No. 43 Squadron RAF

Last updated

No. 43 Squadron RAF
43 Squadron RAF.jpg
Active15 April 1916 – 31 December 1919
1 July 1925 – 16 May 1947
1 February 1949 – 7 November 1967
1 September 1969 – 13 July 2009
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Nickname(s)'The Fighting Cocks'
Motto(s) Latin: Gloria finis
("Glory is the end") [1]
Colors RAF 43 Sqn.svg
Battle honours Western Front 1917–1918*, Arras, Ypres 1917*, Cambrai 1917, Somme 1918*, Lys, Amiens, Dunkirk*, Battle of Britain 1940*, Home defence 1940–1942, Fortress Europe 1942, Dieppe, North Africa 1942–1943*, Sicily 1943, Salerno, Italy 1943–1945, Anzio and Nettuno*, Gustav Line, France and Germany 1944*, Gulf 1991, Iraq 2003.
Honours marked with an asterisk* are emblazoned on the Squadron Standard
Insignia
Squadron BadgeA Gamecock [2]
Squadron CodesNQ (Nov 1938 – Sep 1939)
FT (Sep 1939 – May 1947)
SW (Feb 1949 – Apr 1951)
A (Carried on Phantoms)
G (Carried on Tornados)

No. 43 Squadron was a Royal Air Force aircraft squadron originally formed in 1916 as part of the Royal Flying Corps. It saw distinguished service during two world wars, producing numerous "aces". The squadron last operated the Panavia Tornado F3 from RAF Leuchars, Scotland, in the air defence role, until it was disbanded in July 2009.

Contents

History

World War I

Sopwith Camel RAF Sopwith Camel.jpg
Sopwith Camel

The squadron was formed at Stirling on 15 April 1916, from No. 18 Reserve Squadron [2] as a unit of the Royal Flying Corps, and was equipped with various types, which it used for training until December 1916 when Sopwith 1½ Strutters arrived. These were taken to the Western Front the following month, where it operated as an Army squadron carrying out fighter reconnaissance duties.[ citation needed ]

In September 1917, Sopwith Camels arrived, and the squadron undertook ground attack duties; the squadron continued in this vein until the end of the war. The squadron received Sopwith Snipe in August 1918 and conversion was completed in October, but the Armistice prevented these playing a major part in the conflict, instead they were taken to Germany for occupation duties until August 1919 when the squadron moved to RAF Spitalgate where it disbanded on 31 December 1919. [3] During the course of the war, ten aces served in the squadron, including Henry Woollett, Cecil Frederick King, John Lightfoot Trollope, Geoffrey Bailey, Harold Balfour, Charles C. Banks, Hector Daniel, George Lingham, and John Womersley.[ citation needed ] ( Robert Johnstone Owen).

Between the wars

Hawker Fury HawkerFury43sqn.jpg
Hawker Fury

The squadron was re-formed at RAF Henlow on 1 July 1925, [2] [4] [5] (or 1 July 1923), [3] [6] once again equipped with Snipes.[ citation needed ] In 1926, the squadron converted to Gamecocks, thus inspiring the squadron badge and the nickname "The Fighting Cocks". The black and white checkered markings also date from this era. [7] The squadron flew Siskins from 1928 and received the first production Hawker Fury Mk.I in May 1931. [8]

World War II

Hawker Hurricane Hurricane mk1 r4118 fairford arp.jpg
Hawker Hurricane

Prior to the outbreak of World War II the squadron re-equipped with Hurricanes.

On February 3, 1940, three 43 Squadron Hurricanes based at RAF Acklington intercepted and shot down a Luftwaffe Heinkel He 111 bomber at Whitby. The formation was led by Flight Lieutenant Peter Townsend. The other two pilots were Flying Officer "Tiger" Folkes and Sergeant James Hallowes. It was the first German aircraft to fall on English soil in World War II (although it was not the first to be shot down in the United Kingdom, that having occurred in Scotland). Townsend visited the German rear gunner in hospital the next day, and visited him again in 1968 when Townsend was writing his highly-successful book about the Battle of Britain, "Duel of Eagles," which recounts the incident in detail. [9]

Still flying Hurricanes, the squadron covered the Dunkirk retreat and fought in the Battle of Britain. In November 1942, 43 Squadron moved to North Africa, now flying Spitfires.[ citation needed ]


In 1944, as the tide of war turned in favour of the Allies, the squadron moved to France, where it was known by the local French population as "les coqs Anglais". By then the squadron's main role was ground attack, strafing and occasionally dive bombing enemy targets. On 9 September 1944, Wing Commander Barrie Heath, flying Spitfire IX MJ628, led a formation on the squadron's first sortie into German territory, strafing motor transport and railway communications. [10]

The squadron ended the war in Austria and was disbanded in 1947.[ citation needed ]

Entering the jet age

Phantom FG1 of No. 43 Sqn Phantom FG1 43Sqn.jpg
Phantom FG1 of No. 43 Sqn

In February 1949, No. 266 Squadron was renumbered to No. 43 Squadron, flying Gloster Meteors from RAF Tangmere. The squadron moved to RAF Leuchars in 1950 and in 1954 began to receive the Hawker Hunter. The Hunters of 43 Squadron featured in the 1957 film High Flight.[ citation needed ]

During much of the 1960s the squadron operated from Aden and was disbanded on 7 November 1967. 43 Squadron reformed at Leuchars on 1 September 1969 with the McDonnell Douglas Phantom, which it flew until its replacement by the Tornado F.3 in September 1989.[ citation needed ]

The Tornado Years

Tornado F3 Tornado f3 ze887 kemble arp.jpg
Tornado F3

With the F3 the squadron participated in the 1991 Gulf War and maintained a presence in the Iraqi no-fly zones. Later, 43 Sqn crew and personnel were tasked with Quick Reaction Alert duty (short notice air defence 'scrambles'), both in Fife, and in the Falklands as part of 1435 Flight and participated in Operation Telic. When the squadron was not on operational taskings they flew daily training sorties through the week, all year round.[ citation needed ]

The squadron was awarded the "Freedom of the city" of Stirling in 2005, the squadron being Stirling's home squadron in the past. [11]

In April 2008, the squadron absorbed 56 (Reserve) Squadron to perform the role of Tornado F3 Operational Conversion Unit, 56 Squadron having reformed in the ISTAR role. The squadron flagship, ZG757, had a gloss black spine and tail and 90th anniversary emblem on the tail.[ citation needed ]

Disbandment

No. 43F Sqn stood down on 13 July 2009 for the fourth time in its history. [12] The Squadron Standard, presented in person by HM The Queen at RAF Leuchars on 4 June 1957, was laid up on Sunday 22 May 2016 in the Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling. The 43 Squadron Standard is emblazoned with a black gamecock badge on a field of sky blue and surrounded with the following honours: Western Front 1917–1918, Ypres 1917, Somme 1918, Dunkirk, Battle of Britain 1940, North Africa 1942–1943, Anzio and Nettuno, and France and Germany 1944.

Notable pilots

Related Research Articles

No. 206 Squadron RAF Flying squadron of the Royal Air Force

No. 206 Squadron is a Test and Evaluation Squadron of the Royal Air Force. Until 2005 it was employed in the maritime patrol role with the Nimrod MR.2 at RAF Kinloss, Moray. It was announced in December 2004 that 206 Squadron would disband on 1 April 2005, with half of its crews being redistributed to Nos. 120 and 201 Squadrons, also stationed at Kinloss. This was a part of the UK Defence Review called Delivering Security in a Changing World; the Nimrod MR.2 fleet was reduced in number from 21 to 16 as a consequence.

No. 23 Squadron RAF Defunct flying squadron of the Royal Air Force

Number 23 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. Until October 2009, it operated the Boeing Sentry AEW1 Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.

No. 111 Squadron RAF

No. 111 (Fighter) Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It was formed in 1917 in the Middle East as No. 111 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps during the reorganisation of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force after General Edmund Allenby took command during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. The squadron remained in the Middle East after the end of the First World War until 1920 when it was renumbered as No. 14 Squadron.

No. 54 Squadron RAF Flying squadron of the Royal Air Force

Number 54 Squadron is a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It is based at RAF Waddington, England. On 1 September 2005 it took on the role of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Operational Conversion Unit, responsible for training all RAF crews assigned to the E-3D Sentry AEW1 and the Nimrod R1 and the Sentinel R1 as well as running the Qualified Weapons Instructor Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Course. The squadron was previously a SEPECAT Jaguar strike fighter unit, operating from RAF Coltishall, until it was disbanded on 11 March 2005. Since September 2005 the unit has been formally titled 54(Reserve) Squadron, until the (Reserve) nameplate was removed from all training squadrons in 2018.

No. 202 Squadron RAF Flying squadron of the Royal Air Force

No. 202 Squadron of the Royal Air Force is the maritime and mountains training element of the Defence Helicopter Flying School. It operated the Sea King HAR.3 in the Search and rescue role at three stations in the northern half of the United Kingdom. It was originally formed as one of the first aeroplane squadrons of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) before it became part of the RAF.

No. 213 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. The squadron was formed on 1 April 1918 from No. 13 (Naval) Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service. This RNAS squadron was itself formed on 15 January 1918 from the Seaplane Defence Flight which, since its creation in June 1917, had had the task of defending the seaplanes which flew out of Dunkirk.

No. 56 Squadron RAF Flying squadron of the Royal Air Force

Number 56 Squadron, nicknamed the Firebirds for their ability to always reappear intact regardless of the odds, is one of the oldest and most successful squadrons of the Royal Air Force, with battle honours from many of the significant air campaigns of both World War I and World War II.

No. 208 Squadron RAF

No 208 (Reserve) Squadron was a reserve unit of the Royal Air Force, most recently based at RAF Valley, Anglesey, Wales. It operated the BAe Hawk aircraft, as a part of No. 4 Flying Training School. Due to obsolescence of its Hawk T.1 aircraft compared to the new-build Hawk T.2 aircraft of its sister unit, 4(R) Sqn, the squadron was disbanded in April 2016, in its 100th year of operations.

No. 19 Squadron RAF Defunct flying squadron of the Royal Air Force

Number 19 Squadron was a flying squadron of the Royal Air Force.

No. 151 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force.

No. 501 Squadron RAF

No 501 Squadron was the fourteenth of the twenty-one flying units in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, the volunteer reserve part of the British Royal Air Force. The squadron won seven battle honours, flying Hurricane, Spitfire and Tempest fighter aircraft during World War II, and was one of the most heavily engaged units in RAF Fighter Command. In particular, the Squadron saw extensive action during the Battle of France and Battle of Britain. At present the unit is not flying any more and has a logistics role as part of No 85 Expeditionary Logistics Wing.

No. 205 Squadron RAF

No. 205 Squadron was a Royal Air Force unit formed on 1 April 1918. Prior to this it had existed as No. 5 Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). In 1929, it became the first RAF squadron to be permanently based in Singapore, taking as its motto Pertama di Malaya. No. 205 Squadron operated during World War II and the Cold War before disbanding on 31 October 1971.

No. 210 Squadron RAF

No. 210 Squadron was a Royal Air Force unit established in World War I. Disbanded and reformed a number of times in the ensuing years, it operated as a fighter squadron during World War I and as a maritime patrol squadron during the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the Cold War before it was last deactivated in 1971.

No. 158 Squadron RAF was a World War I proposed ground attack squadron that did not became operational in time to see action, and a World War II bomber squadron. After World War II had ended in Europe the squadron operated in the transport role until disbandment in December 1945.

No. 204 Squadron was a Royal Air Force unit first formed in March 1915 as No.4 Squadron Royal Naval Air Service.

No. 540 Squadron RAF was a photoreconnaissance squadron of the Royal Air Force from 1942 to 1956.

No. 79 Squadron RAF unit of the United Kingdom Royal Air Force

No. 79 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force.

No. 80 Squadron RAF

No. 80 Squadron RAF was a Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force squadron active from 1917 until 1969. It was operative during both World War I and World War II.

No. 624 Squadron RAF was at first a special duties squadron of the Royal Air Force during World War II. It was later in the war tasked with mine-spotting, until disbanded at the end of the war.

No. 1457 Flight RAF

No. 1457 (Fighter) Flight was formed at RAF Colerne on 15 September 1941, and was equipped with Turbinlite Douglas Boston and Douglas Havoc aircraft. On operations they cooperated with the Hawker Hurricanes of 247 Squadron. By 15 November 1941 the flight moved to RAF Predannack, Cornwall. During its operational life the flight had three sightings of possible enemy aircraft. The first occasion was on 24 June 1942, when the flight lit up a suspected Ju 88 and the satellite fighters of 247 sqn fired - on a RAF Short Stirling. Others sightings occurred on 27 June and in August, but no enemy aircraft was shot down. The flight was replaced with 536 Squadron on 8 September 1942 but officially disbanded as late as 31 December 1942.

References

Notes

  1. Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1 ed.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p.  91. ISBN   0-7100-9339-X.
  2. 1 2 3 Rawlings 1978, p. 116.
  3. 1 2 "No 41 45 Squadron Histories". RAF Web. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  4. Jefford 2001, p. 42.
  5. Saunders 2003, p. 8.
  6. Halley 1988, p. 97.
  7. Rawlings 1978, p. 117.
  8. "43 Squadron". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  9. Peter Townsend, Duel of Eagles, (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1970), pp 7-8.
  10. Saunders 2003, p. 105
  11. Urquhart, Frank (17 April 2009). "Historic squadron is disbanded – but Fighting Cocks may fly again". The Scotsman . Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  12. "No 43 (Fighter) Squadron Disbanded". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  13. "611 Squadron website" . Retrieved 16 February 2010.

Bibliography

  • Beedle, J. 43 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps – Royal Air Force: The History of the Fighting Cocks, 1916–66. London: Beaumont Aviation Literature, 1966
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1980. ISBN   0-85130-083-9.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN   0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, C.G. RAF Squadrons: A Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and Their Antecedents Since 1912. Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN   1-85310-053-6.
  • Rawlings, John. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and Their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1969 (second edition 1976). ISBN   0-354-01028-X.
  • Saunders, Andy (2003). History of No 43 Squadron, the "Fighting Cocks". Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN   1-84176-439-6.