Alumni Services

A high flying reunion

Former Edinburgh University Air Squadron members reunite, reminisce and reacquaint themselves with the Rodney Allan Trophy.

Edinburgh University Air Squadron
Back rows:- Sandy Laing, Bill Goodburn, Dave Dummer, Robert Campbell, Hamish Macleod, Paul Lambie, Gordon McMurray, Tom Kibble, Rex Holroyd Middle row:- Andrew Phillips, Keith Dunbar, Jim Morris, Murray Carmichael, Sqn Ldr Jerry Riley, Front row:- Bill Fraser, Ron Gardiner, Dave Blackburn, George Robertson, Iain Tulloch.

On the 10 July, former members of Edinburgh University Air Squadron (EUAS) came from as far afield as Australia, Spain and France, to attend a reunion dinner held in the Headquarters of 603 (City of Edinburgh Squadron) at Learmonth Terrace.

A formative time

Graduates from the 50s, 60s and 70s gathered together to share memories and refresh contacts. Many had stayed in touch far beyond university, but the event also reunited friends from university days, in some cases after 50 years.

As Officer Cadets they flew de Havilland Chipmunk aircraft from RAF Turnhouse and were also deployed to other RAF bases throughout the UK to widen their experience and skills.

Several then enjoyed careers in the Royal Air Force, but all acquired an understanding of aviation and a thorough grounding in flying skills, some of which are still being put into practice today.

Despite varied careers and lives spent throughout the world, all members present at the reunion agreed that their time as part of EUAS was a formative and important one.

Rodney Allen Trophy
From the left : Andrew Phillips 1964, Keith Dunbar 1966, Bill Goodburn 1959, Iain Tulloch 1965, Monty Montgomery 1968, Ken Fraser 1975 & 76.

Glory days

Every year the squadron pilots competed for an aerobatic trophy known as the Rodney Allen Trophy and, at the reunion dinner, the original cup made a guest appearance.

SeveralĀ winners were on hand to relive past glories and celebrate with the trophy in hand once again.

Back to basics

In the late 1930s, University Air Squadrons were established within the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve to attract university graduates into the RAF as officers, to give undergraduates an understanding of the RAF and of aviation generally, and to provide basic flying training.

Edinburgh University Air Squadron was initially formed in 1941 at RAF Turnhouse but after merging with Glasgow and Aberdeen was disbanded early in 1946. Later that year it was reformed as a separate unit and it remained as such until the beginning of 1969. During this period, students who applied to join a UAS were required to complete a comprehensive selection process. They were then admitted to the RAF Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) as Officer Cadets.

In January 1969, EUAS ceased to exist as a stand-alone unit, merging with St Andrews UAS to form East Lowlands UAS. This, in turn merged with Aberdeen and Dundee UASs in 2003 to form East of Scotland UAS, based at RAF Leuchars.

Were you a member of EUAS?

If you were a member of EUAS and would like to attend a future reunion then please contact alumni@ed.ac.uk. You can also find out more by visiting the Edinburgh University Air Squadron website which has been put together by EUAS member, Keith Dunbar.