151 Squadron was reformed for the
second time on September 15 1951. It was reformed at Leuchars under the command
of S/Ldr Boyle who had served on the Squadron in World War II. He had combat
experience on both offensive and defensive operations.
The Squadron now formed part of No 10
Group, Fighter Command and was the only Night Fighter Unit to be based in
North of the British Isles. Their defence objective was that of the Scottish
Industrial Centres and the Rosyth Naval Dockyard.
The Squadron was scheduled to be
equipped with Vampire NF 10's, but these aircraft were
slow in being delivered. In the meantime, a Gloster Meteor was delivered and it is understood
that this aircraft was the only jet type to use the wartime Squadron code DZ.
Its code letter was Z. It thus carried the markings DZ-Z.
The first Vampire NF 10's arrived at Leuchars.
By July, more Vampires had arrived and
the Squadron strength in terms of aircraft bad risen to thirteen.
In view of 151's Squadron's association
with Scotland, it having been disbanded at Qullane in 1919 after World War I,
and re-formed at Leuchars in 1951, it seemed appropriate to have new markings
for the aircraft. With Leuchars being in sight of St Andrews, the St Andrew's
cross was chosen as the Squadron motif. The black border round the motif was
chosen to emphasise the night defence aspect of its role, for which it was
formed in 1918, and in which role it had distinction in World War II. The design
for the Squadron markings was submitted for approval and accepted.
With the full complement of Vampire
aircraft, intensive training began for the pilots and navigators.
In August, one of the aircraft was lost with the death of two members of the Squadron, these being Sgts Howe and Brookes.
Practice interceptions under G.C.I.
control were the routine basics for maintaining Squadron operating efficiency
with variations in target manoeuvrability and tactics being provided by Meteors
of Nos 43 and 222 Squadrons, both of which were also based at Leuchars. The
changing of aircraft types as the target for these exercises gave a change in
manoeuvre characteristics, and enabled 151 Squadron crews to obtain a broader spectrum of training than if carrying out G.C.I. exercises amongst themselves.
In October, the Squadron took part in its first major Air Defence exercise - "Ardent". In this exercise, 151 Squadron successfully intercepted Lincolns and Washington aircraft, but the new Canberra bombers were too fast for the Vampires. This exercise showed up a deficiency in the Vampire's performance and indicated its limitations as an intercepting aircraft.
It had been taken for granted that the
Vampire was an interim aircraft and with the failures shown up on exercise
"Ardent", new aircraft were anticipated for re-equipping.
In March, the Squadron began conversion
to Meteor NF 11 aircraft, beginning with B Flight. The last of the Vampires left
In July, the Squadron was detached to
West Mailing and took part in the Fly Past for the Coronation Review at Odiham.
In August, exercise "Momentum" took
place, this being a similar exercise to "Ardent", the previous year. Even though
151 Squadron was now equipped with Meteor NF
11s they had difficulty in
catching the Canberras and also in catching the United States Air Force B 47
The routine or practice interceptions
took place, armaments practice and visits to Night
Fighter Squadrons in Germany
In July, exercise "Dividend" took place. This was to be the last major exercise in which 151 Squadron was to use the Meteor, its shortcomings having been demonstrated in the last two major exercises.
In July, the Meteors were replaced, and
Venom NF III aircraft began to be delivered to the Squadron. This aircraft had
better performance than the Meteor, and it was also equipped with Mark 21 A.I.
Unfortunately, it was a single engined aircraft, and since most of 151's
exercises were over the sea, this particular aircraft was not very popular with
the crews who flew them.
In September, exercise "Beware" took
place. This involved interceptions against Bomber Command Canberras and Valiants.
The exercise showed that the
aircraft with which 151 Squadron was now equipped
had the capability of catching up with,
and of intercepting, the up to
date aircraft of Bomber Command which were put up against them.
In December, exercise "Embelish" took place when B 47's of the United States Air Force were successfully intercepted.
Since its re-formation, 151 Squadron
had progressed through Vampires and Meteors to
Venoms and now showed itself
to have the defensive capability required of it.
In June, 151 Squadron was detached to Acklington because of work being undertaken on the runways at Leuchars. At Acklington, advantage was taken of the excellent air to air firing facilities for which 151 Squadron had its own target-towing Meteor F(TT)8, and extensive flying and firing exercises took place with some good scores being recorded by the Commanding Officer, W/Cdr Cosby.
In August, the Squadron returned to
Leuchars. During the month, high altitude cross country flights at heights in
excess of 40,000 ft were carried out, these flights functioning as targets for
intercepting Hunter aircraft on daylight exercises.
During September, practice flying for the Battle of Britain Fly Past took place, However, on September 15, only four aircraft could be put into the air for the Fly Past over Ouston and Turnhouse.
September 20 saw the start of exercise "Stronghold" which went on through to September 29. On September 21, some of the Squadron's aircraft were detached to Coitishall for Phase II of the exercise. In Phase I, 151 Squadron had recorded 29 scrambles and 21 Interceptions of which 17 were "probably destroyed".
3 RB 57's
5 B 47's
1 B 45
In Phase II the Squadron recorded 16 Scrambles, with "kills" by day claimed as:-
2 B 45's
2 F 86's
Night interception claims were:-
1 B 45
1 unidentified aircraft.
January 1 saw the introduction of a
five day week with Wednesday a full working day and Saturday non-working. This
was done in connection with a fuel conservation requirement.
4 H.M. the Queen and the Duke
of Edinburgh arrived on the Station by Comet aircraft. A flying display took
place in the afternoon, the masterpiece being a neat formation flying in an E.R.
On June 11, Javelin conversion commenced at Turnhouse, this type of aircraft being considered an up to date aircraft for defence. Fourteen Javelins were delivered to Turnhouse prior to the arrival of 151 Squadron who were to undertake the full conversion there. Two Javelins had been delivered to Leuchars in May. The total number of Javelins was sixteen, this being the full complement for the Squadron strength.
Conversion flying started on July 1, and conversion for navigators to Mark 17 A.I. was carried out on the flying classroom in a Valetta aircraft.
In September, 151 Squadron went on
detachment to Sola in Norway, where there was a Squadron of United States Air
Force F 84's and a Squadron of Royal Navy "Gannet" aircraft. The objective of
this detachment was to take part in the Operation
"Counterpunch" of Operation "Strike back".
151 Squadron was declared "Operational"
on Javelins during October and they returned to Leuchars on November 15, after
an absence of about seventeen months. When they left Turnhouse, 151 Squadron
flew a fifteen aircraft formation over Edinburgh as a farewell.
Routine exercises were carried out at
Leuchars, the Squadron maintaining its vital Air Defence task, and in keeping
with the new Fighter Command policy, kept two aircraft on permanent readiness to
counter the increased incursions into areas adjacent to the British air space by
Soviet long range bombers.
In September, a
Fly Past of 45 Javelins
was undertaken at the Farnborough Air Show. 151 Squadron took part in this
There were a number of Air Shows at
which 151 Squadron regularly fielded a four aircraft formation team.
During 1960 - 1961, there were further cuts in Fighter Command strength, and eventually on September 19 1961, 151 Squadron was again disbanded as a functional Fighter Squadron.
On January 1 1962, the Signals
Development Squadron of the Central Signals Establishment at Watton was
re-designated as No 151 Squadron. The new unit was engaged with a number of
classified duties within the Signals field for which it used a variety of
aircraft types. "A" Flight used the Varsity T 1, "B" Flight used Lincoln B 2's,
and "C" Flight used Canberra B 2's. All three types bore the Signals Command
151 Squadron went about its secretive duties, rarely coming into the public eye. One exception was when the last three Lincolns made a farewell Fly Past over East Anglian stations on March 12 1963 before being withdrawn from service.
The Squadron itself lasted longer, but
on May 25 1963, the Squadron Number was withdrawn from the unit which then took
up a new number, namely No 97 Squadron.
This was the end of the second re-formation.