RAF Timeline 1961 - 1980
To view further details of each main Command development click on the Command title on the right of the timeline
For a summary click here
|February 1961||MEAF re-named Near East Air Force and BFAP re-named Air Forces Middle East.|
|March 1961||RAF aircraft started famine relief operations in Kenya (until April)|
|May 1961||1 - UK Air Defence Region formed.|
|June 1961||20/21 - First non stop flight UK - Australia by a Vulcan flown by Sqn Ldr M G Beavis|
|July 1961||RAF aircraft assist Kuwait against Iraq.|
|October 1961||RAF aircraft carry out food drops in Kenya until January (Operation 'Tana Flood')|
|November 1961||RAF fly supplies to Belize after Hurricane
'Hattie' (Operation 'Sky Help').
Hawker Siddeley Argosy entered service.
|February 1962||Folland Gnat entered service|
|May 1962||HQ Near East Command disbanded|
|November 1962||Last Mosquitoes withdrawn from service|
|December 1962||FEAF aircraft assist in quelling Brunei Revolt.
Blue Steel entered service.
|February 1963||No 617 Sqn began equipping with the Blue Steel stand-off missile.|
|March 1963||31 - No's 11 and 12 Groups re-named Sectors|
|April 1963||1 - Directorate-General of Works transferred to Ministry of Public Building and Works.|
|August 1963||Last Thor IRBM base closed.|
|December 1963||Operations begin in Malaya and Borneo against Indonesian incursion.|
|January 1964||15 - BMEWS at Fylingdales goes fully
Westland Wessex entered service.
|April 1964||1 - Ministry of Defence formed.
New RAF trade structure introduced.
|September 1964||RAF assumed responsibility for internal security of British Guiana.|
|October 1964||Technician and Craft Apprenticeships introduced,
replacing Aircraft Apprenticeships and Boy Entrants.
Kestral Evaluation Squadron set up at West Raynham.
|December 1964||Vickers Valiants withdrawn from service owing to fatigue problems.|
|August 1965||Handley Page Victors take over AAR Tanker role from Valiants.|
|October 1965||Hawker Siddeley Dominie entered service.|
|December 1965||RAF undertake operations from Zambia following Rhodesian UDI.|
|January 1966||3 - RAF Technical College moved to RAF Cranwell.
Short Belfast entered service.
|April 1966||1 - Airfield Construction Branch disbanded.
BAC VC10 entered service.
|August 1966||Operations in Malaya and Borneo cease.|
|October 1966||Technical Branch re-named Engineer Branch.|
|November 1966||Hawker Siddeley Andover entered service.|
|December 1966||RAF operations in Zambia cease.|
|March 1967||RAF fighters bomb the tanker Torrey Canyon aground off Cornwall.|
|July 1967||Lockheed Hercules entered service|
|August 1967||1 - Transport Command re-named Air Support Command|
|November 1967||8 - British Forces begin final withdrawal from Aden having been under RAF control for 40 years.|
|January 1968||Handley Page Hastings withdrawn from service as a transport.|
|April 1968||1 - 50th Anniversary of RAF.
30 - Strike Command formed by merging Fighter, and Bomber Commands.
|June 1968||1 - Training Command formed by merging FTC and
14 - Queen attends 50th Anniversary flying display at Abingdon.
Avro Anson withdrawn from service
|August 1968||1 - WRAF officers adopt RAF ranks.|
|November 1968||28 - Coastal Command absorbed into Strike Command as No 18 (Maritime) Group.|
|January 1969||Signals Command disbanded.|
|May 1969||4-11 - Harrier of No 1 Sqn won the London - Ne
York air Race
McDonnell Phantom entered service
|June 1969||30 - Nuclear deterrent role taken over by Royal Navy.|
|October 1969||Hawker Siddeley Harrier, Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer and Hawker Siddeley Nimrod entered service.|
|April 1970||4 - Last RAF Dakota retired from service (until March 1993)|
|September 1970||Graduate entry replaced Cadet entry at RAF College, Cranwell.|
|November 1970||RAF took part in flood relief operations in Pakistan (Operation 'Burlap')|
|June 1971||Aerospatiale Puma entered service|
|November 1971||31 - FEAF disbanded|
|December 1971||15 - Air Forces Gulf disbanded|
|January 1972||Shackleton AEW Mk 2 entered service.|
|September 1972||Air Support Command absorbed by Strike Command. Hawker Hunter re-entered service with Strike Command.|
|November 1972||RAF Museum at Hendon opened.|
|March 1973||RAF airlift supplies to Himalayan villages in Nepal (Operation 'Khana Cascade')|
|April 1973||Scottish Aviation Bulldog entered service.|
|June 1973||Scottish Aviation Jetstream entered service.|
|July 1973||Aerospatiale Gazelle entered service|
|September 1973||Maintenance Command re-named Support Command.
Sepecat Jaguar entered service.
|March 1975||Westland Wessex takes on SAR role.
RAF assist in evacuation of civilians from Cambodia
|June 1975||Comet retired from service|
|October 1975||RAF assist in evacuation from Angola.|
|November 1975||RAF take over defence of Belize (formerly British Honduras)|
|December 1975||Bristol Britannia retired from service.|
|March 1976||NEAF disbanded|
|April 1976||1 - RAF Gan in the Indian Ocean closed
Vickers Varsity retired from service.
|September 1976||Short Belfast retired from service|
|June 1977||RAF Support Command formed by merging Support Command and
Handley Page Hastings withdrawn from service
|July 1977||29 - Queen's Silver Jubilee Review at RAF Finningley.|
|December 1977||Westland Sea King HAR Mk 3 entered service|
|October 1978||Canberras of No 13 Sqn left Malta becoming the last RAF unit to be based on the island|
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