Squadron Exchanges 1972

4 till 14 April 1972

This month a exchange took place between the Eggebek based German Navy squadron MFG2 (2nd Staffel) and the Italian 10 Gruppo from Grazzanise both operating the F-104G. It was a one-way exchange where German aircraft flew to Grazzanise with 6 Starfighters.

28 April till 12 May 1972

During this period a Royal Navy “mix” of 809 Squadron Buccaneer S.2 from Lossiemouth and 892 Squadron Phantom FG.1 from Yeovilton were seen operating with MFG 1 at Schleswig Jagel, flying the F-104 Starfighter. This event looks like a one-way squadron exchange for 1 or both squadrons but we still need confirmation. It also could have been a deployment for a Naval exercise or something else. Who can confirm?

3 till 12 May 1972

This month a exchange took place starting from 3rd of May. Involved were Dutch Air Force 323 Squadron flying the F-104G interceptor aircraft and the Royal Air Force 92 Squadron flying the British counterpart the English Electric Lightning F.2A. It was a 2 way exchange. One of the participants from RAF in Leeuwarden, Ray (Jobber) Watson, stated: "One of our Lightning made a very large bang when the Avpin starter system exploded blowing a hole in the fuselage and requiring an engine change. In the 323 crew room, Uncle Bill told you to put your money for your bear in the till, when you went into the bar till all kinds of alarms and lights whould initiate. Our truck from Gutersloh brought the replacement engine together with a generous supply of Guiness Bear and German wine. Happy days".

23 till 31 May 1972

This month a exchange took place between the Dutch Air Force 311 Squadron, flying the F-104G fighter bomber aircraft from Volkel and the Italian Air Force 154 Gruppo based at Ghedi, also flying the F-104G. It was a one-way exchange. Only four Dutch Starfighters flew to Italy.

9 till 19 June 1972

This month a exchange took place between the German Air Force JG74, flying the F-104G interceptor aircraft from Neuburg and the Royal Air Force 23 Squadron flying the English Electric Lightning based at Leuchars. It was a one way exchange. Four Lightning aircraft came to Neuburg together with Shorts Belfast transport aircraft.

12 till 21 June 1972

This month a exchange took place starting from 12th of June. Involved were Dutch Air Force 312 Squadron flying the F-104G fighter bomber aircraft and the French Air Force EC2-11 flying the F-100 Super Sabre and based at Toul. It was a two-way exchange. Four Super Sabres flew to Holland of which one flew back to France a day later (13th). Together with four F-104G single seaters (D-6669, D-8051, D-8312 and D-8332) the Dutch also brought a TF-104G to France being D-5810. Pre exchange took place on 23 May by 1 Super Sabre. The Super Sabres flew back to France on June 16th but the Starfighters came back to Volkel a few days later on June 21st. Photos shows a formation of two French F-100 and two F-104 aircraft flying in a formation over Southern Holland (Photo TraditieKamer Typhoon via Jeroen Jonkers), The D-8051 at Toul ready for departure and finally a photo of a fly pass of all the five participating Dutch 104s at Toul or Reims (where an open house was held) on June 14th, 1972 (Thanks to Michael de Boer)

VKL1972D-8051_Toul_1972Toul_14jun72_flypass
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23 June till 4 July 1972

Norwegian Air Force 331 Skv at Bodo AB, flying the F-104G Starfighter exchanged with the Italian Air Force 21 Gruppo based at Cameri AB also flying the F-104 Starfighter. It was a 2 way exchange. Photos beneath were taken by Norwegian F-104 pilot Erik Dahlen showing the four 21 Gruppo aircraft on the Bodo flightline. It shows likely brand new delivered F-104S aircraft since only one aircraft carried a squadron serial which was F-104G MM6532/53-15. The other photo shows the group from an other position. 21 Gruppo was in the process of converting from the G to S version, so they still used a mix of G and S. Participating Norwegian aircraft in Italy included at least F-104Gs 61-2626/FN-B, 62-12240/FN-X and 64-17758/FN-Y. (Thanks to Birger Larsen).

Bodo72Bodo72b
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4 till 14 July 1972

This month a exchange toke place between the Wittmundhafen based German Air Force squadron JG71 and the Italian 10 Gruppo from Grazzanise. Aircraft flew via Sollingen AB. Aircraft seen were "9-04", "9-05", "9-16" and "9-23", all F-104Gs (sadly MM serials unknown). It was a two way exchange. (The JG71 books report period as 4-12 July)

July 1972

This month the Italian Air Force 22 gruppo (51 Stormo) based at Istrana, flying the F-104S Starfighter, exchanged with 11 Squadron flying the Lightning F.6 at Binbrook. It was a two way exchange. Italian Starfighters seen at Binbrook (reported 11 July) were F-104S Starfighters MM6704/51-02, MM6706/51-04, MM6740/51-15 and MM6719/51-22. (Serials thanks to Mike Bursell)

1 till 10 August 1972

This month a exchange took place between the German Navy MFG1 based at Schleswig Jagel and the Dutch Air Force 306 Squadron based at Volkel Air Base. It was a 2-way exchange.. German Starfighters seen at Volkel were aircraft 22+77, 22+78, 22+84, 22+93, 23+00 and 26+83 all F-104Gs and no RF-104G which is quite remarkable when exchanging with a recce-squadron. Dutch Starfighters at Schleswig Jagel were D-8013, D-8059, D-8066, D-8107, D-8138 and two seater D-5808. Two pre-exchanges took place, first by TF-104G 28+22 and F-104G 22+19 on May 9th and later on by two F-104Gs 22+16 and 22+72 on July 19th. During the exchange TF-104G 27+24 also visited the exchanging teams, on August 4th. The photo beneath was taken by Wim van den Boom and shows 22+78 arriving at Volkel Air Base on August 1st.

22+78_VKL_1972
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7 till 16 August 1972

The Dutch Air Force 322 Squadron based at Leeuwarden AB exchanged with Royal Air Force 111 Squadron based at Leuchars AB flying the Electric Lightning. It is unknown if it was a one or a two-way exchange but at least 4 Lightnings flew to Leeuwarden. In fact in 1972 both squadrons at Leeuwarden exchanged with Lightning jets. Photo beneath shows the shiny silver Lightnings arrive at Leeuwarden, taken by Henk Ploegstra. Participating Starfighters seen at Leuchars were D-6655 and 6667 which both got zapped on starboard front side.

LWD72
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7 till 17 August 1972

This month the German Air Force JBG31 flying the F-104G, stationed at Norvenich AB exchanged with the Norwegian 338 Skv operating the F-5A at Örland. It was a shifted two way exchange where in August the Germans flew to Norway. On 24 October the Norwegians flew for their period to Germany.

5 till 14 September 1972

This period a squadron exchange was organized between the Royal Air Force 41 Squadron, based at Coningsby, flying the Phantom FGR.2, and the Italian Air Force 28 Gruppo (part of 3 Aerobrigata) based at Villafranca flying the RF-104G. It is unknown if it was a one or two way exchange but the four participating Starfighters at Coningsby were: MM6638/3-23, MM6633/3-24, MM6631/3-29 and MM6647/3-30. The pre-exchange visit took place 27 June involving MM6646/3-22  and  MM6647/3-30.

Late August till early September 1972

The Belgium Air Force 349 Squadron (1 Wing) based at Beauvechain AB exchanged with nr 5 Squadron flying the Lightning F.6 at Binbrook. It was a two way exchange. First the RAF personell flew to Beauvechain in a Belfast transport aircraft which also flew the Belgium personnel to Binbrook.. One of the Belgium pilots, Lt Robert “Bib” Verbist, had a ride with two-seat Lightning T5 XS455 of No. 5 Squadron on September 6th with Sqn Ldr Tim Gauvain. However the flight didn't take long. The crew had to bail out after a few minutes due to a hydraulic problem. It caused a stick lock after take off due to almost empty hydraulic reservoirs and aircraft crashed North of Spurn Head, Yorkshire. Both pilots were injured but safe. Belgium Starfighters seen at Binbrook were FX43 and FX44.
Note: Some Belgium reports believe that the echange happened between 12 and 21 September but the mentioned accident with the Lightning T5 took place officially on the 6th of September!)

September 1972

This month there was a squadron exchange between the German Air Force AG51 from Bremgarten and the Italian Air Force 132 Gruppo (part of 3 Aerobrigata) based at Villafranca. The Italians flew with the F-104G Starfighter and the Germans with the brandnew RF-4E. It is unknown if it was a one or two way exchange but at least the Italians flew to Germany.

24 October till 3 November 1972

The German Air Force JBG31 flying the F-104G, stationed at Norvenich AB exchanged with the Norwegian 338 Skv based at Örland AB during this period. It was a shifted two way exchange where in August 1972 the Germans flew to Norway and on 24 October the Norwegians flew for their period to Germany with their four F-5 aircraft.

21 till 30 November 1972

This year there was a squadron exchange between the Belgium Air Force 23 Smaldeel (10 Wing), operating the F-104G from Kleine Brogel and US Air Force 91 TFS /81 TFW based at Bentwaters, flying the F-4C Phantom. It was a 1-way exchange. Only the Belgium Starfighters visited Bentwaters.

November 1972

This month the 421 Squadron flying the CF-104 Starfighter, based at Baden-Sollingen visited the Danish Air Force 730 Eskadrille at Skydstrup flying the F-100 Super Sabre, for eight days. it is unknown if also the Danish F-100s flew to Germany (Patrick Martin information).

 

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