RAF Banner with Crest.

616 Squadron


Squadron badge


Nulla rosa sine spina - 'No rose without a thorn'


A Yorkshire rose. The badge commemorates the squadron's association with Yorkshire as the South Yorkshire Auxiliary Squadron.

History of 616 Squadron:

No 616 Squadron was formed on 1 November 1938 at Doncaster and was designated a fighter unit on 15 November. It gave up its Hinds for Gauntlets in January 1939 and from May 1939 had four Battles for training duties in preparation for the arrival of Spitfires. It was not until October that the latter arrived, conversion being completed in November. As the end of May 1940, the squadron began operating over Dunkirk and during the first part of the Battle of Britain it was based in Yorkshire, moving south in mid-August. In April 1941. No.616 began to fly sweeps over France which continued until October. These were resumed in July 1942 with high-altitude Spitfires. From March 1943 onwards, it spent most of its time in south-west England and on 12 July 1944 received the first Meteors to enter squadron service. On 27 July the squadron flew the first operational sortie by a Meteor when it engaged flying-bombs launched against southern England. In February 1945, a detachment was sent to Belgium and at the beginning of April the whole squadron moved to the Netherlands, beginning ground attack missions on 16 April. The war ended a few weeks later and the squadron was disbanded on 29 August 1945.

On 10 May 1946, the squadron was reformed and began to recruit personnel for an Auxiliary Air Force night fighter unit on 5 June at Finningley. In October 1946 it received Mosquito trainers but it was January 1948 before the first operational aircraft arrived. It was redesignated a day fighter unit in 1948 and began to acquire Meteors in January 1949, flying these until disbanded on 10 March 1957.

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