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Dot’s Last Trip

Squadron News:

Flt Lt John ‘Dot’ Letton

John 'Dot' Letton

John ‘Dot’ Letton

 

On Friday 4th July 2014, Flt Lt John ‘Dot’ Letton flew his last flight in the Royal Air Force in the Hawk T2 on IV(R) Squadron, RAF Valley.  After an amazing career spanning 32 years of fast jet flying in the RAF, Dot’s last flight was as part of a graduation flypast sortie for two recently graduated fast jet student pilots.

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Flt Lt Letton joined the Royal Air Force on 19th October 1981. After initial officer training he commenced flying training in July 1982. He was initially posted to Phantoms in the summer of 1985, however in his own words Dot was never a ‘natural air defender’ and soon found himself ousted from his combat ready workup and sent to fly the Canberra. He joined 360 Sqn to fly the Canberra T17 in an EW role, where he remained until 1988. He then crossed over to No1 PRU (Photo Reconnaissance Unit) where he flew the Canberra PR9 between 1988 and 1990.  After a refresher at RAF Valley and Tactical Weapons Training at RAF Chivenor, Dot crossed over to the Tornado GR1 at the end of 1990. He was subsequently based at Cottesmore, Honnington, Marham and Lossiemouth on a variety of squadrons, and spent 1999-2004 on secondment in Kamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia. In 2005 Dot returned to the UK and began instructor training on the Hawk T1 on 19(F) Sqn, RAF Valley. As an experienced instructor he was instrumental in bringing the Hawk T2 into service, and crossed over to IV(R) Sqn to finish his RAF career representing the Central Flying School on the Hawk T2.

Dot leaves the RAF with over 2700 hrs Tornado, 1200 hrs Canberra, 1000hrs Hawk T1 and 1000hrs (currently unbeaten) Hawk T2. In over 6000 hours and 32 years of service Dot has many memories, but some of his personal highlights include bringing the Hawk T2 into service and being part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Flypast, which saw 27 Hawks fly over Buckingham Palace in close formation. Never a man to be stuck behind a desk, Dot has managed back to back flying tours throughout his career. He says he is particularly proud of ‘peaking at the rank of Flt Lt for 26 years’- meaning he could keep flying.

Dot leaves the Air Force to work for BAe Systems in Warton, and hopes to move closer to Chester with wife Victoria and daughter Emily.

 

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