RAF Banner with Crest.

52 Squadron


Squadron badge


"Sudore quam sanguine" ("By sweat and blood").


A lion rampant guardant holding in the forepaws a flash of lightning. The personnel of this squadron were originally recruited from the district of Hounslow, Heston and Isleworth, so the lion has been introduced which appears in the arms of Heston and Isleworth and in those which were used by Hounslow Abbey. The flash of lightning refers to the marking used by this squadron during the First World War.


HM King George VI, June 1939.

History of 52 Squadron:

No. 52 Squadron, RFC, was formed at Hounslow, Middlesex, on 15th May 1916, and from November of that year until the Armistice served as an army co-operation squadron on the Western Front. Disbanded in 1919, it re-formed at Abingdon as a bomber squadron in January 1937 and was given Hawker Hinds. In November/December 1937 it re-equipped with Fairey Battles (later joined, for special training purposes, by Avro Ansons) and for the first few months of World War 2 had an instructional role; it helped maintain the Advanced Air Striking Force in the field, one of its duties during this period being the training of AASF pilots in the spraying of poison gas from Battle aircraft. The squadron ceased to exist as such in April 1940, and re-formed properly (having acted as a maintenance unit since nominally re-forming in July 1941) in the latter part of 1942 at Mosul, Iraq, with Blenheim IV's when it became part of the Middle East Air Force. In February 1943 the Squadron moved to Egypt and converted to Baltimores then in June No. 52 moved to Tunisia before being transferred to Italy in November. In February 1944 the Squadron moved to Gibraltar where it was disbanded on 31 March 1944.

On 1 July 1944, C and D Flights of No. 353 Squadron at Dum Dum, Calcutta were re-designated No. 52 Squadron equipped with Dakotas for general transport duties in India. In 1947 the Squadron moved to Singapore and during the emergency in Malaya they engaged in supply drops to security forces in the jungle. Valettas replaced the Dakotas in June 1951 which were flown until the Squadron was disbanded on 25 April 1966. On 1 December 1966 No. 52 reformed at Seletar with Andovers for transport support duties before being disbanded again on 31 December 1969.

Text size: