Squadrons

Squadron Search

Please Note: The Squadron search facility above is only for 'Current Squadrons' within the Royal Air Force, if you are looking for a Historic Squadron that has been disbanded then detailed information can be found under our ' History' section.

Royal Air Force Squadrons

The squadron is the basic fighting unit of the Royal Air Force. Although the shape and composition will vary depending of their role, squadrons are generally organised in a similar way.

In the case of a fast jet squadron (i.e. Tornado GR4), the squadron is often composed of two or three Flights. Two will be formed of fully operational crews who are trained to carry out their squadron's role. The third Flight will be responsible for the training (or 'work up') of newly-arrived crews.

When the Royal Air Force formed on 1 Apr 1918, crews painted a variety of unofficial emblems on their aircraft. The First World War saw the peak of this activity. The value of these symbols was recognised, and in 1935 the post of Inspector of Royal Air Force Badges was introduced to advise the Air Council on matters armorial and to control the design and issues of these devices. The first person to hold this post was Sir John Heaton-Armstrong MVO, the then Chester Herald of Arms, and he produced the basic pattern and format to be used on all badges.

The unit badge is enclosed coloured Royal Air Force Blue, and inscribed in gold lettering with the name and number of the Squadron or unit and the words Royal Air Force. This in turn is encircled by a gold laurel wreath and the whole ensigned by a crown in proper colours. Below is a scroll with the unit or Squadron motto. The Tudor Crown was used prior to the Accession of the present sovereign, when it was then changed to the Edward's Crown.

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