British Military Aviation in 1965

A Defence White Paper states that Flying Training and Technical Training
Commands would merge into a single Training Command as from June 1968.

5 April
In response to the proposal to hold a special session of the West German
Bundestag in Berlin, on 2 April 1965 the Soviet Union announces that an
air exercise would take place to the west of Berlin between 5 and 10 April.
As a consequence, the safety of the Western air corridors to West Berlin
could not be guaranteed during that period.

Under this guise, the Soviet Air Force proceeded to overfly the western sectors
of Berlin at will between 5-10 April, in an effort to intimidate the West
German government and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies
and force the cancellation of the session. Soviet efforts failed to prevent
the Bundestag meeting in Berlin on 7 April.

Additionally, in response to the Soviet threat to the air corridors RAF
Armstrong Whitworth Argosy transport aircraft from the United Kingdom
conducted a series of ten probing flights into and out of Berlin between
5-10 April. On 4 April an RAF Germany fighter squadron deployed to the
Luftwaffe station at Celle, previously occupied by the RAF between 1945
and 1957, to escort the flights into Berlin, should that prove necessary.
Fortunately, escorts were not required.

6 April
the Budget Speech, Chancellor of the Exchequer James Callaghan announces
the cancellation of the TSR2 strike/reconnaissance aircraft.

19 September
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh attend a Thanksgiving Service
in Westminster Abbey to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain,
with approximately 200 surviving Battle of Britain aircrew, together with
many next of kin, also present. A flypast of 10 Royal Air Force Fighter
Command British Aircraft Corporation Lightnings took place and a Supermarine
Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane flew over the grave of Sir Winston Churchill
at Bladon in Oxfordshire.

23 September
No.19 Squadron (British Aircraft Corporation Lightning F2/F2A) transfers
from RAF Leconfield in the United Kingdom to RAF Gutersloh in Germany,
becoming the first Lightning squadron to be stationed overseas.

3 December

No.29 Squadron RAF (Gloster Javelin) deploys from Akrotiri to Ndola in
Zambia to provide air defence for that country following the announcement
of a Unilateral Declaration of Independence by the Rhodesian government.
Air defence radars and ancillary equipment were flown into Zambia by No.114
and No.267 Squadrons (Armstrong Whitworth Argosy). No.29 Squadron returned
to Akrotiri in August 1966.

19 December
Following the announcement of a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, the United
Kingdom imposes sanctions on Rhodesia. To support neighbouring Zambia,
which depended upon a railway link from Mozambique through Rhodesia for

the carriage of vital supplies, the United Kingdom and Canada mounted
an oil airlift from Dar-es-Salaam and Leopoldville to supplement Zambia’s

RAF Transport Command’s participation included the Bristol Britannias
of No.99 and No.511 Squadrons and the Handley Page Hastings of No.36 Squadron.
By the end of the airlift on 31 October 1966, over 3.5 million gallons
of oil had been flown into Zambia.

31 December
RAF Fighter Command’s constituent Sectors are disbanded.

31 December
The RAF Technical College is merged into the RAF College Cranwell. Relocation
of the RAF Technical College from RAF Henlow to the RAF College was completed
on 3 January 1966.