70 Squadron

LXX Squadron



A demi-wing lion erased - approved by King Edward VIII in October 1936. Developed from an unofficial winged lion badge probably derived from the Squadron's long dependence on the Napier Lion engine during the 1920s.


Usquam - 'Anywhere'

Key Dates:

1916 - Formed at South Farnborough

Current Aircraft and Location:

Current Aircraft: None

Current Location: RAF Cranwell

Battle Honours:

Western Front 1916-1918*, Somme 1916*, Arras, Ypres 1917*, Somme 1918, Kurdistan 1922-1924, Iraq 1918-1929, Kurdistan 1930-1931, Northern Kurdistan 1932, North West Frontier 1937, Mediterranean 1940-1943, Egypt and Libya 1940-1943*, Greece 1940-1941, Syria 1941, Iraq 1941*, El Alamein, North Africa 1942-1943*, El Hamma, Sicily 1943, Italy 1943-1945*, Salerno, Anzio and Nettuno, Gustav Line, Gothic Line, South East Europe 1944-1945*, South Atlantic 1982, Gulf 1991.

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

History of LXX Squadron:

Formed at South Farnborough on 22 April 1916, Number LXX Squadron was the first Royal Flying Corps Squadron to fly the Sopwith 1½ Strutter. The unit transferred to Fienvillers in France one Flight at a time such was the gravity of the situation between May and August 1916 to take up fighter patrols. As the Germans perfected their tactics, losses on the Squadron rose, and a year later the Squadron converted to the more capable Camels.

After the Armistice, the unit remained in Germany until February 1919 when it returned the UK, disbanding briefly during January 1920 only to reform nine days later at Heliopolis, Egypt by renumbering No 58 Squadron equipped with Vimy heavy bombers. Within three years, No LXX Squadron had moved to Iraq and re-equipped with Vernon bombers/transports which were flown on the Cairo-Baghdad air mail run until 1927. During this time, the Squadron also took part in operations against rebel tribesmen and insurgents on the Turkish frontier and received Victorias shortly before the famous evacuation of Kabul in 1928. Valentias arrived in 1935, and these lumbering aircraft spent the first year of World War II on transport duties around the Middle East until Wellington bombers replaced them in late 1940. Successive versions of the Wellington were used during the North African and Italian campaigns and it wasn't until February 1945 that Liberators replaced them and remained with the Squadron when it returned to the Middle East at the end of the year and disbanded in April 1947.

In May 1948, No 215 Squadron based at Kabrit, Egypt, was renumbered No LXX Squadron, and the unit resumed transport duties around the region with Dakotas. Shortly before re-equipping with Hastings in late 1955, the Squadron and its Valletas transferred to Cyprus, subsequently taking part in the Suez campaign in 1957. Following a short-lived period with Argosys, No LXX Squadron began converting to the C-130 Hercules and finally returned to the UK, joining the Lyneham Transport Wing in 1975 after 55 years overseas.

In September 2010 No LXX Squadron stood-down once more to await the arrival of the Royal Air Force’s new Airlift aircraft, the Airbus A400M ‘Atlas'. This stand-down saw the Squadron Colour lodged at Royal Air Force College Cranwell and marked the end of an outstanding period of C-130 K Hercules operations around the world.

No LXX Squadron stands-up in late-2014 at Royal Air Force Brize Norton with the Atlas, an extremely flexible aircraft that will provide both tactical and strategic Airlift capability to all three Services in peace, crisis and war. Tactical and strategic Airlift is a critical component of the UK Armed Forces and this hugely versatile aircraft will be a significant complementary capability to its existing fleets.

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