Eggesford Airfield


Auster Collection

Aircraft Collection

Flight Information

Diary Dates

Aircraft Restoration

Bulldog Restoration

History of
Auster Designer

Airfield News

Cottage Accommodation





Trenchard Farm
EX18 7QY

01363 83746




Burma Auster - MK III MK III - 'Burma' Auster

One of 3,
MK III's flying in Europe, MT 438 served with 656 sqn during WW II in the Burma campaign. Owned and operated by airline pilot John Vetch (who served in Malaya during the Emergency of the early 1950s as OC No 2 Flight 656 Squadron), the aircraft was restored by Ron Eastman at the Museum of Army flying. MT438 was one of a batch of 64 Taylorcraft Auster 3s built between July and August 1943 by Taylorcraft Aeroplanes at Rearsby. It was transported to Bombay aboard the SS Fort Simpson in November 1943 and was probably allocated to 656 Squadron which was at the time operating from various dispersed bases in India. By summer 1945 the aircraft had been shipped to China Bay, Ceylon, to form part of the task force for the re-occupation of Malaya: however, the war ended before this operation took place. It is likely that the aircraft was flown off the carrier HMS Trumpeter and eventually arrived at Kuala Lumpur with the rest of 656 Squadron. It was sold in December 1948 and joined the civilian register as VR-SCJ, operating with the Kuala Lumpur and Singapore Flying Clubs. She was flown back to the UK, from Singapore, in 1960. MT438 is now in South East Asia Command (SEAC) markings and carries the name Akyab in memory of 656 Squadron's participation in operations in the Arakan, Burma.
MK 9 - WZ662 MK 9 - WZ 662
WZ 662 is the prototype MK 9 and unusual for a prototype was issued to Sqn service with 656 sqn in Malaya
MK 9 XN441 MK 9 - XN 441
XN 441 was shipped to Aden in 1960 where she served with 653 sqn, the 8 independent Recca flight in Kenya returning to Falaise camp, Aden, before being retired and replaced by Beavers and Allouettes.
MK 9 XR240 MK 9 - XR 240
XR 240 went to BAOR, Germany with 654 sqn based at Hildesheim and Osnabruck from 1962 - 1967, returning to 19MU store by July 1967.
MK 9 XR241 MK 9 - XR 241
XR 241, in Germany with 654 sqn at Hildesheim. Flown mainly by the then Capt Somerton-Raynor. It stayed with the sqn moving with them to Osnabruck in 1963der the command of Maj Somerton-Raynor who flew the aircraft all over Northern Europe. By 1967 it was in the charge of the Advanced Fixed Wing Flt, Middle Wallop and was one of the last remaining MK 9's with the Army, the other being XR 244, now with the historic Flt. In 1969 XR 241 was chosen to take part in the B.P. England - Australia Air Race, which it completed in 141 hrs 10 min, with the pilot Maj Somerton-Raynor.
Beagle Terrier Beagle Terrier
VF 581
Beagle Terrier 1 issued to 664 sqn after release from 20 m.u. on the 16.02.1950. Returned to Auster aircraft on 22.06.1960 and registered G-ARSL.
Terrier 2 VF 516 VF 516 Terrier 2
Shipped out of Liverpool docks on 20th August 1951, VF 516 sailed for Korea and was allocated to 1913 light liaison flight, one of two RAF flights during the Korean war, and she remained there until 1956 before coming home to the U.K. again by sea. During 1959 she was converted to a Mk 10 at Rearsby to serve as a trainer at Middle Wallop. Civilianised during 1963 and later restored by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, she again wears her Mk 10 training colours.
J5R Alpine J5R Alpine
G-ANXC was first built as an Aiglet trainer and displayed at Farnborough. Returned to Rearsby she was rebuilt into the first J5R Alpine and is the sole survivor of a J5R. After demonstration flights, again at Farnborough she was sold to Africa and the log books show that she was in Uganda based at Entebbe in the early 60's working for the game reserves counting and monitoring wildlife and flying from all of Uganda's airfields from time to time. She then moved to Kenya in 1964 remaining there until 1983 when she was brought back to the U.K. and based in Devon. Log book entries show encounters with pig holes, ants eating the main spars and collapsing hangar roofs during storms, but she is still in fine flying condition sporting pictures of big game on her rudder.
Auster Autocrat 1946 Auster Autocrat