#1189 Viking T1

Viking T1
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£10.00 €11.71 $12.47
43.8 cm x 29.2 cm
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Print
Viking T1
ZE614 'XN'
614 VGS
MDP Wethersfield
UK - Air Force
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Description

Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1189 - Viking T.Mk1, ZE614 \'XN\', 614 Volunteer Gliding Squadron, MDPGA Wethersfield. Basic glider training began in 1939 with Air Defence Cadet Corps cadets being given glider training at Dunstable Downs, in October 1941 Air Commodore Chamier announced gliding was to be resumed in the ATC, by 1942 gliding was part of the official cadet training. On 9th March 1956, 614 Gliding School was formed at RAF Hornchurch from the amalgamation of 142, 146 and 147 Gliding Schools, plus some instructors from the already disbanded 148 GS. 142 GS was formed in June 1945 at RAF Stapleford Tawney, moving to RAF North Weald in August 1946, then to RAF Halton in October 1949, until March 1950 moving to RAF Chipping Ongar (also named RAF Willingale) but only for a few months, when in August 1950 a move to RAF Hendon, 1953 saw the last move to RAF Hornchurch before amalgamation. 146 GS formed May 1944 at RAF Shenfield (Palmers Farm a redundant RFC airfield) moving in October 1944 to RAF Fairlop, operations were moved to RAF Hornchurch on 17 August 1946 where it operated alongside 142 GS until amalgamated in 1956. 146 GS was commanded by Sqn Ldr Furlong who it is believed invented the Otfur rings used to connect the glider to the launch cable, through his firm Ottley Motors Ltd, he also built 30 Cadet MK1’s to the Region. 147 GS was formed in January 1945 at RAF Bulphan (Laindon Essex), a decoy airfield for RAF Hornchurch, when it was moved to RAF Fairlop in April 1945 before merging in January 1946 with 146 GS. 148 GS was formed in July 1944 at RAF Rochford (now Southend Airport) until it was disbanded in June 1949. 614 GS moved to RAF North Weald in 1962, until 1968 when a move to RAF Debden was made. 1978 saw all the GS re designated to Volunteer Gliding Schools, 614 VGS left Debden (Carver Barracks) in 1982 moving to its current home RAF Wethersfield in 1982. Wethersfield has a history of gliding; in 1944 two Stirling IV Squadrons No. 196 and 299 arrived from RAF Keevil engaging in training exercises with new glider pilots flying the Horsa glider. The VGS was made to feel most welcome by the USAF and on their open days frequently flew in the displays. The USAF returned the site to the RAF in 1989 and in 1991 the MDPGA moved their HQ to Wethersfield. 614 VGS and its predecessors operated the following types of gliders:- Dagling Primary, Falcon III, Grunau Baby, Kirby Cadet Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Prefect, Rhon-Bussard, Sedburgh, Valiant Mk1. Having flown the Kirby Cadet and Sedbergh since 1951, 614 was re-equipped with the Viking MK1 in 1985. In 2002 Headquarters Air Cadets allowed ZE614 to be an established glider at 614 VGS and was the first VGS to be granted this honour. 2005 all the VGS were re designated to Volunteer Gliding Squadrons. The Squadron is currently established for 6 gliders, 2 Van Gelder winches, 4 Landrovers, a Lamborghini tractor and a control caravan. The Squadron crest, a Gooney bird, was established in 1968. This was used in recognition of RAF Debden being home to the top-scoring “Eagles” of the American 4th Fighter Group formed from the RAF’s three Eagle Squadrons, No. 71, 121 and 133, which were manned by American volunteer pilots, as a result RAF Debden became known as “The Eagles Nest”. The Squadron motto ‘Aere Sustenta’ was added at the same time and translated means ‘supported by air’. In 2007 the Squadron launched its unofficial badge designed by several squadron members in recognition of 25 years at Wethersfield.