Vickers Valiant secret reconnaissance  

Valiants pioneered long-range, deep-penetration reconnaissance – in the February 2016 issue of FlyPast Vic Flintham revealed the shadowy world of 543 Squadron

As the early post-war years unfolded there was increasing anxiety over Soviet intentions, underpinned by poor Western military intelligence. Strategic reconnaissance of the USSR and the Eastern ‘bloc’ was critically important. Additionally for the UK, there was considerable demand for thorough surveys of some of its colonies. Tasked with meeting these diverse requirements were 58 and 540 Squadrons with the Mosquito PR.34 (strategic recce) and 82 Squadron’s Lancaster PR.1 (survey), all based at Benson, Oxfordshire.

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