No. 600 Squadron RAF

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No. 600 (City of London) Squadron RAuxAF
Active 14 October 1925 – 21 August 1945
10 May 1946 – 10 March 1957
1 October 1999 – present
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Part of Royal Auxiliary Air Force
Garrison/HQ RAF Northolt, London
Nickname City of London
Motto Latin: Praeter sescentos
(Translation: "More than six hundred")[1][2]
Post 1950 Squadron markings RAF 600 sqn.svg
Battle honours France and Low Countries, 1940*
Battle of Britain, 1940*
Home defence, 1940–42*
North Africa, 1942–43*
Sicily, 1943*
Italy, 1943–45*
Salerno*
Anzio & Nettuno*
Gustav Line
Gothic Line
The honours marked with an asterix* are those emblazoned on the Squadron Standard
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry No 600 is the only squadron in the RAF to have two official badges[3]
In front of an increscent, a sword on bend[2][4]
The crescent moon represents thesquadron's night-fighter activities whilst the sword commemorates the connection with the city of London[1]
The City of London arms, overflown by an eagle
Also known as 'the dust-cart crest'[5]
Squadron Codes MV (Jan 1939 – Sep 1939)[6][7]
BQ (Sep 1939 – Aug 1943)[8][9]
6 (Aug 1943 – Jul 1944)[10]
RAG (May 1946 – 1949)[11][12]
LJ (1949 – Apr 1951)[13]

No. 600 (City of London) Squadron RAuxAF is a squadron of the RAF Reserves. It was formed in 1925 and operated as a night fighter squadron during the Second World War with great distinction. After the war, 600 Squadron went on to operate jet fighters until 1957. Reactivated in 1999, 600 Squadron is the only RAF Reserve unit within the M25. It is a Headquarters Support Squadron and provides trained part-time reservists to support RAF operations around the world.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

No. 600 (City of London) Squadron RAuxAF was formed at RAF Northolt on 14 October 1925 as a unit of the Auxiliary Air Force,[4] equipped with Avro 504 trainers and Airco DH.9A day bombers.[14] It moved to RAF Hendon at the end of 1926, replacing its DH.9As, veterans of the First World War, with more modern Westland Wapitis in 1929.[15] It was designated a fighter squadron in July 1934. On the outbreak of war day and night patrols were flown, experiments with airborne radar beginning in December 1939. When the Germans invaded Holland, the squadron flew patrols over the Low Countries but in view of the inadequacy of Blenheims for daylight operations, 600 Sqn was allocated to night defence only a few days later.

In World War II[edit]

In September 1940 the first Bristol Beaufighter was received, conversion being completed early in 1941. In October 1940 the squadron moved to Yorkshire and in March 1941 to south-west England, where it remained until September 1942. In November 1942, 600 Sqn moved to North Africa to provide night cover for Allied bases and shipping. It was transferred to Malta in June 1943, and in September, to Italy where it spent the rest of the war on night defence and intruder missions. Re-equipment with Mosquitoes began in January 1945 and on 21 August 1945 the squadron disbanded, having become the highest scoring night fighter squadron in the RAF.[16]

Post-war[edit]

On 10 May 1946, 600 Sqn reformed at RAF Biggin Hill, as a day fighter squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force with Spitfires. It began to recruit during June and received its first operational aircraft in October. After receiving a De Havilland Vampire in October 1949 for jet conversion, it was allotted Meteors in March 1950 and flew these until the Royal Auxiliary Air Force disbanded on 10 March 1957.

Present[edit]

Reforming on 1 October 1999 at RAF Northolt from No. 1 and No. 3 Maritime Headquarters Units, 600 Squadron is now a Headquarters Support Squadron of the RAuxAF, tasked to provide manpower to RAF static and mobile HQ's at home and overseas. Currently 5 "Operational" Flights exist, these being Operations, Intelligence, Communications, Administration and Logistics. Squadron personnel have deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf States and into positions within the UK.

In 2007 the Corporation of the City of London granted 600 Squadron "Privileged Regiment Status", an ancient honour granted to only 8 military formations in the history of the City. 600 Squadron is regularly involved in ceremonial events in London and in November 2007 provided a Guard of Honour to the Lord Mayor on his return to the Mansion House after taking the oath of allegiance at the Royal Courts of justice.

600 (City of London) Squadron RAuxAF actively seeks to recruit and train motivated men and women who live within a 50 mile radius of RAF Northolt, with or without prior armed forces experience, and who have an interest in supporting the RAF in their spare-time. Further information can be found on the RAF Reserves website.

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft operated by no. 600 Squadron RAF, data from[2][17][18][19]
From To Aircraft Version
October 1925 October 1929 Avro 504 K
October 1925 October 1929 De Havilland DH9 A
August 1929 January 1935 Westland Wapiti Mk.IIa
August 1929 January 1935 Avro Tutor
January 1935 May 1937 Hawker Hart
February 1937 April 1939 Hawker Demon
January 1939 October 1941 Bristol Blenheim Mk.If
November 1939 June 1940 Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV
September 1940 June 1941 Bristol Beaufighter Mk.If
April 1941 April 1942 Bristol Beaufighter Mk.IIf
March 1942 February 1945 Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIf
December 1944 August 1945 de Havilland Mosquito Mk.XIX
October 1946 November 1947 Supermarine Spitfire F.14e
April 1947 November 1950 Supermarine Spitfire F.21
September 1948 March 1950 Supermarine Spitfire F.22
March 1950 April 1952 Gloster Meteor F.4
November 1951 March 1957 Gloster Meteor F.8

Commanding officers[edit]

Officers commanding no. 600 Squadron RAF, data from[20][21]
From To Name
October 1925 1926 W/Cdr. A.W.H. James, MC
1926 1931 S/Ldr. the Hon. F.E. Guest
1931 July 1934 S/Ldr. S.B. Collett
July 1934 June 1937 S/Ldr. P.G. Stewart
June 1937[22] December 1939 S/Ldr. G.L.S. Dawson – Damer, the Viscount Carlow
December 1939 May 1940 S/Ldr. J.M. Wells
May 1940 September 1940 F/Lt. de B. Clarke
September 1940 November 1940 S/Ldr. H.L. Maxwell, DSO
November 1940 January 1941 S/Ldr. C.A. Pritchard[23]
January 1941 December 1941 W/Cdr. G. Stainforth, AFC
December 1941 May 1942 W/Cdr. H.M. Pearson, DFC
May 1942 November 1942 W/Cdr. A.G. Miller, DFC, Order of Lenin
November 1942 December 1942 W/Cdr. J.R. Watson
December 1942 March 1944 W/Cdr. C.P. Green, DSO, DFC
March 1944 December 1944 W/Cdr. L.H. Styles, DFC
December 1944 August 1945 W/Cdr. A.H. Drummond
July 1946 July 1948 S/Ldr. T.N. Hayes, DFC
July 1948 August 1950 S/Ldr. D.E. Proudlove
August 1950 October 1953 S/Ldr. J.P. Meadows, DFC, AFC
October 1953 March 1957 S/Ldr. J. McCormack, AFC

Squadron bases[edit]

Bases and airfields used by no. 600 Squadron RAF, data from[2][17][24][25]
From To Base Remark
14 October 1925 18 January 1927 RAF Northolt, Middlesex
18 January 1927 1 October 1938 RAF Hendon, Middlesex
1 October 1938 3 October 1938 RAF Kenley, Surrey
3 October 1938 25 August 1939 RAF Hendon, Middlesex
25 August 1939 2 October 1939 RAF Northolt, Middlesex
2 October 1939 16 October 1939 RAF Hornchurch, Essex Det. at RAF Manston, Kent
16 October 1939 20 October 1939 RAF Rochford, Essex
20 October 1939 27 December 1939 RAF Hornchurch, Essex
27 December 1939 16 May 1940 RAF Manston, Kent
16 May 1940 20 June 1940 RAF Northolt, Middlesex
20 June 1940 22 August 1940 RAF Manston, Kent
22 August 1940 12 September 1940 RAF Hornchurch, Essex
12 September 1940 12 October 1940 RAF Redhill, Surrey
12 October 1940 14 March 1941 RAF Catterick, North Yorkshire Dets. at RAF Drem, East Lothian, Scotland; RAF Acklington, Northumberland and RAF Prestwick, Ayrshire
14 March 1941 27 April 1941 RAF Drem, East Lothian, Scotland Det. at RAF Prestwick, Ayrshire
27 April 1941 18 June 1941 RAF Colerne, Wiltshire
18 June 1941 27 June 1941 RAF Fairwood Common, Gower, Wales Det. at RAF Predannack, Cornwall
27 June 1941 6 October 1941 RAF Colerne, Wiltshire Det. at RAF Predannack, Cornwall
6 October 1941 2 September 1942 RAF Predannack, Cornwall
2 September 1942 14 November 1942 RAF Church Fenton, North Yorkshire
14 November 1942 18 November 1942 RAF Portreath, Cornwall
18 November 1942 7 December 1942 RAF Blida, Algeria
7 December 1942 3 January 1943 RAF Maison Blanche, Algeria
3 January 1943 25 June 1943 Setif, Algeria Dets. at Souk-el-Khemis; 'Paddington'. Tunisia; Bone, Tunisia; Tingley, Algeria and Monastir, Tunisia
25 June 1943 26 July 1943 RAF Luqa, Malta
26 July 1943 30 September 1943 Cassibile (Sicily), Italy
30 September 1943 2 February 1944 Montecorvino Airfield, Italy Dets. at Brindisi, Tortorella, Gaudo and Lago, all Italy
2 February 1944 22 March 1944 Marcianise, Italy
22 March 1944 1 April 1944 Pomigliano, Italy
1 April 1944 13 June 1944 Marcianise, Italy
13 June 1944 19 June 1944 La Banca, Italy
19 June 1944 5 July 1944 Voltone, Italy
5 July 1944 29 July 1944 Follonica, Italy
29 July 1944 25 August 1944 Rosignano, Italy Det. at Falconara, Italy
25 August 1944 15 December 1944 Falconara, Italy Dets. at Rosignano, Iesi and Bellaria, all in Italy
15 December 1944 24 May 1945 Cesenatico, Italy
24 May 1945 26 July 1945 Campoformido, Italy
26 July 1945 21 August 1945 Aviano, Italy
10 May 1946 10 March 1957 RAF Biggin Hill

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rawlings 1978, p. 468.
  2. ^ a b c d Halley 1988, p. 416.
  3. ^ :http://www.rafweb.org/Sqn600-604.htm
  4. ^ a b RAF-600 Squadron. Royal Air Force. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
  5. ^ Hunt 1972, p. 66.
  6. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 14.
  7. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 50.
  8. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 23.
  9. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 65.
  10. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 55.
  11. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 138.
  12. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 184.
  13. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 153.
  14. ^ Yoxall 1949, p. 579.
  15. ^ Yoxall 1949, p. 580.
  16. ^ No. 600 (City of London) Squadron RAuxAF. Royal Air Force Reserves. Royal Air Force. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
  17. ^ a b Jefford 2001, p. 99.
  18. ^ Onderwater 1997, p. 424.
  19. ^ Rawlings 1978, pp. 470–472.
  20. ^ Onderwater 1997, p. 423.
  21. ^ Rawlings 1978, p. 472.
  22. ^ Hunt 1972, p. 46.
  23. ^ Hunt 1972, p. 52.
  24. ^ Onderwater 1997, p. 425.
  25. ^ Rawlings 1978, pp. 469–470.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1981–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Hunt, Leslie. Twenty-one Squadrons: History of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 1925–57. London: Garnstone Press, 1972. ISBN 0-85511-110-0. (New edition in 1992 by Crécy Publishing, ISBN 0-947554-26-2.)
  • 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, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Onderwater, Hans. Gentlemen in Blue: the History of No. 600 (City of London) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force and No. 600 (City of London) Squadron Association, 1925–1995. London: Pen & Sword Books Ltd, 1997. ISBN 0-85052-575-6.
  • 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.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1978. ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
  • Robinson, Anthony. RAF Squadrons in the Battle of Britain. London: Arms and Armour Press Ltd., 1987 (republished 1999 by Brockhampton Press, ISBN 1-86019-907-0.).
  • Yoxall, John "The Queen's Squadron: A History of No. 600 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force". Flight, 3 November 1949. pp. 585–592.

External links[edit]