Shackleton AEW2 Remembrance Parade
On the 30th April 2015 at approximately 1037 hours, members of 8 Squadron air and ground personnel, along with the Squadron Association, gathered outside its headquarters to remember 25 years since the loss of Shackleton AEW2 WR965, ‘Dylan’.
All Squadron aircraft were named after the Magic Roundabout and the Herbs. Manned by Crew 3 and captained by Officer Commanding 8 Squadron (Wing Commander S J Roncoroni), ‘Dylan’ took off from RAF Lossiemouth to take part in Exercise BRUSHFIRE, a live firing exercise with 12 Squadron Buccaneers firing MARTEL missiles.
During the two wave interval, Gambia 08 (Dylan’s allocated callsign) worked with a Tornado F3 before requesting Benbecula ATC (air traffic control) for an approach. The aircraft’s position given to Benbecula ATC was actually 15 miles south of their real position. They then passed the message that the weather was too poor for an approach and turned right and climbed.
Gambia 08 crashed into the mist covered Maodal mountain, one mile north east of the village of Northton on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. A massive rescue operation was initiated after the initial alarm was raised, involving the RAF, HM Coastguard, Police and Firemen, as well as many locals. On locating the crash site it was soon discovered that there were no survivors from the 10 crew on board.
The people of Harris erected a Cairn on the summit of Maodal for the Crew. They also paid their own tribute to those who died, by holding a special service at Laverburgh Free Church. This garnered a 400 strong congregation, including Wing Commander Booth, the then OC 8 Sqn, and a small number of representatives from RAF Lossiemouth. In an act of remembrance, the people of Northton also held a memorial service at the same time to honour those killed in such tragic circumstances.
Led by the current OC 8 Squadron, Wing Commander Steve Kilvington, the 2015 service was conducted by The Reverend Adrian Stark- Ordish, and supported by trumpeter Sergeant Wayne Lupton of the RAF Waddington Volunteer Band. A short review of life on 8 Squadron during the AEW Shackleton era was narrated by Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Harding, followed by a reading of the names of the 10 crew members by Sergeant Mike Squince.
Wing Commander Stephan John
Roncoroni – Pilot, OC 8 Sqn.
Wing Commander Charles
Francis Wrighton – Navigator,
OC Ops Wing RAF Lossiemouth.
Flying Officer Colin
Hudson Burns – Pilot.
Flight Lieutenant Alan Duncan
Campbell – Tactical Coordinator.
Flight Lieutenant Keith
Stuart Forbes – RADAR.
Squadron Leader Jeremy
Alan Lane – Navigator.
Master Air Electronics Operator
Roger Anthony Scutt – RADAR.
Flight Sergeant Kieran
Paul Ricketts – RADAR.
Sergeant Graham Anthony
Robert Miller – Flight Engineer.
Corporal Stuart James
Boulton – Electronics
Engineer Jaguar Simulator.
‘In memory of absent friends.’