No. 24 Squadron RAF
No. 24 Squadron of the Royal Air Force is the Air Mobility Operational Conversion Unit. Based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, 24 Sqn is responsible for aircrew training and engineer training; the Sqn provides training support and governance to the entire AM Force. The squadron was founded as No. 24 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps on 1 September 1915 at Hounslow Heath Aerodrome. It arrived in France equipped with D. H.2 fighters in February 1916 – making it the world's first single-seat fighter squadron. The DH.2 came with a reputation for spinning because it had a rotary engine "pushing" it, but after Officer Commanding Major Lanoe Hawker demonstrated the discovered procedures for pulling out of a spin, the squadron's pilots came to appreciate the type's maneuverability. By early 1917 the DH.2 was outclassed and they were replaced by the Airco DH.5. The DH.5 did not prove suitable as a fighter but the squadron used it in a ground-attack role. One of the first actions was during the Battle of Messines and in the Battle of Cambrai.
The DH.5 was phased out of operations and the squadron were given the SE.5a in December 1917. After a few months in the ground-attack role the squadron returned to air combat operations. By October 1918 the squadron had destroyed 200 enemy aircraft. With the armistice the squadron returned to England and was disbanded in February 1919. During the course of its wartime existence, it had 33 flying aces among its ranks, including On 1 February 1920 the squadron was re-formed at RAF Kenley with an unusual task, it had to provide aircraft to transport VIPs and government officials and senior members of the three services. During the General Strike of 1926, because of the lack of a postal services, the squadron was used to deliver government dispatches around the country, it was soon in demand to provide air travel to royalty, when the Prince of Wales acquired his own aircraft they were looked after by the squadron. During the 1920s the squadron used former wartime aircraft but it soon acquired more civil types better suited to the role.
Following the outbreak of the Second World War the squadron acquired more civil airliners which were impressed for wartime service. It provided a detachment in France to run a courier services, but with the withdrawal of British troops it was soon used to evacuate men back to England. Former British Airways and Imperial Airways aircraft were put to use on a network of communications flights including trips to Gibraltar and Malta; the squadron performed ambulance flights when required. The squadron had grown into a large organisation not only with a network of routes around the United Kingdom and extended to India, it operated VIP transports including Sir Winston Churchill's personal aircraft. It was decided to break the squadron up, the internal communication flight became 510 Squadron in October 1942. In June 1943 a second squadron, No. 512, equipped with Douglas Dakotas was split off from No 24. This left 24 Sqn to concentrate on the long distance routes using C-47s; the long distance flights were taken over by other squadrons and No. 24 concentrated on short-range VIP duties using the Dakota.
After many years the squadron had to leave RAF Hendon in February 1946 as the airfield was now too small to operate the larger Avro Yorks and Avro Lancastrians. The squadron was designated a Commonwealth squadron with crews from various Commonwealth countries joining the squadron strength. Although it had a VIP role it still became involved in the Berlin Airlift; when the squadron re-equipped with the Handley Page Hastings it soon lost the VIP business and became a standard Transport Command squadron. In 1968 the squadron moved from RAF Colerne to RAF Lyneham and re-equipped with the Lockheed Hercules; the squadron re-equipped with the new generation Hercules C.4 and C.5 RAF designation for the C-130J-30 and C-130J in 2002. It celebrated 40 years of Hercules operation in 2008 and remained at Lyneham until 2011 when the squadron relocated to RAF Brize Norton. In 2013, 24 Sqn started its transition from a front line C130J Hercules Sqn to become the Air Mobility Operational Conversion Unit; this transition brigaded the majority of flying and engineer training within the Air Mobility Force under one specialist training unit.
24 Sqn is responsible for the provision of training to aircrews flying the C130J Hercules and A400M Atlas aircraft. As a Central Flying School accredited training establishment, 24 Sqn is the professional training body for the Air Mobility Force delivering: Conversion to Type and recurrent flying training for C130J Hercules. Conversion to Type and recurrent flying training for A400M Atlas. Engineer training for C130J Hercules, A400M Atlas and C17 Globemaster. Flying Instructor qualification and development. Training Support and Governance to the entire AM Force.24 Sqn upholds close ties with the RAF Training Specialisation and the RAF Central Flying School to ensure continuous improvement of training practices. The Sqn's training management and assurance is provided by embedded specialist RAF Training Officers and support staff; the following officers have held command of No. 24 Squadron: List of RAF squadrons Citations BibliographyThe Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft, Orbis Publishing. Jefford, G. G. RAF Squadrons, second edition 2001, Airlife Publishing, UK, ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
Rawlings, J. D. R. "History of No. 24 S
No. 16 Squadron RAF
No. 16 Squadron is a flying squadron of the Royal Air Force. It formed in 1915 at Saint-Omer to carry out a mixture of offensive patrolling and reconnaissance and was disbanded in 1919 with the end of the First World War; the squadron reformed on 1 April 1924 and again took on a reconnaissance role which it continued throughout the Second World War. Post-war, the squadron was disbanded and reformed several times and was converted to a bomber squadron. Equipped with the Tornado GR.1 from 1984 the squadron took part in the Gulf War in 1990. It was again disbanded in September 1991, before reforming in November 1991 as the Operational Conversion Unit for the Jaguar. With the Jaguar's imminent withdrawal from service, the squadron disbanded once more in 2005. 16 Squadron reformed again and took on its current role on 1 October 2008. Based at RAF Wittering, it instructs pilots in elementary flying using the Tutor; the Squadron was formed at Saint-Omer, France on 10 February 1915 from elements of Nos. 2, 6 and 9 Squadrons.
It began fighting in the First World War under Hugh Dowding. In September 1915 the author Duncan Grinell-Milne joined the squadron as a junior pilot. In 1933 he published an account of his time in the squadron, his portrait of Dowding is by no means a flattering one. For the rest of the Great War, the'Saints' were deployed throughout Northern France and operated a mixture of aircraft including Bleriot XI, Martinsyde S.1 and Royal Aircraft Factory B. E.2c on offensive patrol and tactical reconnaissance duties. Disbandment occurred on New Year's Eve 1919 followed by reformation at Old Sarum on 1 April 1924; the Bristol Fighter was operated in the tactical reconnaissance role and this was followed by the Atlas and Audax. In May 1938 the Lysander arrived and the Squadron continued in its tactical role in wartime France from April 1940. In May 1940 it returned to England and conducted roving sea patrols searching for both downed aircrew and enemy forces. From April 1942, 16 Squadron was re-equipped with the Allison-engined North American Mustang I for fighter sweeps and reconnaissance duties over France from its base at RAF Weston Zoyland in Somerset.
The Spitfire Mk V took over this role from September 1943. On 2 June 1943 the Squadron became part of the Strategic Reconnaissance Wing of the 2nd Tactical Air Force as a high-altitude photo reconnaissance unit with Spitfire PR Mk XIs based at Hartford Bridge. In the build-up to D Day, No 16 supplied photographs instrumental to the planning of the Allied landings. Afterwards reconnaissance continued to be provided until the end of the war. 16 Squadron was disbanded at Celle on 1 April 1946 but reformed at RAF Fassberg the same day and took the 24 cylinder Hawker Tempest Mk V on charge until converting to the radial-engined Mk II on 7 June 1946. On 7 December 1948 No. 16 took delivery of its first jet aircraft, the de Havilland Vampire FB.5, which gave way to the de Havilland Venom FB.1 in November 1954 until disbandment at Celle once more on 1 June 1957. As East-West relations cooled, the Squadron reformed at Laarbruch on 1 March 1958 and would remain there until 1991. 16 Squadron maintained a permanent readiness state, tasked with meeting the Soviet threat, in the expected conventional phase and with the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
The Canberra B.8 equipped with dual-key nuclear weapons was operated for 14 years. It was during these years, whilst on exercise in Oman that the Squadron was presented with their new mascot, he was affectionately named Jonesy, after one of the Flt Cdrs of the time. It was rather unfortunate when, in 1975 the Deputy OC ran Jonesy over, ending the short stint of 16 Squadron's mascot. There have been many attempts to acquire a new Squadron mascot but none have succeeded; the Canberra gave way to the Buccaneer S.2B on 16 October 1972. The squadron's twelve Buccaneers were equipped with a variety of conventional weapons and eighteen British WE.177 nuclear bombs. Although Buccaneers could carry two WE.177 weapons, after taking into account attrition in the conventional phase of a high-intensity European war, after withholding some aircraft in reserve, RAF planners expected that squadron strength remaining would still be sufficient to deliver the nuclear weapons stockpile. The Buccaneer distinguished itself in many bombing exercises.
The squadron expanded in 1983-84, absorbing some aircraft and men from its sister 15 Squadron which had converted to the Panavia Tornado GR.1. 16 Squadron followed in late 1984 following the'designate' process where a new 16 Squadron formed up at RAF Honington before moving to Laarbruch and assuming the squadron standard from the Buccaneer unit which had continued to operate throughout. Despite the change of aircraft the squadron's role remained unchanged in countering a Soviet threat in Europe with conventional weapons and eighteen WE.177 nuclear bombs. As with the Buccaneer, there was a ratio of 1.5 weapons per aircraft. Ahead of Operation GRANBY in 1990 and the first Gulf War, the squadron deployed to Tabuk airbase. No. 16 was the lead squadron in the deployment with No. 20 and crews from other Tornado GR.1 squadrons. The'Tabuk Force' used JP233s and 1,000 lb bombs on low-level sorties against Iraqi airfields and other targets; some of the Squadron's aircraft formed a TIALD flight that conducted accurate medium-level bombing.
Following hostilities, the Squadron disbanded on 11 September 1991 but reformed in November at RAF Lossiemouth as No. 16 Squadron, a reserve squadron and an Operational Conversion Unit and taking over the aircraft and weapons of 226 OCU, training and converting new pilots for the Jaguar. Although no longer a f
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
No. 4 Squadron RAF
No. 4 Squadron, sometimes written as No. IV Squadron, of the Royal Air Force operates the BAE Hawk T2 in the training role from RAF Valley, as a part of No. 4 Flying Training School. No. 4 Squadron formed at Farnborough in 1912 as part of the Royal Flying Corps. Operating a miscellaneous mixture of aircraft including early Royal Aircraft Factory B. E.2s and Breguet biplanes, it moved to Netheravon where it remained until the outbreak of the First World War. The more useful aircraft in its inventory were sent to France under the command of Major G. H. Rayleigh on 16 August 1914, to carry out reconnaissance in support of the British Expeditionary Force. On 19 August Lieutenant G. W. Mapplebeck flew the squadron's first mission over France, a reconnaissance flight searching for German cavalry in the vicinity of Gembloux, Belgium. Other aircraft remained in England to carry out anti-Zeppelin patrols; the contingent in France was reinforced on 20 September by the personnel who had remained behind in England, forming C Flight, equipped with Maurice Farman "Shorthorns".
It concentrated on the reconnaissance role, standardising on the B. E.2 in 1916. In the Battle of the Somme, 4 Squadron flew contact patrols keeping track of the position of advancing troops at low level, in addition to more regular reconnaissance and artillery spotting missions, it re-equipped with the Royal Aircraft Factory R. E.8 in June 1917, in time to take part in the Battle of Messines and the Battle of Passchendaele. During this period William Robinson Clarke, the first black pilot to serve for Britain, flew for the squadron, it remained equipped with the R. E.8 until the Armistice with Germany on 11 November 1918 ended the fighting. The Squadron returned to the United Kingdom in February 1919. No 4 Squadron reformed on 30 April 1920 at Farnborough, equipped with Bristol F.2 Fighters. Part of the squadron moved to Aldergrove near Belfast in November 1920 as a result of the Irish War of Independence, moving to Baldonnel Aerodrome near Dublin in May 1921, before rejoining the rest of the squadron at Farnborough in January 1922.
The Squadron deployed on Royal Navy aircraft carriers when they sailed to Turkey on HMS Ark Royal and Argus during the Chanak crisis in August 1922, returning to Farnborough in September 1923. When the 1926 General Strike broke out, No. 4 Squadron's aircraft were used to patrol railway lines to deter feared sabotage. In October 1929, the elderly Bristol Fighters were replaced with new Armstrong Whitworth Atlas aircraft, purpose-designed for the squadron's Army co-operation role, while these in turn were replaced by Hawker Audaxes in December 1931. In February 1937 it moved from Farnborough to RAF Odiham, soon re-equipping with the Hawker Hector, a more powerful derivative of the Audax. In January 1939, it discarded its Hector biplanes in favour of the new monoplane Westland Lysander. Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, the squadron moved to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. Following Germany's invasion of France and the Low Countries on 10 May 1940, 4 Squadron was forced to change bases by the approach of the advancing German armies, being withdrawn to the UK on 24 May.
Losses had been heavy, with 18 aircrew killed. It continued in the coastal patrol and air-sea rescue role while training for its main Army co-operation role after returning to the UK. In 1942 the Squadron changed its mission from the Army co-operation role, where it would operate low-performance aircraft from airstrips close to the front-line, to that of fighter-reconnaissance, receiving the more modern Curtiss Tomahawk and North American Mustang, soon settling on the Mustang, flying low-level attack and reconnaissance flights against targets on the continent. In August 1943, it joined 2 Tactical Air Force in support of the planned invasion of Europe, changing to the pure reconnaissance mission in January, replacing its Mustangs with Mosquito PR. XVI and Spitfire PR. XIs, it discarded its Mosquitoes in June, moved to France in August, supplemented its Spitfires with a few Hawker Typhoons for low-level reconnaissance. It retained its Spitfires at VE Day, moving to Celle in Germany to carry out survey operations in support of the British Army of Occupation until it was disbanded on 31 August 1945.
The squadron reformed the next day by renumbering 605 Squadron, a light bomber squadron equipped with Mosquitoes based at Volkel in the Netherlands. It re-equipped with de Havilland Vampire fighter-bombers in July 1950, replacing them with North American Sabres in October 1953; the Sabres were discarded in favour of the Hawker Hunter in July 1955, retaining these until the squadron disbanded at RAF Jever on 31 December 1960. Again, the squadron did not remain dormant for long, as it reformed on 1 January 1961 by renumbering No. 79 Squadron RAF, flying Hunter FR.10s in the low-level reconnaissance role. It re-equipped with the Hawker-Siddeley Harrier in 1970, first flying them from RAF Wildenrath in West Germany, it moved on to RAF Gütersloh in 1977. The squadron operated the Harrier until the final withdrawal of the type, receiving numerous upgrades and new versions over the years. In April 1999, the squadron left Germany to move to RAF Cottesmore. On 31 March 2010, No. 4 Squadron disbanded and reformed as No. 4 Squadron at RAF Wittering, taking over from No. 20 Squadron as the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit.
As a result of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the squadron disbanded in January 2011, only to reform on 24 November 2011, when No. 19 Squadron, operating the BAE Hawk T2 from RAF Valley in the tactical weapons training role, was renumbered. Breguet Type III Cody V biplane Avro 500 Farman MF.11 Voisin III Morane-Saulnier H Bristol Scout Martinsyde S.1
Pegasus is a famous pterippus, a mythical winged divine stallion, one of the most recognized creatures in Greek mythology. Although misused in popular culture, the term "Pegasus" is a proper noun, referring to a particular character, whereas the term "pterippus" is the generic name for the species of winged horses. Pegasus is depicted as pure white in color. Pegasus is a child of the Olympian god Poseidon, he was foaled by the Gorgon Medusa upon her death. Pegasus is the uncle of Geryon. Greco-Roman poets wrote about the ascent of Pegasus to heaven after his birth, his subsequent obeisance to Zeus, king of the gods, who instructed him to bring lightning and thunder from Olympus. Friend of the Muses, Pegasus created the fountain on Mt. Helicon. Pegasus was caught by the Greek hero Bellerophon, near the fountain Peirene, with the help of Athena and Poseidon. Pegasus allowed Bellerophon to ride him in order to defeat the monstrous Chimera, which led to many other exploits. Bellerophon fell from the winged horse's back while trying to reach Mount Olympus.
Afterwards, Zeus transformed Pegasus into the eponymous constellation. The symbolism of Pegasus varies with time. Symbolic of wisdom and fame from the Middle Ages until the Renaissance, Pegasus became associated with poetry around the 19th century, as the fountainhead of sources from which the poets gained their inspiration. Pegasus is the subject of a rich iconography throughout ancient Greek pottery and paintings and sculptures of the Renaissance. Hypotheses have been proposed regarding the relationship between Pegasus and the Muses, the gods Athena, Zeus and the hero Perseus; the poet Hesiod presents a folk etymology of the name Pegasus as derived from πηγή pēgē "spring, well": "the pegai of Okeanos, where he was born."A proposed etymology of the name is Luwian pihassas, meaning "lightning", Pihassassi, a local Luwian-Hittite name in southern Cilicia of a weather god represented with thunder and lightning. The proponents of this etymology adduce Pegasus' role, reported as early as Hesiod, as the bringer of thunderbolts to Zeus.
It was first suggested in 1952 and remains accepted, but Robin Lane Fox has criticized it as implausible. According to legend, everywhere the winged horse struck his hoof to the earth, an inspiring water spring burst forth. One of these springs was upon the Muses' Mount Helicon, the Hippocrene, Antoninus Liberalis suggested, at the behest of Poseidon to prevent the mountain swelling with rapture at the song of the Muses. Hesiod relates how Pegasus was peacefully drinking from a spring when the hero Bellerophon captured him. Hesiod says Pegasus carried thunderbolts for Zeus. There are several versions of the birth of the winged stallion and his brother Chrysaor in the far distant place at the edge of Earth, Hesiod's "springs of Oceanus, which encircles the inhabited earth, where Perseus found Medusa: One is that they sprang from the blood issuing from Medusa's neck as Perseus was beheading her, similar to the manner in which Athena was born from the head of Zeus. In another version, when Perseus beheaded Medusa, they were born of the Earth, fed by the Gorgon's blood.
A variation of this story holds that they were formed from the mingling of Medusa's blood and sea foam, implying that Poseidon had involvement in their making. The last version bears resemblance to Hesiod's account of the birth of Aphrodite from the foam created when Uranus's severed genitals were cast into the sea by Cronus. Pegasus aided the hero Bellerophon in his fight against the Chimera. There are varying tales about; the next morning, still clutching the bridle, Bellerophon found Pegasus drinking at the Pierian spring, caught him and tamed him. Michaud's Biographie universelle relates that when Pegasus was born, he flew to where thunder and lightning are released. According to certain versions of the myth, Athena tamed him and gave him to Perseus, who flew to Ethiopia to help Andromeda. In fact, Pegasus is a late addition to the story of Perseus, who flew on his own with the sandals lent to him by Hermes. Pegasus and Athena left Bellerophon and continued to Olympus where he was stabled with Zeus' other steeds, was given the task of carrying Zeus' thunderbolts, along with other members of his entourage, his attendants/handmaidens/shield bearers/shieldmaidens and Bronte.
Because of his years of faithful service to Zeus, Pegasus was honoured with transformation into a constellation. On the day of his catasterism, when Zeus transformed him into a constellation, a single feather fell to the earth near the city of Tarsus. During World War II, the silhouetted image of Bellerophon the warrior, mounted on the winged Pegasus, was adopted by the United Kingdom's newly raised parachute troops in 1941 as their upper sleeve insignia; the image symbolized a warrior arriving at a battle by air, the same tactics used by paratroopers. The square upper-sleeve insignia comprised Bellerophon/Pegasus in light blue on a maroon background. One source suggests that the insignia was designed by famous English novelist Daphne du Maurier, wife of the commander of the 1st Airborne Division, General Frederick "Boy" Browning. According to the British Army Website, the insignia was designed by the celebrated East Anglian painter Major Edward Seago in May 1942; the maroon background on
No. 25 Squadron RAF
Number 25 Squadron is squadron of the Royal Air Force, having reformed on 8 September 2018. During the First World War, No. 25 Squadron operated as a fighter-reconnaissance unit and as a bomber squadron. Pilots from the Squadron, Cpl. James Henry Waller and 2nd Lt. George Reynolds McCubbin, shot down the famous German fighter ace Max Immelmann in June 1916. In the Inter-war years, the Squadron was based at RAF Hawkinge, from where No. 25 Squadron's badge originated from. Throughout the Second World War, the unit flew both bombers and escorted bombers. In the 1950s, it became a night-fighter squadron. Between 1963 and 1989, No. 25 Squadron operated the Bristol Bloodhound Surface-to-Air Missile from RAF Brüggen, West Germany and RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire. The Squadron regained its wings in July 1989, operating the Panavia Tornado F.3 interceptor, these were flown until April 2008 when the Squadron disbanded. Since reforming in 2018, No. 25 Squadron operates the BAE Systems Hawk T.2. It provides Advanced Fast Jet Training for pilots of the RAF and Royal Navy, as part of No. 4 Flying Training School at RAF Valley.
No. 25 Squadron was formed as part of the Royal Flying Corps at Montrose, Scotland on 25 September 1915, from a nucleus provided by No. 6 Squadron. Upon its formation, the Squadron operated numerous types such as the Maurice Farman MF.11 Shorthorn and the Avro 504. No. 25 Squadron relocated to Barnham, Norfolk on 31 December and shortly after were equipped with the Vickers F. B.5, these however were exchanged for the Royal Aircraft Factory F. E.2b by February. The Squadron was deployed to the RFC HQ at Saint-Omer, France on 20 February, as a long-range reconnaissance and fighter unit. No. 25 Squadron was tasked with intercepting German aircraft, operating in the routes taken by the Luftstreitkräfte on their way to raid England. However this was proven to be ineffective and the Squadron was transferred in order to protect General Headquarters and Audruicq, flying sorties with No. 21 Squadron. On 1 April, the Squadron relocated to the aerodrome at Auchel, operating alongside No. 18 Squadron and No. 27 Squadron.
From here the Squadron supported the British 1st Army near Souchez. In June 1916, in preparation for the Somme Offensive, the Squadron had its ranked bolstered to 18 machines, 20 pilots and 18 observers. In the prelude to the battle, No. 25 Squadron flew reconnaissance and bombing missions behind enemy lines. On 18 June, Cpl. James Henry Waller, his pilot 2nd Lt. George Reynolds McCubbin, shot down famous German ace Max Immelmann; this occurred during No. 25 Squadron's second encounter with Immelmann that day, after he shot down Lt. C. E. Rogers for his 16th victory. Immelmann, flying a Fokker E. III, engaged No. 25 Squadron over Lens and subsequently shot down Lt. J. R. B. Savage before closing in on McCubbin's F. E.2b, whose gunner, opened fire and shot him down. For their accomplishment, McCubbin was awarded the Distinguished Service Order while Waller was promoted to Sergeant and received the Distinguished Service Medal; when the offensive started on 1 July, No. 25 Squadron started flying night time bombing missions.
They gave way to D. H.4 bombers in 1917. During the course of the First World War, 25 Squadron had nine flying aces among its ranks, including James Fitz-Morris, James Green, Reginald George Malcolm, Lancelot Richardson, Noel Webb, Charles WoollvenAlexander Roulstone, Leonard Herbert Emsden, Hartley Pullan. After the war the squadron acquired D. H.9s. The unit was disbanded on 31 January 1920 at RAF Scopwick; the squadron reformed the next day at RAF Hawkinge, flying Snipes, went to Turkey in 1922/23 during the Chanak Crisis. After returning to the UK the unit stayed for a number of years at Hawkinge; the Snipes gave way to Grebes and Siskins, while in December 1936 the squadron became the first unit to receive the Hawker Fury Mk II, having flown the Fury Mk I since 1932. The Fury was replaced by the Hawker Demon. For night-flying training purposes the squadron received Gloster Gladiators. No. 25 Squadron moved to RAF Northolt on 12 September 1938. During World War II it flew Blenheims on night patrols, which were replaced by Beaufighters and Mosquitos.
By the closing stages of the war, the squadron was entirely committed to bomber escort missions. The squadron was successful during Operation Steinbock from January to May 1944. After the war No. 25 Squadron continued to operate the Mosquito NF.30 night fighter from their base at RAF West Malling until November 1951, when they were replaced by jet powered De Havilland Vampire NF.10, conversion to type having commenced in February 1951. The Vampires were replaced by Gloster Meteor NF Mk.12 and 14s in March 1954. In 1957 the squadron moved from West Malling to RAF Tangmere, where it disbanded on 23 June 1958. On 1 July 1958 No. 153 Squadron RAF was renumbered No. 25 Squadron and the squadron flew Meteors until their replacement in 1959 by the Gloster Javelin FAW Mk.7s. No. 25 Squadron disbanded again on 30 November 1962, reforming a year as the RAF's first Bristol Bloodhound SAM unit. In this role the squadron moved to RAF Bruggen in 1970, with detachments protecting RAF Laarbruch and RAF Wildenrath.
In 1983 the squadron moved to RAF Wyton protecting RAF Barkston Heath and RAF Wattisham. The RAF withdrew the Bloodhound in 1989 and in July the same year, the squadron reformed at RAF Leeming as a RAF Tornado F3 fighter squadron alongside 11 Squadron and 23 Squadron as part of No. 11 Group RAF. Between September – December 1993 and May – August 1995, No. 25 Squadron aircrew and groundcrew took part in Operation Deny Flight, a NATO-led operation enforc
No. 9 Squadron RAF
Number 9 Squadron is the oldest dedicated Bomber Squadron of the Royal Air Force. Formed in December 1914, it saw service throughout the First World War, including at the Somme and Passchendaele. During the Second World War, No. IX Squadron was one of two Avro Lancaster units specialising in heavy precision bombing and sank the battleship Tirpitz on 12 November 1944 in Operation Catechism. Between 1962 and April 1982, the Squadron flew the Avro Vulcan B.2 as part of the V-Force. In June 1982, it became the first front-line squadron in the world to operate the Panavia Tornado GR.1. In May 1998, No. IX Squadron received the RAF's first Tornado GR.4, which it operated until reequipping with the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 at its present home base of RAF Lossiemouth on 1 April 2019. No. 9 Squadron was formed on 8 December 1914 at Saint-Omer in France, the first outside of the UK, from a detachment of the Royal Flying Corps HQ Wireless Flight. Known as No. 9 Squadron, it was tasked with developing the use of radio for reconnaissance missions through artillery spotting.
This lasted until 22 March 1915 when the squadron was disbanded and had its equipment dispersed amongst Nos. II, V, 6 and 16 Squadron; the Squadron reformed at Brooklands on 1 April 1915 under the command of Major Hugh Dowding as a radio-training squadron, flying the Farman MF.7, Blériot XI and Royal Aircraft Factory B. E.2s. The Bats moved to Dover on 23 July, re-equipping with the Royal Aircraft Factory B. E.8a, Avro 504 and a single Martinsyde S.1, before returning to Saint-Omer on 12 December as an army co-operation squadron. Moving to Bertangles on 24 December, No. 9 Squadron commenced bombing missions on 17 January 1916 with the B. E.2c. It flew reconnaissance and artillery spotting missions during the Battle of the Somme in 1916, assisting XIII Corps on the first day, it operated during the Second Battle of Arras in 1917. It re-equipped with Royal Aircraft Factory R. E.8s in May 1917, using them for artillery spotting and contact patrols during the Battle of Passchendaele, during which it suffered 57 casualties, carrying out short range tactical bombing operations in response to the German Spring Offensive in March 1918.
While it started to receive Bristol Fighters in July 1918, it did not discard its R. E.8s until after the end of the war. No. 9 Squadron returned to the UK in August 1919, arriving at Castle Bromwich where it remained until disbanding on 31 December 1919. The Squadron's life as a bomber unit began on 1 April 1924, reforming at RAF Upavon moving to RAF Manston, with the Vickers Vimy. Less than a year the Squadron re-equipped with the Vickers Virginia heavy bomber supplemented by Vickers Victoria transports, which it retained until this was replaced by the Handley Page Heyford in 1936; the squadron badge was approved by King Edward VIII in 1936, one of the few to be introduced during his short reign. The badge reflects the Squadron's development as a specialized night-operations unit, is a gentle leg-pull in the direction of Air Marshal Hugh "Boom" Trenchard credited as the founder of the RAF as an independent military force, who once famously remarked "Only bats and bloody fools fly at night!"
The squadron emblem is accordingly a bat, with the motto "We Fly by Night". On 31 January 1939, No. IX Squadron became the third RAF squadron to receive the modern Vickers Wellington monoplane, when their first Wellington arrived at RAF Stradishall – reaching full strength by April; the Second World War began with the unit one of the few equipped with modern aircraft, the Vickers Wellington bomber, flying out of RAF Honington. On 4 September 1939, the Squadron’s Wellington aircraft and crews were the first to hit the enemy, the first to get into a dogfight the first to shoot down an enemy aircraft, the first to be shot down by one and, towards the end of the war, the first to hit the German battleship Tirpitz with the Tallboy 12,000-pound bomb, an achievement by the crew of an Avro Lancaster on her 102nd operation with the Squadron. No. IX Squadron fought with RAF Bomber Command in Europe all the way through the Second World War, took part in all the major raids and big battles and proved new tactics and equipment, produced several of the leading figures in The Great Escape, such as Les'Cookie' Long, as well as Colditz inmates – including the legendary'Medium Sized Man' Flight Lieutenant Dominic Bruce OBE MC AFM originator of the famous'tea chest' escape.
They became one of the two specialised squadrons attacking precision targets with the Tallboy bomb, led the final main force raid, on Berchtesgaden, 25 April 1945. The battleship Tirpitz had been moved into a fjord in Northern Norway where she threatened the Arctic convoys and was too far north to be attacked by air from the UK, she had been damaged by a Royal Navy midget submarine attack and a second attack from carrier born aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm. But both attacks had failed to sink her; the task was given to No. 9 and No. 617 Squadrons who, operating from a base in Russia, attacked Tirpitz with Tallboy bombs which damaged her so extensively that she was sent to Tromsø to be used as a floating battery. This fjord was in range of bombers operating from Scotland. There in October from a base in Scotland she was attacked again. On 12 November 1944, the two squadrons attacked Tirpitz; the first bombs missed their target, but following aircraft scored three direct hits in quick succession causing the s