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107 Squadron

107 SQUADRON

Squadron badge

Motto:

"Nous y serons" ("We shall be there").

Badge:

A double-headed eagle displayed, gorged with a collar of fleur-de-lys. The double-headed eagle is one of the supporters from the armorial bearings of Salisbury, in which district the squadron was formed. The collar of fleur-de-lys was introduced in reference to service in France in the First World War during a period when the unit was attached to the French Army. The motto is said to have been derived from the squadron magazine produced in the First World War and entitled The Objective 107th (Squadron Always Gets There).

Authority:

HM King George VI, April 1938.

History of 107 Squadron:

No 107 Squadron, RFC, was formed at Lake Down, Salisbury, on 15th May 1918, and early in June it went to the Western Front as a day-bomber squadron equipped with DH9 aircraft. Its first raid was made on 30th June and day bombing of enemy targets was maintained until the Armistice. The squadron's most successful raid was made on Saponay on 21st July; large ammunition dumps were hit, and from the squadron's airfield, 20 miles away, the reflection of the explosions and fire could be seen going on all the evening. Another notable raid was that made on Aulnoye railway station and junction on 1st October. This resulted in the destruction of several ammunition trains in the sidings and a leave train carrying 900 troops, all of whom were killed with the exception of one officer and his batman.

Disbanded in 1919, No 107 re-formed at Upavon in 1936 - again as a bomber unit - and at first flew Hawker Hinds. Blenheims came next and on 4th September 1939, the squadron contributed four of these aircraft to the RAF's first air attack of World War 2 - the raid on the German warships near Wilhelmshaven. Only one of No 107's aircraft returned from this operation - and with its bomb load intact.1

No 107 Squadron, flying Blenheims, then Bostons and, finally, Mosquitos, subsequently took part in scores of raids, including such other notable ones as the mass low-level daylight raid on the Knapsack and Quadrath power stations near Cologne, on 12th August 1941; the great combined raid on Dieppe on 19th August 1942 (its task on this occasion was to bomb hostile shore batteries and thus reduce enemy opposition to the landing force); and the low-level daylight raid on the Philips radio and valve factory at Eindhoven on 6th December 1942. For a brief spell in 1941/42 the squadron operated from Malta, whilst in the closing stages of the European war (from November 1944, onwards) it operated from the Continent.

In November 1945 No. 107 moved to Germany and formed part of the occupation forces until renumbered 11 Squadron on 4 October 1948. On 22 July 1959, C Flight of No. 77 Squadron was redesignated No. 107 Squadron at the Thor intermediate range ballistic base at Tuddenham. On 10 July 1963 the Squadron was disbanded.

1. Nine days after this operation, Wing Commander BE Embry took command of No 107 Squadron. He won the DSO for operations in Waziristan in 1938 and won two bars to the decoration while with No 107. He was shot down behind enemy lines in May 1940, and although wounded, managed to get back to this country after a series of adventures which had all the elements of good schoolboy fiction.

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