No. 543 Squadron RAF
|No. 543 Squadron RAF|
|Active||19 October 1942 – 18 October 1943
24 September 1955 – 24 May 1974
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||No. 16 Group, RAF Coastal Command (42–43)
No. 3 Group, RAF Bomber Command (55–68)
No. 1 Group, RAF Strike Command (68–74)
|Motto||Valiant and Vigilant|
|Squadron Badge heraldry||A crane's head, the crane carrying an open padlock, with key, in its beak|
|Squadron Codes||No codes are known to have been carried|
No. 543 Squadron RAF was a photographic reconnaissance squadron of the Royal Air Force, active in two periods between 1942 and 1974.
The squadron was formed on 19 October 1942 at RAF Benson as a photo-reconnaissance unit with the Supermarine Spitfire. A detachment was stationed at RAF St Eval, Cornwall to carry out reconnaissance flights over France. The rest of the squadron carried out operational training. On 18 October 1943 the squadron was disbanded.
On 24 September 1955 the squadron was reformed at RAF Gaydon to operate the Vickers Valiant for reconnaissance duties. It moved to RAF Wyton in November 1955. The squadron re-equipped with the Handley Page Victor in 1965. It was disbanded on 24 May 1974 at RAF Wyton.
|October 1942||October 1943||Supermarine Spitfire||Mks.IV & V|
|November 1942||October 1943||Supermarine Spitfire||Mk.IX|
|June 1943||October 1943||de Havilland Mosquito||PR.IV|
|June 1955||December 1964||Vickers Valiant||B(PR).1|
|February 1956||December 1964||Vickers Valiant||B(PR)K.1|
|May 1965||December 1965||Handley Page Victor||B.1|
|January 1966||May 1974||Handley Page Victor||B.2(SR)|
|October 1942||October 1942||S/Ldr. A.E. Hill, DSO, DFC & Bar|
|October 1942||October 1943||S/Ldr. G.E. Hughes, DFC|
|August 1955||August 1957||W/Cdr. R.E. Havercroft, AFC|
|August 1957||W/Cdr. R. Berry, DSO, OBE, DFC|
|January 1962||December 1963||W/Cdr. B. Hamilton, CBE, DFC AFC|
|W/Cdr. C.G.St.D. Jeffries|
|19 October 1942||18 October 1943||RAF Benson, Oxfordshire||Detachments at RAF St Eval, Cornwall; RAF Mount Farm, Oxfordshire; Grasnaya and Vaenga, Russia|
|1 July 1955||18 November 1955||RAF Gaydon, Warwickshire|
|18 November 1955||23 March 1970||RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire|
|23 March 1970||1 October 1970||RAF Honington, Suffolk|
|1 October 1970||24 May 1974||RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire||Disbanded here|
- Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
- Delve, Ken. The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
- 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. 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, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
- 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.
- 543 Squadron Aircrew Association
- Bases and airfields used on www.rafcommands.com
- Squadron histories for nos. 541–598 sqn on rafweb