No. 28 Squadron RAF
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2008)|
|No. 28 Squadron RAF|
|Active||7 November 1915 – present|
|Role||Battlefield Support Helicopter|
|Garrison/HQ||RAF Benson, Oxfordshire|
Quicquid agas ageLatin: "Whatsoever you may do, do"
|Battle honours||Italian Front and Adriatic 1917–1918, Piave, Vittoria Venito, Waziristan 1921–1925, North-West Frontier 1939, Burma 1942, Arakan 1943–1944, Manipur 1944, Burma 1944–1945.|
|Badge||In front of a demi-Pegasus, a fasces|
World War I
No. 28 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps was formed on 7 November 1915. Initially a training squadron it became a fighter squadron equipped with the Sopwith Camel. After the end of World War I No. 28 was disbanded. It had claimed 136 victories. It numbered eleven flying aces among its ranks, including future Air Vice-Marshal Clifford MacKay McEwen, William George Barker, Harold B. Hudson, James Hart Mitchell, Stanley Stanger, Arthur Cooper, Percy Wilson, Thomas Frederic Williams, and Joseph E. Hallonquist.
Post World War I; World War II
No. 114 Squadron RAF in British India was renumbered as No. 28 and became an Army co-operation squadron. Remaining in Asia, during World War II it flew the Lysander and from December 1942 the Hawker Hurricane fighter-bomber. By 1943 the squadron was operating in Burma until 1945 when it started to re-equip with the Supermarine Spitfire.
Post World War II
After disbandment in 1967, on 1 April 1968 a detachment of No. 103 Squadron RAF took No. 28's numberplate.
The squadron operated the Westland Wessex from 1972. With this helicopter it was based at RAF Sek Kong from 1978 until 1996. The squadron returned to Kai Tak from then until the British withdrawal in June 1997 and was the last RAF squadron to leave the territory.
The RAF ordered 22 Merlin HC3 helicopters in March 1995, the first of which was received from GKNWestland now AgustaWestland on 7 March 2001. The squadron officially reformed on 17 July 2001 at RAF Benson, the first time in its recent history that the squadron had been stationed in the UK.
The squadron's first operational role with the Merlin was in support of SFOR at Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aircraft and personnel deployed on 1 April 2003, the same day that an initial operational capability was declared for the Merlin. The detachment ceased on 31 March 2004 and the squadron then began to prepare for operations in Iraq.
The squadron's commitment to Operation TELIC began on 1 March 2005. Several aircraft and a mix of aircrew, engineers and support personnel from 28 (AC) Squadron and RAF Benson, deployed using the historic No. 1419 Flight RAF to replace the Chinook's of No. 1310 Flight RAF at Basrah Air Station, Iraq. In 2009 the squadron returned from Operation Telic and later on in the year deployed on Operation Herrick keeping the designation of 1419 flight. The Squadron, together with 78 Squadron remain there to this day.
On 3 December 2007 the squadron was broken up to form the RAF Merlin Force which comprises 28 (AC) Squadron, the newly reallocated 78 Squadron and the Merlin Force Engineering Squadron. This followed the additional purchase of six Merlin HC3A from Denmark via AgustaWestland. The commensurate increase in aircrew and engineering personnel would have made a single Merlin squadron too unwieldy.
The squadron now consists of an HQ Flight, two Operational Flights and the Merlin Operational Conversion Flight. The current Squadron Commander is Wing Commander Jason Appleton RAF.
Other aircraft operated
- 1951 – De Havilland Vampire
- 1956 – De Havilland Venom
- 1962 – Hawker Hunter
- 1968 – Westland Whirlwind
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