British Military Aviation in 1954

9 January
AHQ Cyprus is established.

In a repeat of the sorties flown in April 1952, three United States Air
Force (USAF) North American RB45C Tornado reconnaissance aircraft bearing
Royal Air Force (RAF) markings and flown by RAF personnel fly long-range
reconnaissance sorties over the Soviet Union from the USAF base at RAF
Sculthorpe. Once again, all of the aircraft returned safely, although
one aircraft was engaged by radar-predicted anti-aircraft artillery (AAA).

April – May
A detachment of de Havilland Vampire FB9 fighter/ground attack aircraft
from No.8 Squadron is despatched from Aden to RAF Eastleigh in Kenya.
This deployment coincided with Operation Anvil, the mass detention of
suspected Mau Mau supporters around Nairobi, which took place between
24 April and 7 May.

1 April
The last operational sortie by Vickers Supermarine Spitfire against bandits
in Malaya, a photographic reconnaissance flight.

1 June
Air Chief Marshal Sir William Dickson, the Chief of the Air Staff, is
promoted to Marshal of the Royal Air Force.

23 June
It is announced that the Royal Air Force (RAF) has ordered a number of
Vickers 1000 transport aircraft.

18 August
A detachment of two Meteor PR10s from No.13 Squadron arrives in Kenya
to provide post-strike photographic reconnaissance support.

14-15 October
The first jet flight over North Pole is made by English Electric Canberra
B2 WH699 ‘Aries IV’ of the RAF Flying College, flown by Wing Commander
Andrew Humphrey (later Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Andrew Humphrey).
The aircraft flew from Bardufoss in Norway to the Pole, returning to Bodo
in Norway after a flight lasting 6 hours 43 minutes.

5 November
Air Ministry announces that radar-controlled bombing operations against
Mau Mau hideouts in Kenya had begun in late October.