Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jack Sherburn DFC 1924-2014

Jack Sherburn commenced Pilot training in the RAF in 1943 and trained on Tiger Moths and Harvards in South Africa. He was then posted to II Operational Training Unit for Hurricane conversion. In 1945 he joined No 78 Squadron at Almaza and Kabrit in Egypt and then converted on to Dakota where he undertook troop carrying and cargo flights to North and Central Africa.
In 1947 he returned to the UK. In 1948 he was posted to Linton-on-Ouse and joined No 65 Squadron, Fighter Command, initially flying the Hornet Mk I and Mk3 in low level intruder role and later Meteor Mk4 and Mk8 high level interceptors. He also flew Mosquito, Oxford, DH Dragon and Spitfire Mk22
In 1952 he went on a Flying Instructor's course at Central Flying School on Meteor and Prentice and was then posted to No 209 Advanced Flying School, Weston Zoyland as QFI on Meteor Mk7.
In 1953 he volunteered for service in Kenya to fly Harvards on anti-terrorist operations and completed over 450 sorties with No 1340 Flight operating mainly from short rough landing strips. In 1955 he was posted to No 231 OCU Bassingbourn for conversion on to Canberra B2 and on completion he joined No 18 Squadron at Upwood Squadron detached to Cyprus for the Suez Campaign where he flew on several operational flights as marker/bomber. He was appointed OC Station Flight at end of Squadron tour responsible for operation of Canberra, Anson and Chipmunk Unit QFI and Instrument Rating Examiner.
In 1957 he was posted to Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough for experimental and development flying where he flew various types including Hastings, Valiant, Javelin,
Hunter, Canberra, Devon, plus 30 flights in Avro Delta 707 research aircraft evaluating signal control system.
In 1962 he retired from Royal Air Force and joined Short Bros in Belfast as Development Test Pilot where he was repsonbsible for Development testing, evaluation and demonstration of early Skyvan Demonstration flights at Paris Air Show and numerous others world-wide including pilot navigation across north and south Atlantic. He was also involved in development of Belfast, initial flights of production aircraft and testing of Smith's Auto-land system. He was responsible tor flight testing of various Royal Navy aircraft to Manufacturer's standard after storage at Shorts Types. Hunter, Sea Hawk, Sea Venom, Gannet, Sea Devon, Sea Prince & Pembroke Other aircraft flown at Shorts Canberra, Queen Air, Baron, Musketeer and also Civil Instrument Rating Examiner.
In 1970 heart problems resulted in grounding and he accepted appointment as Short's Chief Security Officer. In 1972 he resigned from his Security post and accepted position with Short's at RAE LLanbedr operating Meteors and Jindivik pilotless drone aircraft. In 1977 he was appointed Deputy Manager Short's Flying Services Division at West Malling and in 1979 the closure of West Malling airfield meant the Flying Services Division transferred to Belfast so he accepted voluntary redundancy. He then joined College of Air Training at Hamble as ground instructor. In 1981 he retired on closure of Hamble College of Air Training.