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66 Squadron


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Cavete praemonui - 'Beware, I have warned'


A rattlesnake - typifying aggressive spirit and striking power.

History of 66 Squadron:

No 66 Squadron was formed at Filton on 30 June 1916 and moved to France in March 1917 as a fighter unit. Equipped with Pups, it flew patrols over the Western Front until October 1917 when it re-equipped with Camels and moved during the following month to northern Italy. Until the end of the war, it was engaged on the north-eastern front against the Austrians and In March 1919 returned to the UK as a cadre, where it disbanded on 25 October 1919.

On 20 July 1936, No 66 reformed at Duxford from C Flight of No 19 Squadron. In November 1938 it replaced its Gauntlets with Spitfires which were flown on defensive duties after the outbreak of World War Two. In May 1940, the squadron flew covering patrols over Dunkirk and remained in the south-east throughout the Battle of Britain. In February 1941, No. 66 took part in a few sweeps over France before moving to south-west England for coastal patrols. For the next two years it also provided escorts for day bombers over France before moving to the Orkneys for four months. No. 66 then moved south again and began fighter-bomber sorties shortly before the Normandy landings and five days after the landings, the Squadron made use of airstrips in the beachhead for the first time. No. 66 transferred its base to France in August and on to Belgium and the Netherlands in September before disbanding on 30 April 1945.

On 1 September 1946, No. 66 reformed at Duxford with Spitfires, replacing these with Meteors in November. In October 1949 the Squadron moved to Yorkshire where it converted to Sabres in December 1953. Hunters were received in March 1956 and were flown until disbandment on 30 September 1960. Reformed on 15 September 1961, No. 66 moved to Singapore in June 1962 where it provided transport in Malaysia until disbanded on 20 March 1969.

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