I am not a pilot but my son Paul holds a PPL (inactive now) and as he is the cause of this letter I seek access to your columns to thank you for the splendid article and photographs of the flying Avro Anson in your November edition, which he brought to my attention. I am 82 and have had a lifelong interest in aeroplanes, helped by being brought up in Lincolnshire during WWII surrounded by many active aerodromes. As soon as I could, I joined the Air Training Corps and in 1951 I had the first flight of my life from RAF Hemswell near Lincoln in an Avro Anson like the one in your photographs (though not quite so pretty!) This was followed by another flight later on at camp at Swanton Morley in Norfolk. Unforgettable experiences. Since then I have flown in many different types of aircraft during National Service with the RAF and trips in UK and abroad, but exciting and enjoyable as all these were nothing has replaced that first wonderful experience. Although I have seen Ansons in Air Museums and knew that a flying type existed I did not know the background to its restoration nor where it was based. So thank you again. David A Watson, Lincoln 1956-58 Operation Grapple H-bomb Tests, Christmas Island, Pacific Ocean: Medical Orderly I have had a keen interest in the Avro Anson since my time as a National Serviceman in the RAF in the mid 1950s and I was pleased to receive this copy of Pilot from a friend who knew of my interest in this aircraft. I first came across the Anson when I was posted to RAF Ternhill HQ 22 Group Comms Flt in June 1955 – with a small fleet of Ansons, including WJ561, the last Anson (Mark 21) built for the RAF in 1952. This aircraft was scrapped in June 1960 and it is interesting to note that the piece of fabric bearing the registration WJ561 has been maintained for posterity in the Avro Museum at Woodford!
A de Haviland Chipmunk WD390 was another aircraft under our care, converted to civilian use with the registration G-BWNK. I believe this aircraft, now owned by the Trustees of WD390 in Lincolnshire, remains airworthy?
The two Ansons (both Mark 19s) referred to in the article make interesting reading. According to the details in The
Anson File, TX176, latterly at RAF Coninsby, was sold in 1967, registered as G-AVGR, and scrapped in March 1969. G-AHKX was owned by a number of aircraft companies until it was bought by British Aerospace in 1981 and rebuilt as the star of the BAE Systems Heritage Flight. Thank you for the opportunity to read this article and for bringing back many memories of my time in the RAF during the 1950s. Barry Rose - service number 2729762 - a number which I shall always remember