Hercules

30 Squadron

30 Squadron

30 Sqn Crest

Badge:

A date palm tree - approved by HM King George VI in May 1938. The tree commemorates the Squadron's long service in the Middle East.

Motto:

Ventre a terre - 'All out'

RAF C-130 Hercules aircraft do not carry Squadron markings




Key Dates:

  • 1916 - Formed at Ismailia, Egypt.
  • 1948 - Took part in the Berlin Airlift.

Current Aircraft and Location:

Current Aircraft: Hercules C4/C5

Current Location: RAF Brize Norton

Battle Honours:

Egypt 1915*, Mesopotamia 1915-1918*, Iraq 1919-1920, North West Persia 1920, Kurdistan 1922-1924, Iraq 1912-1925, Iraq 1928-1929, Kurdistan 1930-1931, Northern Kurdistan 1932, Egypt and Libya 1940-1942*, Greece 1940-1941*, Mediterranean 1940-1941, Ceylon April 1942*, Arakan 1944*, Burma 1944-1945*, Gulf 1991.

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

History of 30 Squadron:

Formed officially at Ismailia, Egypt on 24 March 1915 from an RFC detachment in the region, No. 30 Squadron spent several months in a state of flux before achieving full squadron status by the end of the year. With its predecessor having defended the Suez Canal against Turkish attacks during 1914, No. 30 Squadron then formed several detachments to protect key installations in Mesopotamia, including the oil pipeline at Basra. In April 1916, the Squadron carried out the world's first air supply operation, when food and ammunition was dropped to the besieged British forces attempting to defend Kut-el-Amara against the Turks. Despite the two-week operation, in which 13 tons of supplies were dropped using BE2s, Longhorns and Shorthorns, the garrison had surrendered by the end of the month. Reconnaissance and bombing then occupied the Squadron until the end of the war, when it was reduced to a cadre in April 1919.

February 1920 saw the Squadron returned to full strength with the arrival of DH9s and RE8s equipped for the day bomber role. For the next 20 years, No. 30 Squadron remained in Iraq before moving to Egypt shortly before the outbreak of World War II. During this time the Squadron flew Wapitis and Hardys until Blenheims arrived in January 1938. Bomber escort duties in the Western Desert were followed by a move to join the unsuccessful defence of Greece in March 1941 during which time Hurricanes arrived, only to be evacuated to Egypt in May as the defending forces retreated. In February 1942, the Squadron embarked on HMS Indomitable en route to Ceylon, arriving just before the Japanese attack on the island. A move to Burma followed in May 1944, and the Hurricanes were replaced by Thunderbolts. By the time of the Japanese surrender in August 1945, No. 30 Squadron had returned to India and was disbanded in December 1946.

Reformed at Oakington in late 1947, as part of RAF Transport Command, the unit's Dakotas took part in the Berlin Airlift before being re-equipped with Valettas and moving to Abingdon in November 1950. In 1957, the Squadron received Beverleys, moving to Kenya in 1959 and then on to Bahrain some five years later. Having disbanded as part of the overall drawdown of RAF forces in the Middle East in 1967, No. 30 Squadron was reformed yet again at Fairford in June 1968 as a Hercules transport squadron, moving to Lyneham in 1971. From here, the squadron and its aircraft regularly deploy on operations, having been involved in almost every RAF operation in recent years to such locations as Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq amongst others.

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

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