Joining the 10 Bear Club - MDD Phantom - 43 Sqd
McDonnell-Douglas Phantom FG.1 43 Squadron RAF Leuchars Aviation Art Print Painting by Artist Neil Hipkiss AGAvA
The FG.1 version of the McDonnell-Douglas Phantom family was acquired as the main fighter for the air-groups in the Royal Navy carrier fleet. However, when it was decided not to convert HMS Eagle to accept the aircraft a number passed to the RAF, equipping 43 and 111 Squadrons as well as the Phantom OCU, 64 Squadron.
For much of the Cold War, Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) North awarded a 10 Bear badge commemorating ten intercepts of Soviet intruders into British airspace and it is one of these that sorties that is shown in this aviation art print by Neil Hipkiss
On 18 April 1975 Lt. Gordon Batt, RN and Flt Lt Barry Mayner intercepted two TU-95 "Bear" north of Saxa Vord, Shetland Faroes Gap flying XV578, a Phantom FG.1 from 43 Squadron, RAF. This would be the first intercepts for Lt Batt and intercepts 10 and 11 for Flt Lt Mayner.
Each intercept had to be accompanied by a photograph of the individual Soviet aircraft and we are thankful to Flt. Lt Mayner (Ret) for supplying these to us for reference purposes. Flt. Lt Mayner would go on to gain six more intercepts. Unfortunately Lt. Batt was killed while flying a Sea Harrier and it is in his memory that this painting was completed.