We are sad to report that George Leonard Aylett of 68 Entry, B Sqn, passed away on 8 August 2023, aged 87.
George graduated from the RAF College in July 1956, having learnt to fly on the Balliol, and was posted as a Pilot Officer to No 8 FTS (Swinderby) to complete his flying training on the Vampire T11 and then convert to the Hunter F1 and F6 on the OCU (Chivenor).
To deliver this tribute, we are most grateful to his family for access to George’s flying logbooks, which reveal a remarkable career, comprising 18 tours of duty at home and overseas, amassing over 4,400 hours of flying.
His first operational tour was with 92 Sqn (Middleton St George -Hunter F6) between June 1957 and January 1962 where he also became a team member of the RAF Blue Diamonds flying display team (a precursor to the Red Arrows). He also attended the Day Fighter Combat School (West Raynham) and his expertise on the Hunter extended to the F(GA)9 with 20 Sqn, between January 1962 and March 1964. This tour included the Kuching (Borneo) border operations after which he received the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air. Ops HQ Home Command in 1964 was followed by another staff appointment, Flight Safety at Fighter Command, in February 1966.
He returned to operational flying duties in September 1967 flying the Hunter F(GA)9 again (8 Sqn –Muharraq) then, between 1969 and 1971, he filled a non-flying role at the Central Trials and Tactical Organisation (CTTO) as a member of the Harrier Evaluation Staff. Following a tour as a Hunter OCU instructor (Chivenor), George returned to more staff work as a Group Weapons Officer at HQ 38 Group until September 1974.
Having previously passed a Staff College Qualifying Exam in May 1965, George attended the College of Air Warfare between August and November 1973.
Overseas again, George took command of 1 Sqn of the (then known as) Sultan of Oman’s Air Force at Salalah, flying the BAC 167 Strikemaster, the Beaver and occasionally the Hunter FR 10. Then followed this series of RAF staff appointments, during which he was promoted to Wing Commander:
November 1976 - April 1979: Air Liaison Officer, Offensive Support, Air Mobile Force (Land), Upavon;
May - November 1979: Sqn Ldr G2, HQ British Corps;
December 1979 - March 1983: Wg Cdr G3 Air, HQ British Corps, Bielefeld, Germany;
April 1983 - November 1984: Wg Cdr OS & SH, HQ 38 Group, Upavon;
November 1984 - September 1986: Wg cdr Exercise Plans, HQ 1 Group Upavon;
September 1986 - August 1990: Chief Ops, HQ Allied Air Forces Baltic Approaches (AIRBALTAP), Karup, Denmark;
August - December 1990: Supernumerary at Wittering.
Retiring in 1990, George’s dedication and commitment to the RAF continued for a period of 10 years from April 1991 where, as a Retired Officer, he accorded the rank of Flying Officer in the RAFVT instructing on the Harrier Flight Simulator at Wittering and later with 5 AEF (Cambridge/Wyton) teaching air cadets to fly the Chipmunk, Bulldog and Grob.
(Thanks to Ian Steward for the above)
A Thanksgiving Service will be held at 1230pm Fri 22 Sep at Greatford Church near Stamford – and afterwards at the Hare & Hounds (PE9 4QA.) on Main Street across the road from the church.
Hoppy G-W suggests "Don’t park in the short 50m church lane opposite the pub as no room for turning."