Heritage

356 (Felixstowe) Squadron
Air Training Corps



Badge: A Demi Tiger erased

Motto: Vim Viribus
(From Strength to Strength)

Just a few days after the Air Training Corps itself came into being, 356 (Felixstowe) Squadron was formed on the 13th February 1941 under the command of Flight Lieutenant W. H. Dallow. Our first cadet was Ronald Vernon Lee who went on to become a Flight Sergeant Pilot in the Royal Air Force Reserve during WW2; he amassed over 443 flying hours in various aircraft including the iconic Hurricane and the Spitfire fighters. Ever since then many other cadets have followed in his footsteps and continued on to have success in not only the Armed Forces but also other career paths.

You can learn more about the history of the RAF Air Cadets here: https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets/who-we-are/history/

Royal Air Force Felixstowe

RAF Felixstowe started as a Royal Naval Air Service station in 1913. During WW1, its seaplane aircraft patrolled the North Sea, mainly searching for German U-boats. The station became one of the Royal Air Forces first stations when the bew service was formed on 1 April 2021. By the end of the WW1 the base was one of the largest air stations in the world.

On 16 June 1924 the base became home for the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) which trialed more than 250 types of seaplane and flying boat - military and civilian - as well as designing some of its own. The base's personnel included included Flying Officer Frank Whittle, inventor of the jet engine, and Aircraftsman 1st Class TE Shaw, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. The station's special ‘High-Speed Flight’ won the world famous Schneider Trophy for Britain three times in a row; both the 1929 and 1931seaplanes were based at Felixstowe for a time. In 1936 the base came under the control of the RAF.s Coastal Command.

When WW2 started in 1939, the MAEE was moved to a safer location in Helensburgh, Scotland. The Royal Navy occupied the base from 1940 to 1945, naming it HMS Beehive and operating motor gun boats and motor torpedo boats in the North Sea.

After WW2 ended in 1945, the MAEE moved back to Felixstowe until 1953. The last aircraft at the base were Whirlwind air-sea rescue helicopters until they stopped flying from here in May 1961 and RAF Felixstowe finally closed in 1962.

Felixstowe Air Cadets' Squadron Headquarters is located on the site of RAF Felixstowe's No 2 Guardroom that house the station's detention cells for errant airmen! However, today we have a purpose-built replacement building.

356 Squadron Royal Air Force

Badge: A Demi Tiger erased

Motto: 'We bring freedom and assistance'



No 356 Squadron was formed at Salbani, India on 15 January 1944, and a week later its first Liberator bombers began to arrive. After a period of crew training, meteorological flights began in June and on 27 July the squadron flew its first bombing mission.

Attacks were flown against Japanese bases in Burma, Sumatra and Malaya, along with mining sorties against enemy harbour approaches, until July 1945, when 356 Squadron moved to Cocos Island in preparation for the invasion of Malaya. However, the end of the war came before this operation was due to be carried out and, after two months of supply dropping and transport duties, the Squadron was disbanded on 15 November 1945.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator B.VI

Specifications

Crew: 8

Power Plant: 4 x 1,200 h.p. Pratt and Whitney

Twin Wasp R-1830-56 or ’90

Wing span: 110ft

Length: 67ft 2in

Wing area: 1,048 sq ft

Empty weight: 36,500lb

Loaded weight: 56,000lb

Normal bomb load: 5,000lb

Max bomb load: 12,800lb
(for short distances utilising wing racks)

Max speed: 300mph at 30,000ft

Usual combat operating speed range: 180-215mph
(between 10,000ft & 25,000ft)

Service ceiling: 32,000ft

Range 2,290 miles with 4,000lb bomb load
(990 miles with 12,800lb bomb load)

Armament: Twin .50in machine guns in nose, dorsal and tail turrets plus single .50in machine gun in ventral turret and at each waist position
(
Ventral turrets were often deleted in the Far East theatre).


Colour scheme

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator B.VI KH114 of No 356 (B) Squadron, part of the Strategic Air Force, Eastern Air Command, used for the strategic bombing of Japanese supply lines in Burma. Ball turrets, a feature of the American heavy bombers, were usually removed on the South East Asia Command ( S.E.A.C ) Liberators.