RAF Banner with Crest.

87 Squadron


Squadron badge


Maximus me metuit - 'The most powerful fear me'


A serpent reversed, head reguardant and tail embowed. The letter 'S' was the squadron's World War One identity marking, this became a serpent in the badge.

History of 87 Squadron:

No. 87 Squadron was formed on 1 September 1917, from a nucleus supplied by D Squadron of the Central Flying school at Upavon. In April 1918, it moved to France with Dolphins to fly fighter and ground attack missions until the end of the war. In February 1919, it returned to the UK and disbanded on 24 June 1919.

On 15 March 1937, No. 87 reformed at Tangmere with Furies and received Gladiators in June on moving to Debden. Conversion to Hurricanes began in July 1938 and these were taken to France on the outbreak of war as part of the Air Component of the BEF. When the German invasion came in May 1940, the squadron gave air cover on the Northern Front until its airfields were captured and after two weeks was evacuated to re-equip in Yorkshire. It moved to south-west England in July for day and night defensive patrols during the Battle of Britain and night fighting became its major task. It remained in the area until the end of 1942, beginning intruder missions in March 1941. In November 1942, the Squadron sent its aircraft to Gibraltar for the invasion of North Africa. It remained in North Africa for defensive purposes until it moved to Sicily in September 1943. In January 1944, No. 87 began to take part in sweeps over the Balkans from Italy, where detachments were based unit the Squadron moved completely in June. In August 1944, fighter-bomber missions began and continued until the end of the war. On 30 December 1946, the Squadron was disbanded.

No. 87 reformed on 1 January 1952 at Wahn as a night-fighter Squadron in Germany. Its Meteors were replaced by Javelins at the end of 1957 and on 3 January 1961, the Squadron was disbanded.

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