George was Officer Commanding of 1 Sqn SOAF Salalah flying the BAC 167 Strikemaster in support of the military operations against the adoo during the difficult, but ultimately successful years of the Dhofar war in the mid-1970s. The pilots of 1 Sqn were called upon, on many difficult occasions to assist operations on the ground and were often in low-level engagements with enemy forces. George was much admired by his Squadron members for his calm and effective leadership skills; his ‘if-it-is needed-do-it’ regard to normal flying regulations - and for the team spirit which he always nurtured and encouraged to all those under his command from the pilots to the ground staff.
John Paxman writes:
As a young Jaysh officer myself, I can well recall the occasion when, heading up a well-known Dhofar wadi, my leading platoon was pinned down by some very accurate and devastating mortar and small arms fire from both sides of the wadi. I hastily called for immediate air support and was relieved to hear the comforting and reassuring voice of George on my Sarbe ground to air radio. George, flying the lead Strikemaster of a pair, calmly assessed my somewhat frantic situation and, having made a fast run over the length of the wadi and over my position, returned some minutes later at a frighteningly low level (and highly likely well-under the flying height SOPs of the time) to accurately engage the adoo and save the day.
George attended RAF Cranwell as a member of Intake 68 – from Jan. 54 to Jul 56. Following various training courses at RAF Chivenor, he flew Hunters from RAF Middleton-St-George from Jun 57 to Jan 62. During this time, he was a member of the RAF Blue Diamonds Display Team – the forerunner to the Red Arrows Display team.
George’s time in Oman with 1 Sqn flying operational sorties usually in a BAC 167 Strikemaster - but latterly in the Hunter FR10 - on an almost daily basis was one of the happiest times of George’s long and distinguished RAF career. He also flew the Beaver on a number of covert missions. He was particularly effective when the SAM 7b made an anticipated appearance in Dhofar and the extent of the vulnerability of the Strikemaster aircraft to this system became apparent. Not only did he work hard to introduce new tactics and ensure Squadron morale, but as an experienced Hunter pilot, he undertook a series of Hunter reconnaissance missions from Thumrait to areas of western Dhofar.
Following his time in Oman he held a series of staff jobs in BAOR and then towards the end of his RAF career, back in the UK. Following his retirement, he was a Harrier Simulator Instructor at RAF Wittering for 10 years. George’s flying logbooks show that he flew a total of 4400.35 hours throughout his long and distinguished RAF career
George Aylett died on 8 August 2023, aged 88.
The funeral will take place on Friday 22 September. There will be a funeral service at Peterborough Crematorium at 11:00 followed by a thanksgiving service at Greatford Church (St Thomas of Canterbury) at 12:30. After the service, visitors are invited to join Joan at the ‘Hare and Hounds’ pub nearby.
Association members are welcome to attend both events and are asked to advise Group Captain (Retd) Chris Granville-White who is coordinating the day for Joan on firstname.lastname@example.org
Peterborough Crematorium: Mowbray Road, Peterborough PE6 7JE. Plenty of parking.
Greatford Church, near Stamford: PE9 4PX. Near the ‘Hare and Hounds’ PE9 4QA. Parking limited - we have been asked to advise that the lane leading to the church is narrow with no turning space and should not be used!