XI Squadron Reunion 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to convey the date and format of the XI Squadron Reunion for 2014;

Friday 27th June 2014

After a very productive AGM it was decided that our annual Reunion would become a one day format.

Visits to the Squadron during the day are followed by a formal evening event which will be off base.

At last we give a warm welcome for our partners to attend. This year our reunion dinner will be at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa.

It will be a 3 course meal with pre drink and 1/2 bottle of wine per head and is priced at £37.25.

We have reserved 20 rooms at The Petwood available for you to book directly with the Hotel. First come first served !

Standard Double Bed and Breakfast @ £105.00
Standard Single Bed and Breakfast @ £75.00

Our WW2 members and carers will have the cost of their meal and accommodation paid for by our Burma Fund.

Numbers are limited to a maximum of 90 so please be quick to secure a place or places !

Please see attached;

An invitation from OC XI, Wing Commander Chris Layden.

An acceptance form - which must be returned with attached Cheque ! - to Flt Lt Dan Hayes at Coningsby.

Local Hotels.


Seasons greetings to all and a very Happy new Year.

Best regards,

Iain Small
XI Squadron Association


Invitation from OC XI Squadron


Acceptance Form


Local Hotels






Date announced for the 2013 annual Reunion

The 2013 annual reunion and AGM will be held at RAF Coningsby on the 20th and 21st of June 2013.

The even will have a similar format to last year. An Association Gathering on the Thursday evening followed by

Station and Squadron activities on the Friday culminating in a formal Dinner.

More details will follow when available. Link to local Hotels here..




Victory Services Club Gathering 2012 Cancelled

The gathering due to take place on 8th September at the Victory Services Club in London has been cancelled.

I apologise for any inconvenience caused and disruption to travel plans.

Our focus will now be our annual event at RAF Coningsby in the Spring.



Victory Services Club Gathering 2012

Invitation letter PDF

Responsiblities.... Please be aware you are completely and totally responsible for arranging your transport to and from the

event ! You are also totally responsible for arranging and paying for your own accomodation !

The Burma boys will have their meal and accomodation cost reimbursed.


Current Victory Club Room rates for non members is £62.50 without breakfast. This is a shared bathroom facility room.

There is limited availability so book early. Members rates are currently£37 room only - shared facilities.






Invitation letter from OC XI Squadron to 2012 Reunion


Invitation Letter pdf


Attendance pro forma


List of Hotels









2012 Annual Reunion - Dates announced

The 2012 annual reunion will be held at RAF Coningsby on the 17th and 18th May 2012. The format will be similar to the 2010 reunion with an Association hosted get together on the 17th followed by a Squadron hosted day and dinner on the evening of the 18th.


More details to follow !



2011 Annual Reunion

The 2011 reunion will now be held at the Victory Services Club in London on the evening of Saturday 3rd September 2011. The venue has been booked and we have a maximum of 60 seats available.

The Squadron are back in UK from their recent overseas operational deployment. I am hoping they will share their experiences with us on the evening.

Our WW2 members will be sponsored from our Burma Fund again for this event so there will be no charge at all for the meal and drinks.

Please contact me asap if you would like to attend the event.

Either drop a note to;

Iain Small

Hill Top House

Bell Busk


BD23 4DT


or email      iainsmall@btinternet.com         or call 01729 830814       07909 904917





Invitation to Two Non Association Events

1st WIWOL Gathering - London 2 Dec 2010

The first ever WIWOL ( When I woz on Lightnings ) Pilots Gathering will be held in London on 2 Dec at the Lord Moon pub on Whitehall.

Here is the invitation;




By way of introduction many of you will know Ed Durham, Jim Wild, Ian Howe and Al Page - hopefully covering a large cross-section of the WIWOL community. All four of us have been discussing the possibility of a Lightning reunion - and we have finally decided to do something about it!

Ed has kindly agreed to forward this message to those on his mailing list - and what we want is a 'thumbs up' for this fledgling of an idea.

In our minds is a reunion run along the lines of the F4 one in London - a casual rendezvous where we can meet once a year and catch up. Some of us are retired, some in the airlines and many other walks of life - what we propose is a mid-week meeting in a pub in London (favourite at the moment is the Lord Moon in Whitehall on Thursday 2nd December) starting at mid-day. The choice of London has been driven to make it accessible to the maximum number and noon to allow travel to and from in one day. You buy the beer and food with no costly overheads. For those of you who wish to make more of the reunion, we intend to leave it to individuals to make plans with close associates, to maybe stay overnight if you wish.

At the moment all we want is to gauge the level of support for the idea - please email Jim Wild at jimargy@btinternet.com stating if you are interested. If we get the 'green light', Ed will put firm details on his site. Many of us have contact information of other WIWOLs who are not registered on Ed’s site – lets invite everybody - the more the merrier.

Ed, Jim, Ian and Al


Contact details







111 Squadron Disbandment Party - Calling all Ex 111 Tornado

Here is the communication from Flt Lt Mike Hearnshaw at Leuchars;

I am writing to assess the interest all the appropriate Royal Air Force squadron associations have in an ‘End of the F3’ party. The date for the party has been set as Saturday 26th March 2011 and it will be held at Royal Air Force Leuchars.

The decommissioning of a fighter fleet is important to all those that have served within it. Those who will see the Tornado F Mk 3 out of service in a flying capacity wish to mark this event appropriately and share it with all those who have been in their position in the past.

Due to the demands involved in hosting the event at Royal Air Force Leuchars, it is important that an estimate of likely support be gathered. For your associations’ part, I would be grateful if you would provide an approximate number of your members with Tornado F Mk 3 service who would be interested in supporting the event.

It is hoped that the party will be open to all those who have served on the aircraft during service in the Royal Air Force. Whilst I appreciate that, by the nature of squadron associations, the contacting of members might be a slow process, I would be grateful for an initial idea of demand by Tuesday 28th September. This will allow the selection of a suitable venue to be supported by Royal Air Force Leuchars. We will take the information provided as a starting point and not a commitment by the associations.

It would be helpful if replies were emailed for simplicity to both of the Email addresses below:

HYPERLINK "mailto:Mike.Hearnshaw688@leuchars.raf.mod.uk" Mike.Hearnshaw688@leuchars.raf.mod.uk – Drawdown Officer
LEU 111Sqn-Aircrew31@leuchars .raf.mod.uk – Deputy Drawdown Officer

If this is not possible please address all written correspondence to myself at the above address. Both I and my deputy will be happy to answer any amplifying questions via the above telephone numbers.

111(F) Squadron will contact invitees separately for the 111(F) Squadron disbandment parade and formal luncheon.

Yours Sincerely


Mike Hearnshaw

Disbandment Communications and Media Officer

Flight Lieutenant
Michael Hearnshaw
For OC 111(F) Squadron
Royal Air Force Leuchars





Victory Services Club 2010 Report

Friday 24th September saw our autumn gathering at the Victory Services Club. An extremely good time was had by all and the staff at the

Club looked after us very well. 22 of us gathered for the event and significantly we had representatives from every aircraft XI has flown since

1938. We were honoured to have 5 of our Burma boys and indeed Len Stiling who joined the Squadron in Palestine and served throughout the

Middle East and then to Ceylon and into Burma. Farthest to travel must go to Andreas Haunschilde who came up from Munich - Andreas was a

Luftwaffe Exchange Navigator on the Tornado. Great to see him there on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain !

The current OC XI gave us a welcome update on the Squadrons activities. After dinner, Bruce Spurr gave us an

excellent insight into his long aviation career - the look of pride on David " Dinsdale" Wheeler when Bruce mentioned he was an A1 QFI -

must be a QFI thing I guess ?

The dinner was nicely rounded off with an address from our President AVM Collins who never fails to find a suitable joke to conclude !

Apologies were sent from Nigel Guz and Ron North who both had to cancel at short notice.

Our collective thanks must go to our Chairman, and to Nigel Guz for most generously supplying the table wine for us.

Members attending ;

Doug Aylward, Chris Boden, Barry Chittock, AVM Collins, Paul Field, Andreas Haunshilde, Tony Innes ,Tony Large DFC , Roy Lomas, Alec Maclauchlin, Allen Mcgregor, Alan Page, Frank Proctor, Peter Proctor, Iain Small, Paul Smith, Bruce Spurr, Len Stiling, David Wheeler, Timba Wood, ,





Report from the Reunion at RAF Coningsby - 29th / 30 April 2010

The reunion this year reverted to the familiar 2 day event of previous years. The Thursday evening stared with an informal gathering

at the Petwood Hptel in Woodhall Spa. This is the former wartime Officers Mess of 617 Squadron and the Squadron bar retains much

memorabilia , photographs and documents from that period. About 60 Association members , wives and partners enjoyed a very succesful

evening. It was also great to see quite a few of the current squadron members along to share the experience. Our thanks must also go to our

Chairman, Group Captain Innes for most generously providing drinks behind the bar.

It was particularly pleasing to see the continuing resurgence of the Wunstorf era with no fewer than 9 attending, many with partners. One of

the amusing moments, was when recently joined member Roy Lomas was telling me that in 1955 he had flown in a Meteor T7 flown by a F/O

Bulloch - what he didnt realise was that Ian Bulloch was standing at the other end of the room !

The Friday morning commenced with a very well hosted to BBMF followed by lunch in the officers mess. Transport throughout was provided by

the Squadron for which we are most grateful. After lunch we were invited to the families day over at the XI Sqadron site. I am told Al Page

( wiwol ) particularly appreciated the bouncy castle !

A superb flying display by Squadron Typhoons - a 29 Sqn Aerobatics display which almost unaminously has been described as the best they

have ever seen!

- and also a BBMF Spitfire which was allowed to be parked at the site. Burma Spitfire pilot Peter Proctor took no encouragement to leap into

the Mk IX cockpit and in partnership with his wartime engine fitter Frank Proctor - said it was just like old times..

Our AGM followed which was very well attended and produced some very interesting proposals which you will be able to read in the Minutes-

elsewhere in the news section. We have already implemented the proposal concerning sponsorship for our Burma / WW2 members and more

about this excellent idea will follow shortly.

The evening formal function was quite unique. We dined as a Squadron - past and present - in one of the Typhoon Shelters, with that

amazing aircraft as a backdrop to the dinner. The shelter had been heated and decorated and the catering by an external provider was

excellent. The music provided by the woodwind quartet was superb and greatly appreciated by all.

We as the Asociation had 3 speakers , 2 of which gave an excellently pitched short anecdotal talk between courses ( Alec West from Binbrook

and Nick Lee from Wunstorf). Our main speaker was Peter Proctor who had the assembled members fascinated with his tales from Burma and

Singapore. The speeches concluded with our President AVM Collins and OC XI. I think all would agree that the Squadron hosting, friendship

and organisation was second to none. Our thanks must go to OC XI and everyone else who made this

95th reunion an extremely successful and unique event.











16-4-2010   2010 Reunion Transport Plan

The transport plan for those attending the reunion on Friday 30th April has just been finalised;

09.15  MT pick up from the 617 Sqn Memorial in Woodhall Spa - via Leagate Inn - Guardroom - BBMF

10.00 - 11.45 BBMF visit

Walk to Officers Mess - lunch 12.00 - 12.45

12.45  MT pick up from Officers Mess to XI Squadron site

13.00 -16.30 Activities and displays

16.30 - 17.00 Association AGM

17.00  MT pick up at XI Squadron site to Officers Mess - Leagate Inn - Woodhall Spa.

18.45  MT pick up from 617 Sqn Memorial in Woodhall Spa - via Leagate Inn - Offcers Mess - XI Squadron Site

23.00 ,  00.00 and 01.00  MT from XI Squadron site to Officers Mess - Leagate Inn - Woodhall Spa



11-3-2010   2010 Reunion Inviation and Forms

All members who have a validated email address will now have received their invitation to the 2010 Reunion. All others should be receiving a printed A4 package in the post in the next few days. I have included a request for members to update their contact details and if possible supply an email address. The surface option is very expensive !

The contents of the package are reproduced here and include an update on Sqadron activities and also an Association newsletter.

Click on the blue link below to open the pdf document.

If you are having problems opening pdfs you may have to download Adobe Reader 9 which is free from the Adobe site. Very straight forward !!



28-2-2010   Reunion Update

By popular demand the 2010 Annual reunion will return to a 2 day event format. The Association will be getting together at the Petwood Hotel at Woodhall Spa from 1930 on Thursday 29th April for an informal gathering - beer provided ! The Petwood hotel has a great history, it being the wartime Officers Mess of 617 Dambusters Squadron whilst they were based at the nearby Woodhall Spa airfield. The original Squadron bar will be open to view extensive memorabilia .We have negotiated a special rate for staying at this exclusive hotel of £85 a night but they only have 10 rooms available. Please qoute "XI Squadron Association- RAF Coningsby" if you would like to stay there. The hotel is withn a short walk of most of the other Woodhall Spa Hotels.

On the Friday morning we have a visit arranged to BBMF and a pilot will be available to answer any questions. We are hoping to have MT available from both Woodhall Spa and the Leagate Inn.

Events at the Squadron will commence in the afternoon.

18-2-2010    95th Anniversary Annual Reunion

The 2010 Annual reunion will be held at RAF Coningsby on the 29th and 30th of April 2010.

The main formal dinner hosted by the Squadron will be on Friday the 30th and due to the anticipated numbers with it being our 95th Anniversary, we have outgrown the Officers Mess. The formal dinner will be held in the operational setting of one of the Squadron hardened hangars with an XI Squadron Typhoon as a backdrop. Dress for Association members will be optional DJ , Lounge suit or Blazer.  

Events start on the Thursday evening 29th from 19.30 with an informal get together of association members at a venue in Woodhall  Spa. This will be within walking distance of many of the Woodhall hotels. Barrels of Beer provided.

Friday morning there is an organised visit to BBMF. Events at the Squadron will start around 14.00 with a BBQ - Typhoon visits - flying display including XI Squadron 9 ship, Typhoon display, BBMF and the Red Arrows.

Our Association AGM will be held at the Squadron at 16.30. The timing of the formal dinner is 19.30 for 20.00.

The format has just been finalised - invitations will follow in the next few weeks. Members that have updated their contact details with me ( 80 ) will get their invitations and newsletter instantly via email. The others (200 ) and you  know who they are .... - will get the invitations via the expensive and slow option !!

An exciting format this year in keeping with the long and proud operational history of XI Squadron.

Our 95th Anniversary - Not to be missed !!
















2-8-2009    Presentation of the new Squadron Standard

                  It has just been announced that XI Squadron will be presented with a new Standard at a ceremony

                  to be held at RAF Coningsby on the 22th September 2009 at 1500.

                  More details of this event to follow. There will be a function of some sort after the parade - tbd.

                  All Association members are invited. 

                  Would members please email to indicate if they would like to attend.


5 6-2009       Victory Services Club Event Postponed

                   The Victory Services event that was tentatively planned for September 2009 has now been postponed,

                   preference being given  to the  special event detailed above.

                   The popular Victory Club event is anticipated to be resurrected next year.