Barry Nelson

We regret to announce that Sqn Ldr Robert Barry Nelson of 71 Entry (C Sqn) passed away on 18 May 2022.

These Biographical Notes are taken from a brief prepared by Tony Cottingham of 71 Entry (B Sqn).

Barry started his career on Victors in 1958 moving to Canberras in 1962. At the CFS Course at Little Rissington he won the Individual Aerobatic Trophy in a Chipmunk and, after a tour with Aberdeen UAS, led the Skylarks (Chipmunks) back at Little Rissington. Promoted to Sqn Ldr in 1969, he was a tutor at Upwood then a student himself at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, Tamil Nadu, India.

After a Jet Refresher Course at Manby and a Canberra OCU Refresher, he was posted to 7 Sqn (St Mawgan). One of his tasks was to revisit India demonstrating the Rushden Target System in a Canberra TT18. In 1974 he joined the Air Secretary’s Branch before becoming a NATO Staff Intelligence Officer at Karup, Denmark (HQ NATO Baltic Approaches).

Barry retired in 1973, first to fly as a QFI on Bulldogs for the Nigerian Air Force then flying Jet Provosts for the ATC School at Shawbury. He then re-joined as Specialist Aircrew flying Jet Provosts and Chipmunks at Cranwell and Swinderby.

He described that his (eventual !) retirement included “Spending two and a half years sailing to the Med and back with my wife. We went along the Riviera as far as Italy but crossed France in their excellent canal system – a marvellous adventure”.

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