THE FRADU HUNTERS

THE BLUE HERONS DISPLAY TEAM [page 2 of 2]
Displayed images: 27 to 52 Current estimated download time: 32 seconds

"The Blue Herons were a 4-ship Hawker Hunter display team, formed by the Airwork-contracted pilots of the Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit in 1975.
For the next five years, they performed at numerous shows with their outstanding formation flying, winning plaudits and awards. Below are some images taken during the team's existance, and subsequent resurrections."


BLUE HERONS AT WADDINGTON 1979
 
27.
[ Hugh Trevor]
(27) This image shows the team performing at RAF Waddington's 1979 Air Day. For this commitment the team operated out of RAF Scampton and comprised GA.11 WV267/836 as lead flown by Derek Morter, WT804/831 as No.2 piloted by Mike Todd, No.3 Brian Grant in XE682/835 and Martin Holloway was the No.4 flying WT806/838.


BLUE HERONS AT GREENHAM COMMON, 1979
 
28.
[ Derek Morter]
29.
[ Derek Morter]
30.
[ Derek Morter]
31.
[ Derek Morter]
32.
[ Derek Morter]
33.
[ Derek Morter]
(28 to 33) The Blue Herons returned to Greenham Common in June 1979, and again put on an outstanding display of formation flying. The team were parked alongside the Swiss Air Force'S Patrouille Suisse Hunter display team as shown in the images. The Hunters used on this occasion were PR.11 XF977/865 as the lead aeroplane, with WT804/831, XE682/835, WV267/836 and WT806/838 also present.


THE BLUE HERONS @ LEE-ON-SOLENT - 1980
 
34.
[ Hugh Trevor]
35.
[ Hugh Trevor]
36.
[ Hugh Trevor]
(34, 35 & 36) Three photos of the Blue Herons taken at RNAS Lee-On-Solent's Air Day on 21st July 1980. The aeroplanes used for this performance were GA.11s WW654/833 in the lead, WT804/831 as No.2, XF368/863 as No.3 and WT804/831 bringing up the rear as No.4 aircraft.


THE BLUE HERONS @ YEOVILTON 1980 AIR DAY
 
37.
[ Hugh Trevor]
38.
[ Hugh Trevor]
39.
[ Hugh Trevor]
40.
[ Hugh Trevor]
41.
[ Hugh Trevor]
(37 to 41) Here are five photos of the Herons taken at Yeovilton's 1980 Air Day, a season that turned out to the Blue Herons' final display season when the Unit's work commitments forced the disbandment of the team. The first two images show the Blue Herons' team leader Derek Morter in the cockpit of GA.11 WT806/838, with WT804/831 (No.2) following out behind. The other two aircraft used that day were XF368/863 (3) and WV267/836 (4).


BLUE HERONS BACK FROM RETIREMENT!
 
42.
[ Martin Morley]
43.
[ Peter R. March]
(43 & 44) The Blue Herons were resurrected in 1984, for a one-off performance at RNAS Yeovilton's Air Day on 4th August. This was a time when the FRADU Hunters were beginning to receive the new dark sea grey paint finish, and three of the four Hunters used by the team had been refinished in this manner.
Leading that day was Derek Morter in GA.11 WW654/833, with Mike Sharp in WT744/868 flying as No.2. Brian Grant was in the No.3 position, flying GA.11 XE707/865, with Martin Holloway flying PR.11 WT723/866 as No.4, still painted in extra dark sea grey and white colour scheme.


THE BLUE HERONS RESURRECTED ONE LAST TIME
 
44.
[ Richard Cole]
45.
[ Richard Cole]
46.
[ Richard Cole]
(44, 45 & 46) The only Blue Herons display that I have ever seen, although I was only four at the time!
The date is Saturday 26th July 1986, and the scene is RNAS Yeovilton's Air Day where the Blue Herons team was specially resurrected for two appearances, the Yeovilton and Culdrose Air Day. On this occasion, the team lineup contained one of the original 1975 Blue Herons team members, Godfrey Cornish-Underwood, who was promoted to leader for the show due to Derek Morter's retirement. The remaining three team members were Mike Sharp, flying WT806/838 as No.2, No.3 Brian Grant piloting XF301/834 and No.4 Martin Holloway who was flying WW654/833, all of whom were regular members of the team between 1976 and 1980.
In fact this was the only show that saw the Herons, as the Culdrose event was rained off.


MORE ON THEIR COMEBACK PERFORMANCE
 
47.
[ Hugh Trevor]
48.
[ Hugh Trevor]
49.
[ Hugh Trevor]
(47, 48 & 49) Three further photos taken at Yeovilton Air Day 1986, showing the aircraft in the box and coming in for their textbook formation landing, the typical signature to a Blue Herons performance.


BLUE HERONS PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE
 
50.
[ Royal Navy]
51.
[ author]
52.
[ author]
(50, 51 & 52) Here are three shots of various members of Blue Herons, all in front of GA.11's that were used by the team. The first of the three was taken in 1977 and shows the Shell UK Oil Trophy that the team was awarded for the best overall performance at the silver Jubilee Air Tattoo at Greenham Common. It shows from left: Brian Grant No.3, Godfrey Cornish-Underwood No.2, Captain H.J. Abrahams RN O.C. H.M.S. Heron, Derek Morter - No.1 and Leader. and Pierre Cadoret No.4.

The middle shows the part of the team today taken at RNAS Yeovilton's Air Day in July 2000, where the team held a reunion to mark 25 years since the Blue Herons formation as a team. From left Godfrey Cornish-Underwood, Derek Morter and Brian Grant, who flew the GA.11 behind in the flying display.
The last shows the three team members and Godfrey's two sons, Edward and David.

[Page 1 - Blue Herons images (1975-1979)]

[Return to top of page]