RAF V-Force Gin - Special Commemorative Edition, 50cl
Commemorating the long-range missions from Ascension Island to the Falklands that were an important part of the British air campaign in 1982. Complex air-to-air refuelling plans saw 18 Victors take two Vulcans to their targets and back in the longest RAF operational missions ever flown. 18 to 2!
We commemorate this historic achievement with V-Force Gin. Our award-winning and best-selling classic London dry gin, presented in a special commemorative bottle.
Distilled just a short hop from RAF Marham and the brainchild of former RAF navigator and author, Ken Delve.
Ken is also a volunteer at RAF Marham Aviation Heritage Centre. A contribution from every bottle sold is donated to this charity, helping to keep entry free and enable the Heritage Centre to preserve and present RAF history.
The Gin V-Force Gin is vapour-infused in our copper alembic still with a basket of the finest botanicals - including juniper, citrus, nettle and thyme. This creates an ultra-smooth London dry gin.
Deliciously enjoyable on its own over ice, or add just a splash of tonic and garnish with orange and fresh thyme to create a longer cocktail.
Tasting notes:Herby citrus notes come through with the sweetness from the nettles first, then a nice punch of juniper with the spice coming through at the end. Very smooth and great to sip neat, or with just a splash of elderflower tonic.
Allergens: Gluten free and does not contain any notifiable allergens.
Pack size: 50cl bottle.
Black Buck Missions
Early in April 1982 RAF Marham was directed to prepare aircrews and aircraft for tasks in the South Atlantic.
RAF Marham reports "We entered, almost overnight, into a period of intensive activity developing techniques new to our aircrew, and modifying our aircraft with improved long range navigational aids, and cameras for air-to-ground photographic work. All available aircrew were trained to full day and night standards of air-to-air refuelling, and taught the basic procedures of maritime radar reconnaissance.
There was also the formidable task of training aircrews from the Vulcan, Nimrod and Hercules forces in air-to-air refuelling techniques. These were exciting times and marked the beginning of a period of nearly three months throughout which Marham maintained 24 hour operations."
Of the Falklands operations, the best-known were the Black Buck missions with Victors supporting Vulcan operations. The first bombing raid on Port Stanley code named ‘Black Buck 1’ took place on 1st May 1982. The aim of the mission was to deny the use of the runway at Port Stanley to the Argentinians for the use of their fast jet aircraft, i.e., Super Etendards and Mirages, and to prove to the enemy that the mainland of Argentina was within range of British bombers.
Eleven Victors and two Vulcans got airborne in two waves on the night of 30th April.
It was planned to refuel the Vulcan five times, all at night; in the event a further refuelling was necessary due to the higher than anticipated fuel consumption of the Vulcan. Severe turbulence near the final refuelling bracket caused the primary tanker to lose its probe. The donor tanker replaced it, took on as much fuel as possible whilst still allowing the primary tanker to reach Ascension without refuelling. They then continued to the final bracket with the Vulcan. The Victor gave the Vulcan more than the planned transfer, leaving itself with insufficient fuel to reach Ascension.
The mission was successful when the Vulcan created history by dropping its first bombs in anger at 0446 local time. One bomb cratered the runway, others damaged hangarage and the Argentinians knew we meant business. Port Stanley was never used by Argentinian jet fighters and two squadrons of Air Defence fighters were held on alert on the mainland in Northern Argentina.
The Vulcan made a successful RV with the recovery wave, which had been reduced to one aircraft by unserviceability, and then the two aircraft returned to Ascension. Meanwhile the donor Victor was successfully refuelled 600 miles south of Ascension with only 30 mins of fuel remaining.
Five ‘Black Buck’ missions were flown, the last taking place on 11th June four days before the Argentinians surrendered, each mission took approximately 16 hours with the transfer of 500,000 lbs of fuel during 18 transfers all at night. An equivalent sortie from Marham would have taken the Vulcan to China.
The role of Marham and the Victors in the Falklands Conflict is covered in a new book 'Marham Tankers', published by the RAF Marham Aviation Heritage Centre, and which is available from the Centre or via Amazon.
The Aviation Heritage Centre at RAF Marham was born out of the old Station History Room, which was set up in the 1980’s as a facility to display various historical artefacts and memorabilia. This facility was within the bounds of the station so was rarely open to the public.
In 2013 a building became available which was outside of the station boundary, it was the old St George’s Roman Catholic church. Led by Steve Roberts the curator, the team put together a convincing case and was granted use of the building. It was then a question of putting the building to good use! and that has certainly been done by the team.
The displayed collection and the historic archive currently holds over 12,000 items pertaining to either the history of RAF Marham, the Royal Air Force in East Anglia and also the history of the RAF in general. The collection continues to grow as more artefacts and memorabilia are donated or loaned to us, veterans also share their memories of Marham with us and we have started an audio archive of some of those memories. Every day we are open brings more insights and information!
Location: Close to the main gate of RAF Marham.
For parking please use the car park at the back of the RAF Marham Families shopping complex.
Opening Times: Normal opening times are every Tuesday and Wednesday 0900 to 1500; last Saturday of every month 0900 to 1500.
Cost: Entry to the Centre is FREE
Special Events for 2022
Saturday 16th April: Victors and the Falklands Campaign - displays at the RAF Marham Aviation Heritage Centre (0930 to 1600)
Saturday 14th May: Falklands 40th: Marham's tankers lead the way; symposium at the RAF Marham Aviation Heritage Centre
Please contact the RAF Marham Aviation Heritage Centre for more information and bookings.