No 56 Squadron also know as 'Firebirds' were famous for their Lightning display team, which during the mid-1960s was Fighter Command's official demonstration team, and their nine aircraft were often seen around the country performing at airshows and deafening the crowd! In 1961, the unit converted to Lightnings starting the F1A, followed by the F3 and F6.
We have selected to show English Electric Lightning F1A 'J' of No 56 Squadron having landed at RAF Wattisham with parachute deployed, naturally we have chosen the red fin paint scheme with Phoenix in view. The painting was especially commission from Ross Wardle, who was one of the Matchbox Kits artists before the company dropped out of kit market.
The cover bears first class definitive stamp cancelled with BFPS 2991 postmark for the 50th Anniverary of Lightning P1B XA847 First Flight dated 4 April 2007.
Hand signed by Group Captain David Seward AFC QCVSA
100 Signed, Numbered and Certified
David Seward was Officer Commanding No 56 Squadron from 1961-1963 flying Lightning F1As. He later went on to become an Instructor at 226 Lightning OCU, firstly 1963-65 then again 1972-74