BAE 146

32(The Royal) Squadron

32(TR) Sqn Crest


A hunting horn stringed - approved by King George VI in December 1936. The horn signified the unit's ability to hunt the enemy.


Adeste comites - 'Rally round, comrades'

Key Dates:

1916 - Formed at Netheravon.
1940 - Took part in the Battle of Britain.
1995 - Became the Royal Squadron following amalgamation with the Queens Flight.

    Current Aircraft and Location:

    Current Aircraft: [link not available]. BAE 146 and Agusta 109E

    Current Location: RAF Northolt

    Battle Honours:

    Western Front 1916-1918, Somme 1916-1918, Arras, Ypres 1917*, Amiens*, France and Low Countries 193-1940*, Battle of Britain 1940*, Home Defence 1940-1942, Dieppe*, North Africa 1942-1943*, Italy 1943, South East Europe 1944-1945*, Gulf 1991.

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

    History of XXXII(TR) Squadron:

    Number 32 Squadron was formed at Netheravon on 12 January 1916 from a nucleus provided by Number 21 Squadron. Following a three-month work-up period on DH2s, the Squadron departed for France at the end of May. Barely a month later, on 1 July, the CO, Major LWB Rees, spotted a formation of eight enemy aircraft and elected to attack. Despite the odds, and injuries, Major Rees managed to force two aircraft down out of control before his ammunition ran out. For this gallant action, Major Rees was awarded the Victoria Cross. In later battles on the Western Front, the Squadron carried out low-level strafing of troops with DH5s and SE5As.

    Shortly after the end of the War, the Squadron returned to the UK and was disbanded. No. 32 Squadron reformed at Kenley on 1 April 1923, and in the following years flew many fighters including Grebes, Gamecocks and Bulldogs before receiving Hurricanes in October 1938.

    During the early days of the Battle of Britain, No. 32 Squadron suffered heavy losses and was withdrawn from the frontline until 1942. At the end of the year, the Squa+-dron departed for North Africa and, after trading its Hurricanes for Spitfires, continued on through the Continent and on to Italy and Greece.

    Just prior the end of the War, No. 32 moved to Palestine for a three-year tenure before moving again to Cyprus in 1948. Almost immediately, Vampires replaced the trusty Spitfires, and these survived until 1955 when replaced by Venoms. Two years later, the role of the Squadron was again changed, this time to light bomber, and Canberras were received prior to deployment to Cyprus. In February 1969, the unit disbanded in Cyprus, only to reform the next day at Northolt, taking over the role and aircraft of the Metropolitan Communications Squadron. In April 1995, following amalgamation with The Queens Flight, the Squadron became No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron, and today operates BAe 125s, BAe 146s and Squirrel helicopters. The BAE 125 aircraft of the squadron have even seen operational action, being deployed to the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq to provide in-theatre VIP transportation.

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