Hercules

24 Squadron

XXIV Squadron

24 Sqn Crest

Badge:

A black Moorhen - approved by HM King George VI in June 1937. Chosen because of its speed and strength on the wing, the cock is in fighting attitude to suggest the Squadron's ability to turn itself into a war unit at short notice despite a peacetime communications role.

Motto:

In omnia parati - 'Prepared for all things'

Please Note: Lyneham Transport Wing Hercules do not carry Squadron markings




Key Dates:

  • 1915 - Formed at Hounslow.
  • 1948 - Took part in the Berlin Airlift.

Current Aircraft and Location:

Current Aircraft: Hercules - C4/C5

Current Location: RAF Brize Norton

Battle Honours:

Western Front 1916-1918*, Somme 1916*, Somme 1918, Amiens*, Hindenburg Line*, France and Low Countries 1939-1940*, Malta 1942*, North Africa 1942-1943*, Italy 1943-1944, Burma 1944-1945*, Gulf 1991.

(Honours marked with an asterisk, may be emblazoned on the Squadron Standard)

History of XXIV Squadron:

Formed at Hounslow on 21 September 1915, No. 24 Squadron has probably flown more aircraft types than any other RAF squadron. After a five-month work-up, the Squadron moved to France equipped with DH2s. These aircraft were soon outclassed and re-equipment with DH5s followed in May 1917. The Squadron remained in and around the Western Front for the remainder of the War until January 1920 when the unit returned to the UK as a cadre, disbanding on 1 February 1920.

The Squadron reformed at Kenley on 1 April 1920 charged with providing air transport for Heads of State, the Government and the leaders of the three Services. In the following two decades, No. 24 Squadron flew no fewer than 35 different aircraft types ranging from DH9s and Bristol Fighters through to Tiger Moths, Wapitis, Rapides and DH86B four-engined airliners. With the onset of the Second World War, several civilian airlines were seconded to the Squadron as regular flights to France were started in support of the British Expeditionary Force until the German advance forced the withdrawal of British forces from the Continent in 1940. After that, the Squadron concentrated on communications work around the UK, until regular flights to Gibraltar and Malta were started in 1942. The venerable Dakota arrived during 1943, as did the York, a development of the Lancaster bomber and route flying continued until the end of the War, when the Squadron was tasked worth returning many exiled members of Royalty, Heads of State and even entire Governments back to their own countries. As with many Transport Command squadrons, No. 24 was heavily involved in the Berlin airlift of 1948-1949.

In November 1950, the Squadron moved to Lyneham and replaced its ageing Yorks and Dakotas with Hastings', an aircraft that the Squadron operated for the following 17 years. In the years that followed less VIP flying was done until by the time the Squadron re-equipped with Hercules in 1968, it was solely involved with general transport work. Since then, No. 24 Squadron, as part of the Lyneham Transport Wing, has been involved in many of the RAF's operations including the Falklands War and two Gulf Wars, and relinquished its older aircraft for second-generation Hercules C4s and C5s in September 2002.

On Friday, 1st Jul 11, the last of RAF Lyneham’s Hercules Fleet said a final farewell to the County of Wiltshire to their new home at RAF Brize Norton.

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