeded to loop, still
maintaining immaculate station-keeping. This manoeuvre was then
repeated by the nine Hunters in diamond formation.
Part of the squadron's show programme is
solo aerobatics by Flt. Lt. D. R. J. Hall, who is followed by the
remarkable precision flying of the five-aircraft team. Its
repertoire includes a number of different formation changes while
looping and rolling, and concludes with a spectacular bomb-burst and
a five-point " beat-up " low across the airfield.
After Tuesday's excellent performance, No. 5 in the acrobatic team
had the misfortune to bounce so severely on landing that his
aircraft ultimately disintegrated and caught fire, but he had a
miraculous escape by inadvertent ejection throughthe canopy after
impact damage. The Martin-Baker ejection seat in the Hunter 6 is
designed for use down to about 50 ft.but despite the ground-level
ejection at comparatively low speed, the pilot's injuries
fortunately were less severe than if he had remained in the
Left: Air Chief
Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst inspecting No. 111 Squadron at the
start of the parade. On the left is the C.O., Sqn. Ldr. R. L. Topp,
and the Station Commander, Wg. Cdr. Sqn. Ldr. R. L. Topp, and the
Station Commander, Wg. Cdr.F. B. Sutton, is on the right.