No. 92 Squadron RAF

Last updated

No. 92 (East India) Squadron RAF
92 Squadron RAF badge.png
Active1 September 1917 – 1 April 1918 (RFC)
1 April 1918 – 7 August 1919 (RAF)
10 October 1939 – 30 December 1946
31 January 1947 – 31 March 1977
1 April 1977 – 1 July 1991
23 September 1992 – 1 October 1994
30 June 2009 – present
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
TypeNon-flying squadron
RoleTactics and training squadron
Part of Air Warfare Centre
Home station RAF Waddington
Motto(s)Aut pugna aut morere
(Latin  for Either fight or die) [1]
Battle honours * Honours marked with an asterisk may be emblazoned on the Squadron Standard
Insignia
Squadron badge heraldryA cobra entwining a sprig of maple leaf. The maple leaf signifies the squadron's association as a Canadian unit in the First World War whilst the cobra represents that the squadron was one of the East India gift squadrons during the Second World War. [2] Awarded by King George VI in January 1942. [3]
Post-1950 squadron roundel RAF 92 Sqn.svg
Squadron codesGR (Apr 1939 – Sep 1939; Oct 1939 – May 1940)
QJ (May 1940 – Dec 1946)
DL (Jan 1947 – Sep 1950)
(formerly No. 91 Sqn)
8L (Sep 1950 – Apr 1951)

Number 92 Squadron, also known as No. 92 (East India) Squadron and currently as No. 92 Tactics and Training Squadron, of the Royal Air Force is a test and evaluation squadron based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. It was formed as part of the Royal Flying Corps at London Colney as a fighter squadron on 1 September 1917. It deployed to France in July 1918 and saw action for just four months, until the end of the war. During the conflict it flew both air superiority and direct ground support missions. It was disbanded at Eil on 7 August 1919. Reformed on 10 October 1939, the unit was supposed to be equipped with medium bombers but in the spring of 1940 it became one of the first RAF units to receive the Supermarine Spitfire, going on to fight in the Battle of Britain.

Contents

Reformed after the war in January 1947, No. 92 (Fighter) Squadron was assigned to RAF Fighter Command flying the Gloster Meteor F.3. Between 1961 and 1962, No. 92 (F) Squadron was the RAF's official aerobatic team, flying 16 Hawker Hunter F.6s known as the Blue Diamonds. In December 1965, the squadron was reassigned to RAF Germany alongside No. 19 (F) Squadron, flying the English Electric Lightning F.2/F.2A and from January 1977, the McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2. Disbanded in July 1991, the Squadron was reformed as No. 92 (Reserve) Squadron at RAF Chivenor flying the British Aerospace Hawk until October 1994. No. 92 Squadron then lay dormant for the next 14 years before being reformed at Royal Air Force College Cranwell on 30 June 2009.

Operational history

Serny, France, November 1918. A score board recording the claims for enemy aircraft destroyed by No. 80 Wing from July-November 1918. The squadrons listed are: No. 92 Squadron, No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), No. 88 Squadron, No. 2 Squadron AFC, No. 103 Squadron, No. 46 Squadron, and No. 54 Squadron. The other columns are headed "In Flames", "Crashed", "O.O.C." (Out of Control), "Driven Down" and "Balloons Destroyed"." AWM P02163.016.jpg
Serny, France, November 1918. A score board recording the claims for enemy aircraft destroyed by No. 80 Wing from July–November 1918. The squadrons listed are: No. 92 Squadron, No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), No. 88 Squadron, No. 2 Squadron AFC, No. 103 Squadron, No. 46 Squadron, and No. 54 Squadron. The other columns are headed "In Flames", "Crashed", "O.O.C." (Out of Control), "Driven Down" and "Balloons Destroyed"."

First World War

No. 92 Squadron was established as part of the Royal Flying Corps at London Colney on 1 September 1917, working up as a scout squadron with Sopwith Pups, SPAD S.VIIs, and Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5as. [2] The Squadron became part of the Royal Air Force on its formation on 1 April 1918. Standardising on SE.5as, the squadron went to France in July 1918, at first operating in the Dunkirk area. It was then moved to Serny in August 1918, where it began scoring victories. During the Somme Offensive of 1918 the squadron was heavily involved, and continued to operate over the Western Front until the Armistice. It was disbanded on 7 August 1919, while stationed at Eil with the Army of Occupation. It had claimed a total of 38 victories during its World War I service. Eight aces had served in the squadron, including Oren Rose, Thomas Stanley Horry, William Reed, Earl Frederick Crabb, future Air Chief Marshal James Robb, Evander Shapard, Herbert Good, and future Air Marshal Arthur Coningham. [4]

Second World War

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb R6923 of No. 92 Squadron in 1941. Spitfire VB 92 Sqn top view c1941.jpg
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb R6923 of No. 92 Squadron in 1941.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, No. 92 Squadron reformed on 10 October 1939 at RAF Tangmere, West Sussex. [5] Initially it flew Bristol Blenheim Mk.IFs but in March 1940 they were replaced by the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I, which became operational on 9 May. [6] No. 92 Squadron first saw action over the Dunkirk evacuation beaches flying from RAF Croydon. [7] During the latter stages of the Battle of Britain No. 92 Squadron flew from RAF Biggin Hill. [8]

Officers and guests celebrating the first anniversary of the arrival of No. 92 Squadron RAF at RAF Biggin Hill, September 1941. The group includes, in the front row, (left to right): Wing Commander John A. Kent (Kentowski), Flight Lieutenant Anthony Bartley, Mrs Wade, Flight Lieutenant Robert Holland, Pilot Officer Trevor Wade and two unidentified ladies. And in the back - Pilot Officer Sebastian Maitland-Thompson, Flying Officer Tom Weiss (Intelligence Officer) and Flying Officer Geoffrey Wellum. 91SquadronBigginHillSep41.jpg
Officers and guests celebrating the first anniversary of the arrival of No. 92 Squadron RAF at RAF Biggin Hill, September 1941. The group includes, in the front row, (left to right): Wing Commander John A. Kent (Kentowski), Flight Lieutenant Anthony Bartley, Mrs Wade, Flight Lieutenant Robert Holland, Pilot Officer Trevor Wade and two unidentified ladies. And in the back - Pilot Officer Sebastian Maitland-Thompson, Flying Officer Tom Weiss (Intelligence Officer) and Flying Officer Geoffrey Wellum.

In February 1942, the Squadron was posted to Egypt to join Air Headquarters Western Desert to support the Allies on the ground. Personnel arrived in Egypt in April but no aircraft were available. Some pilots flew operations with Hawker Hurricanes of No. 80 Squadron. Spitfires finally arrived in August and the squadron commenced operations from RAF Heliopolis over the El Alamein sector, and then with their Spitfire Vs at Landing Ground 173 in the Western Desert. No. 92 Squadron provided air cover at the Battle of El Alamein and on 18 April 1943, 11 Spitfires from the squadron flew top cover at the Palm Sunday Massacre during which approximately 75 axis aircraft were disabled or destroyed. [9] Following the Allied victory in North Africa, the Squadron moved to Malta in June. It went on to provide air cover for the 8th Army during the campaigns in Sicily and Italy, arriving on Italian soil on 14 September 1943. No. 92 Squadron then followed the armies up the Italian coast as part of No. 244 Wing and No. 211 (Offensive Fighter) Group. During World War II the Squadron claimed the highest number of victories scored, 317, in the RAF. [10]

Cold War

No. 92 (F) Squadron Canadair Sabre F.4 XD769 in 1955 wearing the squadron's red and yellow check markings on its fuselage Canadair Sabre F.4 XD769 J.92 Hooton Park 24.07.55 edited-2.jpg
No. 92 (F) Squadron Canadair Sabre F.4 XD769 in 1955 wearing the squadron's red and yellow check markings on its fuselage
Hawker Hunter F.6 XG189 of No. 92 (F) Squadron's "Blue Diamonds" aerobatic team in 1962. Hawker Hunter F.6 XG189 92 Sqn SCUL 19.05.62 edited-3.jpg
Hawker Hunter F.6 XG189 of No. 92 (F) Squadron's "Blue Diamonds" aerobatic team in 1962.

Following the cessation of hostilities, No. 92 Squadron was disbanded at Zeltweg in Austria on 30 December 1946. No. 91 Squadron was disbanded on 31 January 1947 at RAF Acklington and re-numbered as No. 92 (Fighter) Squadron as part of RAF Fighter Command with the Gloster Meteor F.3. The Squadron relocated to RAF Duxford on 15 February 1947 before moving onto RAF Linton-on-Ouse in October 1949. [11] It went on a goodwill tour of Scandinavia in 1949. Subsequently, equipped with the Meteor F.8, it received the Canadair Sabre F.4 in February 1954, becoming part of the only Sabre wing in Fighter Command alongside No. 66 Squadron, before getting the Hawker Hunter F.4 in April 1956 while based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Throughout this period, No. 92 (F) Squadron was also based at RAF Middleton St. George, RAF Thornaby and RAF Leconfield. [11]

In 1961, No. 92 (F) Squadron, under the command of Sqn. Ldr. Brian Mercer, was chosen as Fighter Command's official aerobatic squadron – the RAF Aerobatic Display Team, taking over from "Treble One"'s Black Arrows. Originally forming in 1960, the team was initially called the Falcons before later adopting the name the Blue Diamonds under which they operated 16 bright blue painted Hawker Hunter F.6s. [12] No. 92 (F) Squadron thrilled the crowds with its precision display including looping a formation of 18 aircraft, only four fewer than the world record 22 Hawker Hunters looped by the Black Arrows of No. 111 (F) Squadron at the Farnborough Airshow in September 1958. [13] When they re-equipped with the English Electric Lightning F.2 from April 1963 onward they continued to perform with these. [14]

In December 1965, along with No. 19 (F) Squadron they were reallocated to RAF Germany initially at RAF Geilenkirchen, moving to join No. 19 (F) Squadron at RAF Gütersloh. They remained at RAF Gütersloh from January 1968 until the Squadron disbanded on 31 March 1977. [15]

In January 1977, No. 92 (Designate) Squadron had begun training as a McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2 air defence unit at RAF Wildenrath and on 1 April this unit formally adopted the No. 92 (F) numberplate. [16] On 17 August 1990, Phantoms from No. 92 (F) Squadron and No. 19 (F) Squadron were sent to RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, to provide air defence due to the deployment of No. V (AC) Squadron and No. 29 (F) Squadron from Akrotiri to Dhahran Airfield after the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait. [17] Due to the rundown of RAF Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall the Squadron disbanded on 1 July 1991. [16]

Hawks to the Air Warfare Centre

On 23 September 1992, No. 151 (Reserve) Squadron was renumbered No. 92 (Reserve) Squadron at RAF Chivenor as part of No. 7 Flying Training School (FTS) for weapons training, flying the British Aerospace Hawk T.1. With the transfer of No. 7 FTS weapons training role to No. 4 FTS at RAF Valley, No. 92 (R) Squadron was disbanded on 1 October 1994. [11] [18]

In November 2008, it was announced that the Tactics and Training Wing of the Air Warfare Centre was to become No. 92 (Reserve) Tactics and Training Squadron. The Squadron officially stood up after 14 years on 30 June 2009 at the College Hall at RAFC Cranwell. [16] On 1 February 2018, the Royal Air Force rescinded all (Reserve) nameplates changing No. 92 (Reserve) Tactics and Training Squadron to No. 92 Tactics and Training Squadron. [19]

Aircraft operated

Aces

Honours

In 1950 the Battle of Britain class steam locomotive No. 34081 was named "92 Squadron". This locomotive was saved from the scrapyard in 1976 and is now owned and operated by The Battle of Britain Locomotive Society [23] and having been based on the North Norfolk Railway [24] in recent years, has returned to the Nene Valley Railway – where it was originally restored – pending a major overhaul and a return to traffic following the expiration of its boiler ticket in mid-2008. The locomotive returned to steam again in December 2016. [25]

See also

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References

  1. Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1 ed.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p.  20. ISBN   0-7100-9339-X.
  2. 1 2 Rawlings 1978, p. 219.
  3. "92 Sqn". RAF Heraldry Trust. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  4. "92 Squadron". The Aerodrome. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  5. "No. 92 Squadron (RAF): Second World War". History of War. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  6. "History of RAF 92 Squadron". 92 (Chorley) Squadron Air Cadets. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  7. "MK1 Supermarine Spitfire to be sold to benefit RAF Veterans and Wildlife Charity". 13 May 2015.
  8. "Squadron Leader John Pattison". The Telegraph. 29 September 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  9. The Palm Sunday Massacre
  10. Rawlings 1978, p. 220.
  11. 1 2 3 "No 92 (East India) Squadron". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  12. "Blue Diamonds". Aerobatic Teams. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  13. "display team - 1958 - 1- - 0383 - Flight Archive".
  14. Derry & Robinson, p. 62
  15. Derry & Robinson, p. 16
  16. 1 2 3 "92 Squadron". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  17. "THE HISTORY OF RAF AKROTIRI 1955 - 2005". RAF Akrotiri. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  18. "No.92 Squadron". Royal Air Force Museum. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  19. "RAF Drops 'Reserve' Suffix from its Squadrons". Warnsey's World of Military Aviation. 17 March 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 "No 92 Squadron". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  21. Laurent, PARRA. "PIETRASIAK Adolf".
  22. "SIGNATURES".
  23. "Battle of Britain Locomotive Society".
  24. North Norfolk Railway – Home
  25. "92 Squadron flies again". Steam Railway. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2019.

Bibliography