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Photograph by Hugh Burt
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Avro Vulcan B1, thought to be XA908 of No 83 Squadron, at Entebbe, Uganda in 1958. Three Vulcans, XA904, XA908 & XA911 departed for Kenya, to take part in a display marking the opening of Nairobi's new airport at Embakasi. The outbound route was via Wheelus AFB, near Tripoli in Libya and Entebbe. After the ceremonies at Embakasi, 904 and 911 returned to UK via Wheelus (diverted from RAF El Adem in Libya) whilst 908 carried on to Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (RRAF Station New Sarum). Before 908 returned home it flew a round trip of the Rhodesias that encompassed Que-Que, Gwelo, Thornhill, Bulawayo, Kariba and Lusaka. The crew then took the Vulcan back to Waddington via Embakasi and El Adem. Though the trip was reported as a 'goodwill visit', there are darker undertones. A declassified document of the period lists Entebbe, Embakasi, Salisbury and El Adem as possible bases for Vulcans in the conventional bombing role during 'limited' war. 908 was delivered in September 1957 to No 83 Squadron. It was lost in November 1958 during a Western Ranger en-route from Goose Bay to Lincoln AFB Nebraska, crashing into a suburb of Detroit.

© Hugh Burt.

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