Flying ‘Can-Openers’

Former RAF 6 Squadron pilot Chris Bolton describes how the unit employed its Phantom FGR.2s in the ‘mud-moving’ role

A Phantom in its element at altitude; this 6 Squadron airframe (XV432) carries a full complement of six SNEB pods, plus what appears to be three live AIM-7E2 Sparrow missiles, strike camera and centreline SUU-23/A gun pod. (All photos Chris Bolton unless stated)
Flight Lieutenant Chris Bolton, during his time as an exchange pilot flying with the Royal Navy on HMS Ark Royal.
One for fans of weathering; this line-up of 41(F) Squadron FGR.2s highlights the retouched paintwork along panel joins, with matt, rather than the original gloss paint employed. (Denis J Calvert/I-AP)

It’s a rare honour for a squadron to be selected as the first operational unit for a new aircraft type, but this was the case with 6 Squadron and the Phantom FGR.2.

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