Flown from RAF Seletar from 1946 to 1958
When the Malayan Emergency began there were three resident Sunderland squadrons in the Far East. 205 and 209 were located at Seletar, which had been the RAF’s only pre-war flying station in Singapore. 88 Sqn was based at Kai Tak where, until 1948, its tasks had included a bi-weekly courier service between Hong Kong and the ex Japanese Navy seaplane base at Iwakuni in Japan.
Following the onset of the Korean War, 88 Squadron joined 205 and 209 at Seletar where the three squadrons were combined to form the Far East Flying Boat Wing (known, inevitably, as‘The Kipper Fleet’). The aim of the merger was that each squadron should spend one month in three on rotation in the Korean theatre.
Back at Seletar, in addition to normal training and exercises, the squadrons were tasked with anti-arms smuggling and anti-piracy patrols, search and rescue (including a standing SAR commitment in Hong Kong) and the carriage of passengers, freight and VIPs to locations inaccessible to land-based aircraft throughout the Far East and beyond.
There are a wealth of excellent photos of Sunderlands' available. Here are a few
Visiting New Zealand Air Force Sunderlands mid 1960s
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