Black Day for Sunray

Dr Robert Owen describes how a return from a deployment to Egypt went horribly wrong

Operation Sunray was introduced into the Bomber Command training programme during July 1947. At the beginning of each month six aircraft from one base, alternating between 1 and 3 Groups, would depart for a fourweek attachment to Shallufa in Egypt.

The 5,000-mile (8,000km) round trip provided training in long-range navigation and enabled crews to take advantage of the ideal weather conditions of the Middle East to practise live bombing, fighter affiliation and air firing. It also gave an opportunity to ‘show the flag’ and liaise with Middle East Command.

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