On Monday 13 July 2009 at Royal Air Force Leuchars one of the RAF’s foremost Squadrons was disbanded. No 43 (Fighter) Squadron paraded its standard for the last time in front of 150 invited guests and former Squadron members. The Squadron’s standard was first raised in Stirling on 15 April 1916, and this is the fourth time in its illustrious history it has been disbanded.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Roger Palin was the reviewing officer at the parade. Describing the Squadron as having a “distinguished record second to none” he went on to say: “Despite the uncertainty that attaches to the Squadron's future, all of us with an association to 43 Squadron can be extremely proud of what the Squadron has achieved'. Although no formal decision has been made, there is the possibility that the squadron will be reformed as the third Typhoon squadron at RAF Leuchars.
43 (Fighter) Squadron was formed at Stirling on 15 April 1916, from a nucleus of 19 (Reserve) Squadron and within a year of formation was on the Western Front in France. The Squadron has flown many aircraft over its illustrious history, such as; The Sopwith Strutter, the Sopwith Camel, Snipes, Gamecocks (from which the Squadron takes its name “The Fighting Cocks”), Siskins, Furys, Hawker Hurricanes, Supermarine Spitfires and into the jet age with Hawker Hunters, Phantom 4 and finally the Tornado F3.
The Squadron motto, Gloria Finis is the motto of the Brook family, meaning ‘’Glory is the end’’. Squadron Leader AF Brook commanded the Squadron from July 1925 to January 1928.
Battle Honours include: Western Front 1917-1918, Arras, Ypres 1917, Cambrai 1917, Somme 1918, Lys, Amiens, Dunkirk, Battle of Britain 1940, Home Defence 1940-1942, Fortress Europe 1942, Dieppe, North Africa 1942-1943, Sicily 1943, Salerno, Italy 1943-1945, Anzio and Nettuno, Gustav Line, France and Germany 1944, Gulf 1991, Iraq 2003. The Squadron holds the unique distinction in the Royal Air Force as the only Squadron to have been awarded the freedom of a city – Stirling in 2005.
Editor: Lesley Woods
Photographer: RAF/MOD. Crown Copyright 2009.