SECURING THE SKIES

603 Squadron

603 Squadron details
Aircraft: Spitfire Mk.1
Motto: Gin ye daur - 'If you dare'
Crest: On a rock a triple-towered castle, flying therefrom to the sinister a pennon. The castle in the badge is similar to that in the Arms of the City of Edinburgh.

History

No 603 Squadron was formed on 14 October 1925 at Turnhouse as a day bomber unit of the Auxiliary Air Force. Originally equipped with DH9As and using Avro 504Ks for flying training, the squadron re-equipped with Wapitis in March 1930, these being replaced by Harts in February 1934. On 24 October 1938, No 603 was redesignated a fighter unit and flew Hinds until the arrival of Gladiators at the end of March 1939. Within two weeks of the outbreak of war in September 1939, the squadron began to receive Spitfires and passed on its Gladiators to other squadrons during October. It was operational with Spitfires in time to intercept the first German air raid on the British Isles on 16 October, when it destroyed the first enemy aircraft to be shot down over Britain in the Second World War. It remained on defensive duties in Scotland until the end of August 1940, when it moved to southern England for the remaining months of the Battle of Britain.

A Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1 in 603 Squadron markings
A Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1 in 603 Squadron markings

Stations

Turnhouse 5 May 1940

Hornchurch 27 August 1940

603 Squadron crest