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Our clients expect the best, both from their aircraft performance and their flightwear. Jays deliver the kind of quality these professionals demand. Our flightsuits are made to order and made to measure for each individual. Utilising our in-house resources, we manufacture the materials for the flightsuits, cut them to size, customise as required, sew and embroider name tags, unit flashes, insignia...whatever the client needs. Naturally, some of our clients prefer to have no 'tell tale' detailing at all. Others require 'Hi-Viz' as standard, alongside the best in weather-proofing and flame retardant properties. Whatever your requirements as a unit, team, crew or squadron, Jays Flightwear will deliver the goods! Our flightsuits can be customised in a wide range of styles; extra pockets, heavy duty 'rescue' epulettes, leg pockets, knife pockets, hi-viz flashes, name/unit/insignia, lightweight, heavyweight, windproof, rainproof, flame retardant, slash resistant...whatever you need in a flight suit, Jays can provide it. Join our client list today! We look forward to working with you.

JAYS' FLIGHTWEAR - OUR CLIENTS IN DETAIL

Jays Flightwear, Throstle Nest Mill, Nelson, Lancashire, England BB9 7QZ. Tel (+44) 01282 677902

Client Name: GR9 Harrier 20 SQN

20 Squadron was formed on 1st September 1915 at Netheravon, starting life as a Royal Flying Corps unit. During the Great War, the Squadron established its place in the record books with 613 air combat victories - the top score for all fighter squadrons involved in this conflict.

The highest accolade must go to Sergeant Thomas Mottershead, a native of Lancashire, born in Widnes, and described as "one of bravest men who had ever fallen in war". He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his conspicuous bravery, endurance and skill on the 7th of January 1917. Attacked by two enemy fighters, he and his observer, Lt W E Gower, shot the first but suffered catastrophic damage from the attentions of the second. Engulfed in flames, Sergeant Mottershead persisted in finding as safe a place to land as possible whilst Lt Gower valiantly attempted to fight back the flames right up to the crash-landing. Although saving the life of his observer, Sergeant Mottershead succumbed to his injuries 5 days later, remaining cheerful and uncomplaining to the end.

In 1919, there was a move to India, commencing a period of nearly 30 years' involvement with an area marked to the West by the North-West Frontier and to the East by Singapore and Brunei. The Squadron badge still emphasises this long association with the East, displaying the rising sun and an eagle holding an Indian "Talwar" or fighting sword. It is also noteworthy that Colonel T E Lawrence CB DSO, "Lawrence of Arabia" also sought refuge in the ranks of 20 Squadron. Disguised as one Aircraftman Shaw, he fulfilled the role of orderly room clerk, until the long arm of the press corps discovered his presence and repatriation was the only acceptable political decision. Even today, we find individuals attempting to "hide" in the Squadron orderly room...

During the Second World War, the Squadron was stationed in over 20 locations throughout India and Burma. It became a leader in the development of the Lysander in the Army co-operation role and subsequently, with the Hurricane, distinguished itself in the front line against the Japanese forces. Demonstrating the typical tenacity of the age, when faced with chronic shortages of weapons just as British land forces needed the most support, a Squadron medical orderly flew in a Harvard and dropped empty lemonade bottles over Japanese lines, "weapons" noted for their screaming effect

In 1947, the Squadron was based in Wales for 3 years before returning overseas once more, mainly to various bases in Germany. In the early 60s, 20 Squadron was again back out in the far East when tensions in Laos and Borneo called for the use of the infamous Hunter. By 1970, the Squadron was in Germany once more, where it stayed until 1992. During this post-war era, the Squadron had operated a variety of aircraft including the Vampire, Sabre, Hunter, Harrier, Jaguar and Tornado.

A further demanding period of the Squadron's history was then its involvement in the Gulf. Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990, 20 Squadron was required to work up crews in the airfield denial role (using the JP233 weapon). However, on the 8th November 1990, the requirement was changed to a declaration of eight crews for the new ALARM anti-radiation missile role, with the four remaining

crews continuing in the JP233 role. During the subsequent 43 days of conflict, the Squadron contributed to the effectiveness, and overall success, of the Tabuk Wing in Saudi Arabia and conducted JP233, ALARM and precision attacks with lOOOlb bombs. Although battle honors were ultimately shared with the closest of her sister squadrons at Laarbruch, four officers from 20 Squadron were singled out for recognition of their achievements, one Distinguished Flying Cross and three Mentioned in Dispatches.

After their return from the Gulf, the Squadron could not avoid being overtaken by the "Options for Change" review. 20 Squadron (Tornado) disbanded at Laarbruch on 31 July 1992. The decision was then taken to renumber all Operational Conversion Units in the RAF and hence No.233 Harrier OCU was able to take on the number plate. This occurred on 1 September 1992.

The history of No.233 Operational Conversion Unit originates at Pembrey Sands in South Wales, back in 1952, where the unit trained Vampire ground attack and Hunter pilots for several years until disbandment came in the mid 1950s. In the late 60s, the Harrier Conversion Unit adopted the number, running its first course on 1st March 1971, a date which marked the introduction of first-tour pilots into the Harrier Force. The OCU was responsible for the training of all RAF Harrier pilots in the ground attack and reconnaissance role, and became responsible for converting combat-ready Harrier GR3 pilots to the Harrier GR5 when it entered service in 1989. It is now equipped with the Harrier GR7 single-seater and two-seat T10 aircraft, which are light years ahead of their predecessors and represent definitive proof that the RAF can boast some of the best and most modern aircraft in the world.

20 Squadron consists of two flights. B flight takes those students who have completed two years of flying training and converts them to the Harrier to teach them a new regime of flight known as VSTOL (Vertical Short Take Off and Landing), navigation and air combat. It also runs post-graduate courses to train Harrier Instrument Rating Examiners and Harrier Qualified Flying Instructors. 'A' flight is responsible for the more combat-focused aspects of Harrier operations and is also charged to produce Qualified Weapons' Instructors and Electronic Warfare Instructors. 20 Squadron is now established with up to nine GR7s and six T1Os, and numbers in the region of 175 personnel.

In the current age of company "Mission Statements", 20 Squadron is quite clear about its business: "To demonstrate and teach the optimum techniques for flying and operating the Harrier, in order to enhance the capability of the RAF across the spectrum of operations". The Harrier Display shows some of the unique handling characteristics of this aircraft, but both the pilot and the men who maintain it are well aware that they could also be called to augment the front-line Harrier Squadrons, whether to operate alongside Land forces, from Naval platforms or even as the UK's principle contribution to any multi-national operation.

 


Home page: http://navy-matters.beedall.com/harrier-gr9.htm

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