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Valom 72123 RB-45C Tornado RAF 1:72 scale plastic model kit
VALOM

Valom 72123 RB-45C Tornado RAF 1:72 scale plastic model kit

Regular price £34.95 £0.00

Operation Ju-jitsu

The only other nation to use the RB-45C was the United Kingdom, where it was operated by an ad hoc unit of crews largely drawn from Nos. 35 and 115 squadrons. Whilst the USAF was prohibited by the President of the United States from overflying the Soviet Union unless under a state of war, US allies closer to the European theatre of war could. In the United Kingdom, whilst successive Labour governments had refused, the return of Winston Churchill and a Conservative administration to Downing Street brought a more co-operative atmosphere to joint intelligence initiatives.

 

As a result, under Operation Ju-jitsu, in July 1951 four aircraft were leased to Britain from the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing to form a Royal Air Force (RAF) Special Duties Flight commanded by Squadron Leader John Crampton. Stripped of all USAF markings and then applied with RAF markings, the four aircraft were attached to a USAF squadron based in RAF Sculthorpe, Norfolk in eastern England. The aircraft were tasked with flying deep-level reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Union to gather electronic and photographic intelligence. The Special Duties Flight conducted missions during the period 1952–54.

 

On April 17, 1952, three aircraft were assigned to head for Kiev from Germany, scheduled to return to Sculthorpe ten hours later. Flying at 36,000 feet (11,000 m), Crampton's aircraft was tracked by ground radar and came under antiaircraft fire. Applying full power, he immediately turned and headed for Germany, none too soon, as Soviet night fighters had been dispatched to hunt down his aircraft.[8]

 

Subsequent flights over the Soviet Union were carried out using English Electric Canberras under the codename Project Robin, operating at higher altitudes of around 54,000 ft (16,000 m). It was not until 1994 (under the "fifty-year rule" of the Public Records Act 1958) that the existence of the spy missions became public knowledge.

 Valom 72123 RB-45C Tornado RAF 1:72 scale plastic model kit


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