Shackleton Boys

Volume One: True Stories from the Home-Based ‘Kipper Fleet’ Squadrons

Steve Bond


Format: Hardback
Extent: 256 pages
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
ISBN: 9781911621126.
Categories: , .
Publication Date: 28 September 2018

Essentially a development of the Avro Lancaster via the later Lincoln, the Avro Shackleton was the RAF’s first line of defence in the maritime role from 1951 for twenty years, thereafter continuing to serve as an airborne early warning aircraft for another twenty, until 1991. The ‘Old Grey Lady’, the ‘Growler’, ‘20,000 rivets in loose formation’, but mostly known simply as the ‘Shack’, it is viewed with great affection by those who flew and maintained it. In addition to its traditional sub-hunting role, it was also used extensively for search and rescue operations, and even as a conventional bomber in the Aden theatre. Operating around the world with squadrons based in the UK, the Mediterranean, Middle East and Far East, ‘Shacks’ were also used to support the blockade of oil supplies to Rhodesia during the UDI crisis in the ’60s and ’70s, and searching for gun-running boats during the Indonesian Confrontation.
All of the Boys’ stories are from air and ground crew veterans themselves, and because there are so many vital and entertaining accounts, Steve Bond has divided his subject into two volumes.
Consequently this volume will cover UK-based units flying from Ballykelly (including Aldergrove), Farnborough, Honington, Kinloss, Lossiemouth, St Eval and St Mawgan, plus many overseas detachments including Christmas Island and Majunga. To complement the detailed personal accounts and anecdotes are hundreds of original photographs and extensive appendices. A feast for any ‘Shack’ or military aviation aficionado.
Volume Two (coming in 2019) will cover those units based overseas at Changi, Gan, Gibraltar, Khormaksar, Luqa (and Hal Far), and Sharjah, plus the South African Air Force operations from Ysterplaat/Malan.

3 reviews for Shackleton Boys

  1. Anne Dolamore

    “Steve Bond has presented a wonderful illustrated collection of experiences of both ground and aircrews as they trained and operated the various marks of the Avro Shackleton aircraft from 1952 to 1991 in its various roles from Search & Rescue, to Surface Surveillance, to Anti – Submarine Warfare and finally to Airborne Early Warning, all conducted by UK based RAF Squadrons during the height of the ‘Cold War’ and other operations. The personal stories related to this quite noisy and some would say uncomfortable aircraft, are expressed sometimes with nostalgia, sometime with drama, sometimes with humour and occasionally an emotional dimension. The individual accounts are indeed a valuable record of, not only of military maritime aviation as it was carried out in the fairly rudimentary technology of the mid-twentieth century, but also how it was used and the effect it had on many of the crews using it. The teamwork developed and the ‘esprit de corps’ shines through it all. It is a great, often amusing and enjoyable read. Can’t wait for Volume 2!”
    Peter Kendall on Amazon, who rated it 5 stars

  2. Anne Dolamore

    “highly recommended” – Aeroplane Monthly

  3. Anne Dolamore

    “Saluting an unsung RAF warrior of the Cold War, this book is a fitting tribute to the personnel that kept this veteran on Britain’s front line.” Glenn Sands, AirForces Monthly

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