RAF Banner with Crest.

90 Squadron


Squadron badge


"Celer" ("Swift").


A hind salient. The Hind - "representative of vigilance and great speed" - commemorates the fact that, at one time, the squadron was equipped with Hind aircraft.


HM King George VI, July 1938.

History of 90 Squadron:

No. 90 Squadron, RFC, was formed at Shawbury, Shropshire, on 8th October 1917. It was eventually equipped with Sopwith Dolphin single-seat fighters for use in France, but was not sent overseas, and on 3rd August 1918, was disbanded. Eleven days later it was re-formed as a Home Defence unit. It was equipped with Sopwith Camels and Avro 504s and remained in existence until June 1919, when it became a casualty of post-war disarmament.

The squadron was re-formed as a bomber unit in March 1937, and equipped with Hawker Hinds. It was given Bristol Blenheim Mk. Is during the summer of 1937 and was selected to conduct Service development trials of these aircraft and also staged many flying demonstrations. In the spring of 1939 the "short-nosed" Blenheim Is were replaced by "long-nosed" Mk. IV's.

Soon after the outbreak of war No. 90 ceased to be a first-line unit and assumed the role of a Group pool squadron or, in other words, became a training squadron. In April 1940, it was absorbed into. No.17 OTU but in May 1941, it re-formed, having been selected as the RAF squadron to receive the first Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft from America. Its role was now high-altitude day bombing and it flew its first operational mission with Fortresses on 8th July 1941, when Wilhelmshaven was attacked from 30,000 feet. It continued to operate its Fortresses over Europe - albeit with little success - until September 1941, and, later, had a detachment operating in the Middle East.

The squadron was again disbanded in February 1942, but re-formed in November 1942, as a heavy-bomber squadron equipped with Stirlings, and subsequently made a significant contribution to the Battle of the Ruhr, the devastation of Hamburg and the famous raid on Peenemunde. It also did a great deal of minelaying. In May/June 1944, No. 90 exchanged its Stirlings for Lancasters and with these continued to play a prominent part in Bomber Command's offensive until late April 1945.

Between 8/9th January 1943 (when it began operations with Stirlings) and 22nd April 1945, members of No. 90 Squadron earned 6 DSOs 123 DFCs, one bar to a DFC, 1 CGM, 1 AFC and 33 DFMs.

In May 1947, No. 90 began to re-equip with Lincolns and these were flown until disbandment on 1 September 1950. The Squadron was reformed at Marham on 4 October 1950, to fly Washingtons, the first arriving in December. In November 1953, replacement Canberras began to arrive and the last Washington left in March 1954. On 1 May 1956 the Squadron was again disbanded but reformed at Honington on 1 January 1957, receiving Valiants in March. In April 1962 the Squadron became operational as a flight-refuelling Squadron but after the grounding of the Valiant force No. 90 disbanded on 16 April 1965.

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