Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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No 651 - 670 Squadron Histories


No's 651 to 666 Squadrons were formed as Air Observation Post units.  These squadrons operated in the  artillery spotting and liaison roles , working closely with local Army units.  Most of the pilots and observers were provided by the Army, whilst maintenance was carried out by RAF personnel.  These duties and squadron numbers were transferred to the Army with the formation of the Army Air Corps on 1 September 1957.

No 651  Squadron

No 651 Squadron BadgeForming on 1 August 1941 at Old Sarum, the squadron went into action in November 1942 attached the First Army during the Torch landings in North Africa.  It later served in Sicily, Italy and from November 1945, Egypt were it remained until 1 November 1955.

On the same day, No 657 Squadron was re-numbered, 651 at Middle Wallop, it now flew Sycamore helicopters as well as Austers.  On 1 September 1957 the squadron was transferred to the Army Air Corps.

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Motto:  Dirige 

Squadron Codes used: -

MA 1944 - 45 (HQ Flight)
MB 1944 - 45 ('A' Flight)
MC 1944 - 45 ('B' Flight)
MD 1944 - 45 ('C' Flight)

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 652 Squadron

No 652 Squadron BadgeForming on 1 May 1942 at Old Sarum, the squadron went into action in June 1942 attached the Second Army during the Overlord landings in Normandy.  It moved with the Second Army through France, Holland and into Germany, where it remained as part of the  British Air Forces of Occupation and later 2nd Tactical Air Force until it was transferred to the Army Air Corps on 1 September 1957.

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Motto:  Sive Aere Sive Campo 

Squadron Codes used: - 

XM 1945 - ?

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 653 Squadron

 

No 653 Squadron BadgeFormed on 20 June 1942 at Old Sarum, the squadron moved to Normandy in June 1944 and supported the Army through France and Holland, disbanding at Hoya in Germany on 15 September 1945.

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Motto:  Ubique Speculabundus  (The eyes of the guns are everywhere)

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 654 Squadron

No 654 Squadron BadgeForming on 15 July 1942 at Old Sarum, the squadron went into action in December 1942 following the Torch landings in North Africa.  From July 1943 it served in Sicily with the 8th Army and later Italy, where it remained until disbanding at Campoformido on 24 June 1947. 

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Motto: Progressive 

Squadron Codes used: -

QA 1944 - May 1945 (HQ Flight)
QB 1944 - May 1945 ('A' Flight)
QC 1944 - May 1945 ('B' Flight)
QD 1944 - May 1945 ('C' Flight)

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 655 Squadron

Forming on 8 December 1942 at Old Sarum, the squadron went into action in August 1943 in North Africa.  From December 1943 it served in Italy, where it remained until disbanding at Ronchi on 31 August 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -  

PA 1944 - Aug 1945 (HQ Flight)
PB 1944 - Aug 1945 ('A' Flight)
PC 1944 - Aug 1945 ('B' Flight)
PD 1944 - Aug 1945 ('C' Flight)

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 656 Squadron

No 656 Squadron BadgeForming on 31 December 1941 at Westly, the squadron moved to India the following August.  Operations began in January 1944 along the India-Burma border until September 1945, when the squadron moved to Kuala Lumpur in Malaya, disbanding there on 15 January 1947.

It reformed from 1914 Flight on 29 June 1948 at Sembawang in Malaya continuing to operate there until transferred to the Army Air Corps on 1 September 1957.

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Motto:  Volens et Videns  

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 657 Squadron

No 657 Squadron BadgeForming on 31 January 1943 at Ouston, the squadron went into action in August 1943 in North Africa.  From February 1944 it served in Italy, where it remained until moving to the Netherlands in March 1944 to serve with the First Canadian Army.   In November 1945, the squadron returned to the UK and continued to support army units in the South of England until disbanded by being renumbered No 651 Squadron on 1 November 1955.

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Motto:    Per Terra Seperque Caelum

Squadron Codes used: - 

TS 1945 - Jan 1947

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 658 Squadron

Formed on 30 April 1943 at Old Sarum, the squadron moved to Normandy in June 1944 and supported the Army through France and Holland, until October 1945, when having previously returned to Britain, it was sent to India.  It remained in India until disbanding at Hakimpet on 1 April 1947.

No Badge Authorised (unofficial badge shown)

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Motto: Videmus Delemus

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 659 Squadron

No 659 Squadron BadgeFormed on 30 April 1943 at Firbeck, the squadron moved to Normandy in June 1944 and supported the 21st Army Group through France and Holland until October 1945, when it moved to India, serving on the North West Frontier until disbanding at Lahore on 14 August 1947.

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Motto:     Quovis Per Ardua

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 660 Squadron

Formed on 31 July 1943 at Old Sarum, the squadron moved to France in July 1944 and supported the 21st Army Group through France and Holland until disbanding at Keil/Holtenau in Germany on 31 May 1946.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -

BG Aug 1945 - Apr 1946

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 661 Squadron

No 661 Squadron BadgeFormed on 31 August 1943 at Old Sarum, the squadron moved to France in August 1944 and supported the First Canadian Army until disbanding at Ghent in Belgium on 31 October 1945.

Post-war it reformed as part of the RAuxAF on 1 May 1949 at Kenley but was disbanded on 10 March 1957 along with all RAuxAF flying squadrons.  It was composed of a number of detached flights, 1957 and 1960  at Kenley, 1958 at Hendon, 1959 and 1961 at Henlow.

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Motto:  Designo Oculis Ad Caedem  

Squadron Codes used: -

OE Aug 1944 - 1945
ROA May 1949 - Apr 1951

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 662 Squadron

No 662 Squadron BadgeFormed on 30 September 1943 at Old Sarum, the squadron moved to France in June 1944 and supported the 21st Army Group until disbanding at Melsbroek in Belgium on 15 December 1945.

Post-war it reformed as part of the RAuxAF on 1 February 1949 at Colerne but was disbanded on 10 March 1957 along with all RAuxAF flying squadrons.  It was composed of a number of detached flights, 1956 at Colerne, 1962  at Middle Wallop and 1963 at Colerne.

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Motto:    Olethrion Omma

Squadron Codes used: -

ET
ROB Feb 1949 - Apr 1951

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 663 SquadronNo 663 Squadron RAuxAF Badge

No 663 Squadron Badge (WW2 Polish version)Formed on 14 August 1944 at San Basilio in Italy, the squadron was composed mainly of Polish personnel supporting the 8th Army until October 1946, when it returned to Britain disbanding on the return journey on the 4th of the month.  The badge shown here is the one used by the squadron during this period of existence.

Post-war it reformed as part of the RAuxAF on 1 July 1949 at Hooton Park but was disbanded on 10 March 1957 along with all RAuxAF flying squadrons.  It was composed of a number of detached flights, 1951 at Ringway, 1952 at Llandow, 1953 and 1955 at Hooton Park and 1954 at Wolverhampton.

Motto:  We fly for the guns

Squadron Codes used: - 

ROC Jul 1949 - Apr 1951

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 664 Squadron

No 664 Squadron BadgeFormed on 9 December 1944 as an RCAF unit, albeit not in the 'Article XI' sequence of squadron numbers, at Andover.  It moved to Holland in March 1945 and later settled in Germany, disbanding at Rostrup on 31 May 1946.

As the number was not transferred to the Canadian authorities, it was revived post-war when the squadron was reformed as part of the RAuxAF on 1 September 1949 at Hucknall.  It was composed of a number of detached flights, 1964  at Yeadon, 1965 at Ouston, 1969 at Desford and 1970 at Hucknall and finally disbanded on 10 March 1957 along with all RAuxAF flying squadrons. 

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Motto:  Vae Viso 

Squadron Codes used: - 

AW Dec 1944 - May 1946
ROD Sep 1949 - Apr 1951

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 665 Squadron

Formed on 22 January 1945 as an RCAF unit, albeit not in the 'Article XI' sequence of squadron numbers, at Andover, moving to Holland in April 1945 where it joined the Canadian First Army It finally disbanded at Appledorn on 10 July 1946, but the number was not transferred to the RCAF..

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 666 Squadron

No 666 Squadron BadgeFormed on 5 March 1945 as an RCAF unit, albeit not in the 'Article XI' sequence of squadron numbers, at Andover, it moved to Holland in June 1945, disbanding at Appledorn, also in Holland, on 31 October 1945.

As the number was not transferred to the Canadian authorities, it was revived post-war when the squadron was reformed as part of the RAuxAF on 1 May 1949 at Perth.  It was composed of a number of detached flights, 1966 at Scone, 1967 at Renfrew and 1968 at Turnhouse and finally disbanded on 10 March 1957 along with all RAuxAF flying squadrons. 

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Motto:  Speculatum Ascendimus  

Squadron Codes used: -

BX Mar 1945 - Sep 1945
ROG May 1949 - Apr 1951

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 667 Squadron

Formed from No's 1662 & 1631 Flights at Gosport on 1 December 1943 the squadron was equipped with Defiants and and undertook target towing duties.  It later received Hurricanes, Barracudas, Oxfords, Vengences and Spitfires before disbanding on 20 December 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -

U4 Dec 1943 - Dec 1945

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 668 Squadron

No 668 was one of six squadrons to formed in South East Asia Command to carry out airborne assaults using Gliders.  It was formed on 16 November 1944 at Calcutta and later joined No 343 Wing.

Training was carried out in preparation for planned operations in various areas of SEAC, but the Japanese surrender curtailed these and No 668 disbanded on 10 November 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 669 Squadron

Unofficial badge of No 669 SquadronNo 669 was one of six squadrons to formed in South East Asia Command to carry out airborne assaults using Gliders.  It was formed on 16 November 1944 at Bikram but it was soon discovered that it had been formed at the wrong airfield and was re-numbered No 671 on 31 December 1944.  No 669 was reformed the following day at Basal and later joined No 343 Wing.

Training was carried out in preparation for planned operations in various areas of SEAC, but the Japanese surrender curtailed these and No 669 disbanded on 10 November 1945.

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The Badge shown above was never officially authorised

 

No 670 Squadron

Unofficial badge of No 670 SquadronNo 670 was one of six squadrons to formed in South East Asia Command to carry out airborne assaults using Gliders.  It was formed on 14 December 1944 at Fatehjang and later joined No 343 Wing.

Training was carried out in preparation for planned operations in various areas of SEAC, but the Japanese surrender curtailed these and No 670 disbanded on 1 July 1946.

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The Badge shown above was never officially authorised

Aircraft & Markings


All Squadron badges on this page are courtesy of Steve Clements

Crown Copyright is reproduced with the permission of the Directorate of Intellectual Property Rights

This page was last updated on 09/11/13 using FrontPage XP

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