No. 622 Squadron RAF
|No. 622 Squadron RAF|
|Active||10 Aug 1943 – 15 Aug 1945
15 Dec 1950 – 30 Sep 1953
1 Oct 2012–present
|Branch||Royal Auxiliary Air Force|
|Base||RAF Brize Norton|
|Motto(s)||Latin: Bellamus Noctu
("We wage war by night")
|Sqn. Ldr. Bob Mason|
|Squadron Badge heraldry||A long-eared owl volant affrontée, carrying in the claws a flash of lightning|
|Squadron Codes||GI (Aug 1943 – Apr 1945)|
No. 622 Squadron RAF is a reserve aircrew squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. During World War II, it operated as a bomber squadron of the Royal Air Force. Post-war it served shortly as a transport squadron in the RAuxAF.
World War II
No. 622 Squadron was first formed at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk on 10 August 1943, equipped with Stirling Mk.III bombers, as part of 3 Group in Bomber Command. It re-equipped with Lancaster Mk.III bombers in December, after briefly operating Lancaster Mk.Is that month. It operated in Bomber Command's Main Force as part of No 3 Group until April 1945 when it moved to humanitarian duties dropping food to the Dutch (Operation Manna), repatriating POWs (Operation Exodus) and ferrying troops home from Italy. The Squadron was disbanded at Mildenhall on 15 August 1945.
1950 to 1953
Unlike many of its contemporaries 622 Squadron was reformed post-war as a Royal Auxiliary Air Force transport squadron at RAF Blackbushe on 15 December 1950. It now operated Valettas and consisted of a nucleus of regular pilots and Radio Officers drawn from local firm Airwork Ltd. This proved to be a success, and the squadron operated in the Suez conflict. The squadron disbanded again on 30 September 1953 due to costing. The C/O was the famous Wing Commander Bob McIntosh (All weather Mac) who was, previous to this, the Chief Pilot of Airwork Ltd. The crews had two weeks a year extra training at RAF Dishforth where two of its Radio Officers,P/O Abrahams and P/O Jellett achieved the rare RAF VIP standard.
Originally formed as 1359 Flight RAF, it was attached to a Hercules OCU (Operational Conversion Unit), based at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire in 1994 for a 3-year trial period. After the success of the trial, its role expanded over the years to provide aircrews to all air transport and air-to-air refuelling aircraft of the RAF. It moved to RAF Brize Norton in 2011. On 1 October 2012, in recognition of its continued work with the main squadrons, the flight was authorised by the Standing Committee of the Royal Air Force to be rebadged as 622 (Reserve Aircrew) Squadron.
According to its website, the mission statement is as follows:
|“||To provide aircrews to the Air Transport and Air-to-Air Refuelling Forces either on call-out in times of crisis and war, or to provide peacetime support to maintain the operational capability of the RAF multi-engine squadrons||”|
|August 1943||December 1943||Short Stirling||Mk.III|
|December 1943||August 1945||Avro Lancaster||Mks.I, III|
|December 1950||September 1953||Vickers Valetta||C.1|
|10 August 1943||15 August 1945||RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk|
|15 December 1950||30 September 1953||RAF Blackbushe, Hampshire|
|1994||June 2011||RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire|
|June 2011||Present||RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire|
- Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens, 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, 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), 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.
- Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers), 1964 (new edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and Their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company, 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
- Ward, Chris. Royal Air Force Bomber Command Squadron Profiles, Number 119: 622 Squadron "Bellamus Noctu". Berkshire, UK: Ward Publishing, 1998.
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