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Tony Weston Served as an instrument fitter on Malta with 249 at RAF Ta’Qali in 1942, our sympathy and  condolences go out to his family.


I have just received the following communication from Dave Calvert:

“You might be interested to read these e-mails that were sent to 249 Sqn. ATC after a recent visit from armourers at RAF Odiham. I hope it shows that the squadron is upholding the good name of the original RAF Squadron! If you want to re-post them for others to see.”


Good Afternoon,

I feel after last nights parenting visit the need to write this email. I’m not sure who the best POC would be so I have included you all.

As you may or may not know we parent 56 ATC Squadrons across the south east.

Out of all the visits we have made so far, last nights trip to Hailsham was by far the best.

We were welcomed at the door by a smartly turned out Cpl in blues, literally the moment I stepped over the threshold one of the cadets turned from his table and welcomed me with “hello corporal”.

This sounds basic but it’s amazing how many units we have been to where basic rank recognition hasn’t happened. Even my SAC(T) was called staff.

The staff welcomed us warmly and we were approached by a cadet offering tea or coffee without the need for prompting.

A lot of units we have visited have been in greens and it was refreshing to see a group of polite and smartly dressed cadets and staff in blues.

The CO was extremely receptive and took on board all advice we could offer.

We could tell the staff at Hailsham put a lot of effort into instilling basic military discipline and values and this was directly reflected in both the cadets and staff.

All in all I have not yet seen a cadet squadron which has impressed me this much, hence the need to write this email.

I hope you can filter this praise back to Hailsham Squadron and I look forward to the next visit.

Dear Sirs,

I feel compelled to write to you regarding a parenting visit to Hailsham ATC squadron on 11-04-12.  The purpose of the visit was to ensure all maintenance and security of the weapons and munitions held there met the standards stipulated in service publications. I have attended many of these parenting visits as we have a large ‘catchment area’. I had not until yesterday been fortunate enough to encounter such a high standard of ‘well turned out’ polite and disciplined young men and women. The officer and senior staff responsible for running this exemplary establishment were well organised, accommodating and knowledgeable. I appreciate that these are the standards required from the before mentioned personnel by Wing, but I have not yet seen such a fine example.

The interest shown in all weapon and munitions maintenance and security matters by the OIC and senior staff made the work required by my corporal (Richie Fell) and myself relatively easy. We left the squadron feeling confident that all advice given would be implemented or continued. The visit was hugely beneficial for both parties and we look forward to visiting again in the future. We are in the process of planning a visit to demonstrate to some of the cadets the work we do at our parent unit in support of HM Operations and various other aspects of service life. With any luck some of these fine young men and women will someday make the decision to become part of the RAF where the discipline and enthusiasm shown would ensure a promising career.

I speak for the both of us when I say we could not thank you enough. We look forward to supporting you in any way we can in the future.


Kind regards


It is with great regret that we have to announce the passing of Sqn LdrJock Maitland DFC MBE. Aged 87, Jock passed away peacefully at 9am on the 16thMarch. He played a huge part in the History of the most famous of all of the RAF Fighter stations, not only leaving his mark publicly with the Biggin Hill International Air Fair from 1963 until 2010, but also privately with the many people that came into contact with him at Biggin Hill over the past 55 years.

Growing up in Scotland, and attending school near RAF Turnhouse (now Edinburgh International Airport), gave Jock Maitland a life-long love for aeroplanes.From the sidelines he would watch the young men take-off and land in their elegant Hawker Hart and Fury biplanes and realised then that he had to fly.

Jock joined the RAF in 1942, where he flew aircraft types that many of us simply dream about (the Anson, Harvard and Spitfire, to name but a few). At the end of the war he left the RAF but was quickly recalled this time to fly the Meteor and Vampire. Combat missions came when he was posted on exchange to the USAAF flying the F86 Sabre and was posted to Korea, where he was responsible for shooting down a pair of MIG 15´s for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. On his return he flew Venoms with 249 Squadron as Commanding Officer during the Suez Crisis.

For the second time he left the RAF and set up Maitland Air Charters and Maitland Drewery Air at Croydon airport, but he soon realised that Croydon had no future with the encroachment of housing so with the RAF moving out of Biggin Hill made the move to the airport we now know. He took over the lease of the airport from Surrey & Kent Flying Club, who were initially running it under the name Surrey Aviation.

Many of the clubs also relocated to Biggin but he needed more customers, so in 1963 he staged the Biggin Hill Air Travel Fair in the hope of promoting the fledgling package tour industry, according to Flight International 165,000 people attended, designed as a one off marketing day it was obvious to Jock it had a future.

Out of the Air Travel Fair came the International Air Fair, Jock built around him a small dedicated team that developed the Air Fair into one of the best in the UK, as you can imagine over a period of 48 years many people where involved as either an employee or volunteer, far too many to mention by name, Jock had time for them all and valued their contribution. For his achievements in civilian aviation Jock Maitland was awarded the Jeffrey Quill Memorial Medal and the MBE.

Our Sympathy and Condolances go out to his Fanmily and Friends

(Aknowledgements to the British Air Display Association)

The annual get-together of the whole Association this year will again be at North Weald Aerodrome and the planned date is Saturday, 18th August. The  arrangements for the day are as usual: meet up at the Airfield Museum, lay our  wreath at the Memorial, and then drive to The Squadron for the remainder of the day. Timings: 11.00 onwards Meet up at the Airfield Museum and view exhibits 11.45 Lay Association Wreath at Airfield Memorial 12.00 Drive to  The Squadron for Refreshments 13.00 Lunch 14.30 Talks 15.30  Raffle 16.30 Depart as you will

Please return your Booking forms By 21st July at the latest.

The cost this year will be the same as last year — £15.00 per head for members and their guests (£10.00 for our ATC  Cadets and children under drinking age — any under eights free). If you can  still manage to bring a Raffle prize, please do so as the Raffle proceeds  boosted Association funds by almost £130 last year.

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