RAF Banner with Crest.

80 Squadron



Strike true


A bell.

History of 80 Squadron:

No. 80 Squadron was formed at Montrose on 1 August 1917 as a fighter Squadron and took its Camels to France in January 1918. After the first weeks of fighter patrols over the Western Front, the German offensive in March resulted in the Squadron being mainly engaged in ground attack duties and after the Allied offensive in August which brought the war to an end, it spent the last weeks of the war attacking enemy troops retreating back to Germany. In December 1918 it re-equipped with Snipes and at the end of May 1919, left for Egypt, where it was renumbered No. 56 on 1 February 1920

On 8 March 1937, No. 80 reformed at Kenley as a fighter Squadron equipped with Gauntlets which within two months had been replaced with Gladiators. At the end of April 1938 the Squadron moved to Egypt, moving to the Libyan front in June 1940 after Italy joined the war, and then on to Greece in November after Italy invaded that country. In February 1941, No. 80 started to convert to Hurricanes, and after evacuation from Greece the Squadron spent a period in Syria, Palestine and Cyprus before returning to the Western Desert in October flying patrols in the area until the Battle of Alamein. With the retreat of the Afrika Corps, No. 80 was given the task of providing air defence of the long line of communication and coastal convoys supplying the 8th army until January 1944 when the Squadron moved to Italy. In April 1944 No. 80 moved back to the UK and, equipped with Spitfires, began flying sweeps and escort duties over France and the Low Countries. In August 1944 it converted to Tempests which it took to the Continent at the end of September to fly armed reconnaissance missions for the rest of the war. It remained in Germany until the Squadron was moved to Hong Kong in August 1949. In December 1951, the Squadron re-equipped with Hornets which were flown until the Squadron disbanded on 1 May 1955.

On 1 August 1955, No. 214 Squadron flying Canberras at Laarbruch was renumbered No. 80 as a photographic reconnaissance unit until it was disbanded on 30 September 1969.

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