No1 Radio School, RAF Locking
Gate Guardians



A summary of the various aircraft used as gate guardians at RAF Locking. Further information on these aircraft whilst at Locking is welcome. Please email.
(Note: Timeline has been designed for Explorer - may not display correctly in other browsers)







Spitfire MK356, 1961 - 1967
Spitfire LA198, 1970 – 1986
Meteor T7 WL360 1974 – 1989
Gnat XM708, 1986 - 1996
Canberra WH840 1974 – 1989

Spitfire Mk IX MK356 1961 – 1967

This Spitfire is now part of RAF's Memorial Flight and flying.
November 1997 saw the first flight of MK356 after 53 years on the ground. MK356 is as clipped wing variant.

  • Built at Castle Bromwich, delivered to 9MU, RAF Cosford, on 04/02/1944

  • Initially allocated to 443 Squadron (RCAF), RAF Digby

  • Moved to 84 Group Support Unit for repairs after a wheels up landing, August 1944

  • 02/10/1945 MK356 was relegated to a training airframe (Instructional Airframe 5690M)

  • 1951 Moved to RAF Hawkinge

  • December 1961MK356ate guardian, RAF Locking

  • 1967 Used as a static spitfire in the Battle of Britain film

  • 18/08/1969 Stored as part of the RAF Museum Reserve Collection, RAF St Athan

  • 1993 Rebuild by RAF, part by Historic Flying

  • 14/11/1997 Joined the BBMF

AA Harry June 1963
with MK356

Spitfire F MK 21, LA198 1970 – 1986

Now on display at Museum of Flight, East Lothian -

  • JX - C

* Dick is Chair of the 103 MU Association, please Email for details.

An excellent photo of
LA198 'on the pole' at
RAF Locking taken
in 1979.
Photo courtesy of
Dick Harcourt*


Meteor T7 WL360 1974 – 1989

WL360's career included 215, 210 and 211 AFS. It also spent time at Wattisham, 1 Sqn and 229 OCU before becoming a Locking gate guard. The aircraft ended up as part of the Meteor Flight Collection before going to Malta's aviation museum in December 2006.

Photo courtesy of
Derek Marshall.

Folland Gnat T.1 XM708 1986 - 1996

Locking’s last gate guardian. Private owner, now located in Lytham St Annes.
(Photo(s) welcomed)

Canberra T.4. WH840 1974 (April) – 1989

WH840 was one of a batch of 12 T.4s built by English Electric, WH840 was delivered to 231 OCU at RAF Bassingbourn. In 1956 WH840 was attached to 88 Sqd RAF Wildenrath, later with 151 Sqd at RAF Watton and then 97 Sqd also at RAF Watton.

In 1964, WH840 moved to the Boulton Paul works at Seighford for trial installations of radar mods. The next transfer was to to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment briefly before being sent to 3 Sqd at RAF Gielenkirchen. After Gielenkirchen WH840 was assigned to Station Flight at RAF Bruggen and then to Station Flight at RAF Laarbruch.

In 1974 WH840 was placed in store at RAF St Athan before being transferred to RAF Locking (April 1974) as gate Guardian. This aircraft in now on display at the .

Photo (1978) courtesy of Derek Marshall.

NOTE: The Canberra and Meteor were removed as gate guardians at RAF Locking due to the policy of one gate per station.

Searching the Internet using the aircraft serial will provide further background information from the various museums, groups and individuals who now own these ex Locking aircraft.