No. 201 Squadron RAF

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No. 201 Squadron RAF
201 Squadron RAF.jpg
Official Squadron crest for No. 201 Squadron RAF
Active 17 Oct 1914 (RNAS) – 21 Jun 1915
6 Dec 1916 – 1 Apr 1918
1 Apr 1918 (RAF) – 31 Dec 1919
1 Jan 1929 – 28 Feb 1957
1 Oct 1958 – 26 May 2011
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Motto Latin: Hic et ubique
("Here and everywhere")[1][2]
Battle honours Western Front 1915–1918*
Arras*
Ypres, 1917*
Somme, 1918*
Amiens
Hindenburg Line
Channel & North Sea, 1939–1945
Norway, 1940*
Atlantic, 1941–1945*
Bismarck*
Biscay, 1941 1945
Normandy, 1944*
South Atlantic, 1982
Gulf, 1991
Iraq, 2003
Honours marked with an asterisk(*) are those emblazoned on the Squadron Standard
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Roderic Dallas
Robert Marsland Groves
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry A seagull, wings elevated and addorsed[1][2]
Squadron codes VQ (Apr 1939 – Sep 1939)[3][4]
ZM (Sep 1939 – Aug 1943)[5][6]
1 (Nov 1943 – Mar 1944)[7]
NS (Jul 1944 – Apr 1951)[8][9]
A (Apr 1951 – Feb 1957)[10][11]

No. 201 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, until March 2010, operated the Nimrod MR2, based at RAF Kinloss, Moray. It is the only squadron affiliated with Guernsey, in the Channel Islands. This affiliation started in 1935 and is commemorated in the museum on Castle Cornet. Its history goes even further back than the RAF itself, being formed originally as No. 1 Squadron RNAS on 17 Oct 1914.

History[edit]

Formation and World War I[edit]

Personnel of No 1 Squadron RNAS in late 1914

Despite its high squadron number, 201 Squadron is one of the oldest squadrons in the RAF. It was formed as No. 1 Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) on 17 October 1914, and reformed on under that designation on 6 December 1916,[12] only being renumbered to 201 Squadron on the formation of the RAF on 1 April 1918 – all the RNAS squadrons getting new numbers by adding 200 to their original number.[2] It started out as a reconnaissance unit, but was soon flying fighter aircraft. A VC was won by a member of No. 1 Squadron RNAS when on 7 June 1915 Sub-Lieutenant R.A.J. Warneford shot down Zeppelin LZ.37. After the war the squadron was disbanded at RAF Eastleigh on 31 December 1919.[2][12] Eighteen flying aces served in the squadron during the course of the war, including such notables as Samuel Kinkead, Stanley Wallace Rosevear, Richard Minifie, Roderic Dallas, George Gates, Reginald Brading, Maxwell Findlay, Cyril Ridley, Thomas Gerrard, James Henry Forman, Charles Dawson Booker, Thomas Culling, future Air Vice-Marshal F. H. Maynard, Robert McLaughlin, and Hazel Wallace.[13]

R.A.J. Warneford, V.C. standing in front of a Maurice Farman Shorthorn.

Flying boat squadron[edit]

The squadron was reformed at RAF Calshot on 1 January 1929 by expanding no. 480 Flight, a Supermarine Southampton flying boat unit. In April 1936 the Southamptons gave way to the Saro London, which the squadron still had on strength when World War II broke out. Supermarine Stranraers flew shortly with the squadron in 1939, but by April 1940 the squadron was operational on the Short Sunderland, which would remain the squadron equipment for almost seventeen years up till 28 February 1957, when the squadron was disbanded at RAF Pembroke Dock.[2][12][14]

Shackletons and Nimrods[edit]

The squadron was reformed at RAF St. Mawgan, when No. 220 Squadron RAF was renumbered to 201 Squadron. The squadron flew the next twelve years with the Avro Shackleton MR.3, a version that used a tricycle undercarriage as opposed to the earlier tailwheel variants. Following the Shackleton's retirement, the squadron converted to Nimrods in October 1970.[2][12][14][15] The squadron was active for over a decade in the Gulf region, in support of both Gulf War 1 and 2 and more recently the conflict in Afghanistan. Until March 2010, the squadron was also on active duty in the UK and maintained continuous 24 hour/365 day search and rescue standby, shared with the sister 120 Squadron, both flying from RAF Kinloss. The Nimrod MR2 was withdrawn in March 2010,[15] and the squadron was formally disbanded on 26 May 2011.[16] It had been preparing to operate the Nimrod MRA4 but this aircraft was cancelled under the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.



Notable squadron members[edit]

Aircraft operated[edit]

Monument made from an aircraft propellor in St Nicholas' parish church, Piddington, Oxfordshire, to Lt. Richard Stone, a 201 Squadron Sopwith Camel pilot killed in action in France on 9 August 1918
Aircraft operated by no. 201 Squadron RAF, data from[12][14][17][18]
From To Aircraft Variant
Oct 1914 Feb 1915 Various
Dec 1916 Jan 1917 Nieuport 17
Dec 1916 Dec 1917 Sopwith Triplane
Dec 1917 Feb 1919 Sopwith Camel
Oct 1918 Oct 1918 Sopwith Snipe
Jan 1929 Dec 1936 Supermarine Southampton Mk.II
Apr 1936 Jun 1938 Saro London Mk.I
Jan 1938 Apr 1940 Saro London Mk.II
Apr 1940 Jan 1942 Short Sunderland Mk.I
May 1941 Mar 1944 Short Sunderland Mk.II
Jan 1942 Jun 1945 Short Sunderland Mk.III
Feb 1945 Feb 1957 Short Sunderland Mk.V
Mar 1946 Apr 1946 Short Seaford Mk.I
Oct 1958 Dec 1970 Avro Shackleton MR.3
Oct 1970 Feb 1983 Hawker-Siddeley Nimrod MR.1
Jan 1982 Mar 2010 BAe Nimrod MR.2

Squadron bases[edit]

Entrance to the No. 201 Squadron RAF museum at Castle Cornet, Saint Peter Port, Guernsey
From To Base
6 Dec 1916 15 Feb 1917 Furnes, Belgium
15 Feb 1917 11 Apr 1917 Chipilly, France
11 Apr 1917 1 Jun 1917 La Belle-vue, France
1 Jun 1917 2 Nov 1917 Bailleul, France
2 Nov 1917 10 Dec 1917 Middle Aerodrome
10 Dec 1917 16 Feb 1918 Dover, Kent
16 Feb 1918 27 Mar 1918 Téteghem, France
27 Mar 1918 28 Mar 1918 Sainte-Marie-Cappel, France
28 Mar 1918 12 Apr 1918 Fienvillers, France
12 Apr 1918 20 Jul 1918 Nœux-lès-Auxi, France
20 Jul 1918 6 Aug 1918 Sainte-Marie-Cappel, France
6 Aug 1918 14 Aug 1918 Poulainville, France
14 Aug 1918 19 Sep 1918 Nœux-lès-Auxi, France
19 Sep 1918 14 Oct 1918 Baizieux, France
14 Oct 1918 27 Oct 1918 Beugnâtre, France
27 Oct 1918 22 Nov 1918 La Targette, France
22 Nov 1918 5 Feb 1919 Béthencourt, France
15 Feb 1919 2 Sep 1919 RAF Lake Down, Wiltshire
2 Sep 1919 31 Dec 1919 RAF Eastleigh, Hampshire
1 Jan 1929 29 Sep 1938 RAF Calshot, Hampshire
29 Sep 1938 7 Oct 1938 RAF Invergordon, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
7 oct 1938 9 Aug 1939 RAF Calshot, Hampshire
9 Aug 1939 6 Nov 1939 RAF Sullom Voe, Shetland, Scotland
6 Nov 1939 26 May 1940 RAF Invergordon, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
26 May 1940 9 Oct 1941 RAF Sullom Voe, Shetland, Scotland
9 Oct 1941 8 Apr 1944 Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
8 Apr 1944 3 Nov 1944 RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
3 Nov 1944 2 Aug 1945 RAF Castle Archdale, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
2 Aug 1945 1 Apr 1946 RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
1 Apr 1946 18 Jan 1949 RAF Calshot, Hampshire (Det. at Finkenwerder, West-Germany)
18 Jan 1949 28 Feb 1957 RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
1 Oct 1958 1 Jul 1965 RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall
1 Jul 1965 Present RAF Kinloss, Moray, Scotland

[12][14][17][18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rawlings 1982, p. 128.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Halley 1988, pp. 259–260.
  3. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 13.
  4. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 52.
  5. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 121.
  6. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 123.
  7. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 128.
  8. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 77.
  9. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, pp. 94 and 154.
  10. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 126
  11. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 192.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Jefford 2001, p. 70.
  13. ^ The Aerodrome Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  14. ^ a b c d Rawlings 1982, p. 129.
  15. ^ a b Hastings, David. "BAE System Nimrod: Squadron Service". Target Lock. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "Squadron Disbandment Parade". www.raf.mod.uk. Royal Air Force. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Halley 1971, p. 43.
  18. ^ a b Halley 1988, p. 260.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Ashworth, Chris. Encyclopedia of Modern Royal Air Force Squadrons. Wellingborough, UK: Patrick Stevens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-013-6.
  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • Halley, James J. Famous Maritime Squadrons of the RAF, Volume 1. Windsor, Berkshire, UK: Hylton Lacy Publishers Ltd., 1973. ISBN 0-85064-101-2.
  • 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, Wing Commander C.G., MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Lewis, Peter. Squadron Histories: R.F.C, R.N.A.S and R.A.F., 1912–59. London: Putnam, 1959.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (new edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.

External links[edit]