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No 671 - 1435 Squadron Histories


Numbers in the 600 series were originally allocated to squadrons of the Auxiliary Air Force.  However, the AAF had only reached No 616 by the outbreak of World War Two, and further squadrons starting at 617 began to be formed from 1943 onwards.

No 671  Squadron

No 671 was one of six squadrons to formed in South East Asia Command to carry out airborne assaults using Gliders.  This particular squadron was formed on 31 December 1944 by re-numbering No 669 Squadron, which had actually been formed on 16 November 1944, but at the wrong location.  It later became part of No 344 Wing.

Training was carried out in preparation for planned operations in various areas of SEAC, but the Japanese surrender curtailed these and No 671 disbanded on 25 October 1945.

No Badge Authorised (unofficial badge shown)

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Motto: Vafre Ac Furtim

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 672 Squadron

No 672 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, although personnel did not arrive until early 1945 and it later joined No 344 Wing.

Training was carried out in preparation for planned operations in various areas of SEAC, but the Japanese surrender curtailed these and No 672 disbanded on 1 July 1946.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 673 Squadron

 

No 673 was one of six squadrons to formed in South East Asia Command to carry out airborne assaults using Gliders.  It was formed on 27 January 1945 at Bikram and later joined No 344 Wing.

Training was carried out in preparation for planned operations in various areas of SEAC, but the Japanese surrender curtailed these and No 673 disbanded on 25 October 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 679 Squadron

Formed as an anti-aircraft co-operation squadron at Ipswich by amalgamating No's 1616 and 1627 Flights on 1 December 1943, it was equipped with Martinets and Hurricanes.  It receiving Barracudas in March 1944 and Vengences in April 1945, operating all four types until disbandment on 26 June 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: - 

3M Dec 1943 - Jun 1945

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 680 Squadron

In early 1943 Flights of the Photographic Reconnaissance Units were raised to Squadron status with 'A' Flight, No 2 PRU becoming No 680 on 1 February 1943.

It carried out it operations over North Africa equipped with Beaufighters, Hurricanes and Spitfires.  These operations were extended to Sicily and Sardinia after moving to Tunisia.  It also operated detachments in Libya and Cyprus were it was able to photograph Greece and Crete.

It continues to operate in the Mediterranean area until the end of the war when it undertook surveys of Iraq, Palestine and Iran using Spitfires and Mosquitoes  The last Spitfire left in July 1946 and the squadron disbanded at Ein Shemar in Palestine on 1 September 1946 by being re-numbered No 13 Squadron.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

Memories of J W Keller (ex 680 Sqn)

 

No 681 Squadron

681 Squadron Badge (unauthorised)Formed from No 3 PRU at Dum Dum in India on 25 January 1943, its main task was photo reconnaissance over Burma and Siam.  To carry out this work, it was equipped with Hurricanes, Spitfires and Mitchells.  Although some Mosquitoes were received, these were found unsuitable for operation in the highly humid conditions of SEAC and by December 1943 the squadron was solely a Spitfire unit.

The first Spitfire XIX arrived on 28 June 1945 and by VJ-Day had 11 on strength with a further five arriving after that date.  In September 1945, No 681 moved to Hong Kong sending detachments to Java and Indo-China.  It moved to Seletar in January 1946 with a detachment in Siam but in April the whole squadron moved to India and on 1 August 1946 it was disbanded by being re-numbered No 34 Squadron.

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The above Badge as not officially authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 682 Squadron

Formed in North Africa at Maison Blanche on 1 February 1943 from No 4 PRU equipped with Spitfires for photographic reconnaissance duties over the Western Mediterranean area.

The squadron moved to Italy in December 1943 where it remained until the end of the war.  However, in September 1944 a detachment was sent to Southern France following the Allied invasion remaining there until March 1945.  The squadron disbanded in Italy on 14 September 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 683 Squadron

No 683 Squadron BadgeThe original photographic reconnaissance unit based in Malta was No 69 Squadron and it was 'B' Flight of that unit that No 683 was formed on 8 February 1943 at Luqa.  Except for a short period in 1943 it operated Spitfires IV, XIs and later XIXs. It moved to Tunisia in November 1943 and Italy in December, where it continued to operate until the end of the war, alongside No 682 Squadron.   A detachment operated in Greece from August 1945 but on 21 September the squadron disbanded.

However, unlike most of its contemporaries, No 683 was re-formed on 1 November 1950 as a survey unit based in Egypt.  It carried out survey of large tracts of Arabia and Africa using Lancasters and Valettas.  It moved to Aden in January 1952 and Iraq in May 1953, where it was disbanded on 30 November of that year.

One of the Lancasters operated by the squadron was PA474, was is now world famous as the Lancaster operated by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at Coningsby.

Motto:  Nihal nos latet (Nothing remains concealed)

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 684 Squadron

No 684 Squadron BadgeAnother photographic reconnaissance unit, it was formed on 29 December 1943 at Dum Dum in India.  No 684 provided long range PR cover using Mosquitos and a few Mitchells operating over Burma, Malaya and Siam. A detachment in Ceylon covered the Dutch East Indies from September 1944 and in October 1945 the squadron moved to Saigon in French Indo-China and to Siam in January 1946 where the squadron was re-numbered on 1 September as No 81 Squadron.

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Motto:  Invisus videns (Seeing though unseen)

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 691 Squadron

No 691 Squadron BadgeOn 1 December 1943, No 1623 Flight at Roborough was raised to squadron status as No 691. It was equipped with Defiants, Hurricanes and Oxfords, it operated in the anti-aircraft co-operation role until being disbanded on 11 February 1949 when it was re-numbered No 17.

By the time it was disbanded the squadron was equipped with Spitfires, Vengences, Martinets and Oxfords.

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Motto:  Volamus ut serviamus (We fly to serve)

Squadron Codes used: -

5S Dec 1943 - Feb 1949

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 692 (Fellowship of the Bellows) Squadron

No 692 Squadron BadgeNo 692 had a short but active life being formed within No 8 (Pathfinder) Group at Graveley on 1 January 1944.  Equipped with Mosquitos, it formed part of 8 Group's Light Night Striking Force and was in fact the first squadron to carry 4,000lb 'Blockbuster' bombs in Mosquitos. It moved to Gransden Lodge in June 1945 where it disbanded on 20 September.

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Motto:  Polas dum sidera pascet (So long as the sky shall feed the stars)

Squadron Codes used: -

P3 Jan 1944 - Jun 1945

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 695 Squadron

No 695 Squadron BadgeFormed to carry out anti aircraft co-operation duties previously provided by No's 1611 and 1612 Flights at Bircham Newton on 1 December 1943. Equipped with Henleys, Martinets, Hurricanes and Lysanders, these eventually gave way to Spitfires, Vengences Oxfords and Beaufighters, although Martinets were retained until the squadron was re-numbered No 34 on 11 February 1949.

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Motto:    We exercise their arms

Squadron Codes used: -

4M Dec 1943 - Feb 1949

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 1435 Squadron

No 1435 Flight was formed in Malta as a night fighter unit on 4 December 1941 but it disbanded in June 1942.  A month later a day fighter unit was formed with personnel provided by No 603 Squadron and equipped with Spitfires Vs and it adopted the number previously used by the night fighter unit. On 2 August 1942 the unit, being larger than a flight was formally raised to squadron status but instead of being given a new number, it was simply raised from 1435 Flight to 1435 Squadron.  It therefore became the only RAF squadron to be allocated a four-figure number.

Converting to the Fighter-bomber role in January 1943, it later operated over Sicily and in Italy, being assigned to the Balkan Air Force.  Further operations were carried out over Albania and Yugoslavia until the end of the war, with the squadron finally disbanding on 9 May 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -

V  Aug 1942 - May 1945

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 21/08/12 using FrontPage XP

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