The Blackburn Buccaneer: Red Flag’s low-level legend

Former Buccaneer squadron commander Graham Pitchfork describes the RAF’s extraordinary success during the early Red Flag exercises

During the mid-1970s the United States armed forces conducted a study to address the lessons learned from the Vietnam War. It demonstrated that ‘unseasoned’ combat aircrews suffered unacceptably high loss rates while showing low operational effectiveness. Indeed, the first ten missions were the key to a crew’s survival in war. This should not have come as a surprise since Luftwaffe General Adolf Galland had written in his World War Two memoirs:

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