Voyager air to air refuelling

101 Squadron

101 Sqn Crest


Issuant from the battlements of a tower, a demi lion rampant guardant - approved by King George VI in February 1938. The battlements symbolise the Squadron's pioneering role in the development of power-operated gun turrets, while the lion indicates the unit's fighting power and spirit.


Mens agitat molem - 'Mind over matter'

Key Dates:

1917 - Formed at South Farnborough.
1940 - Flew the duration of WWII as part of Bomber Command.
1951 - Became the RAF's first Jet Bomber squadron when in received Canberras.

    Current Aircraft and Location:

    Current Aircraft: Voyager

    Current Location: RAF Brize Norton

    Battle Honours:

    Western Front 1917-1918*, Ypres 1917*, Somme 1918*, Lys, Hindenburg Line, Fortress Europe 1940-1944*, Invasion Ports 1940*, Ruhr 1940-1945*, Berlin 1941*, Channel and North Sea 1941-1944, Biscay Ports 1941-1944, German Ports 1941-1945, Baltic 1942-1945, Berlin 1943-1944, France and Germany 1944-1945, Normandy 1944*, Walcheren, South Atlantic 1982, Gulf 1991, Kosovo, Iraq 2003.

    (Honours marked with an asterisk, may be emblazoned on the Squadron Standard)

    The History of 101 Squadron:

    Number 101 Squadron was formed at South Farnborough on 12 July 1917, and two weeks later went to St Andre-aux Bois, France with FE2s as a night bomber squadron. It main tasks involved attacking enemy communications and aerodromes in Northern France and Belgium, with occasional strafing attacks on troops aimed at drowning the noise of tanks and soldiers positioning for battle in the trenches. In March 1919, the squadron was reduced to a cadre and returned to the UK before disbandment at the end of the year. It remained dormant until March 1928, when it reformed at Bircham Newton and flew Sidestrands in the day-bomber role until these were replaced by Overstrands in early 1935.

    At the outbreak of World War II, the squadron was equipped with Blenheim IVs and was involved in attacks against enemy barge concentrations in the Channel Ports. In mid-1941, No. 101 Sqn became part of Bomber Command's medium-bomber force with Wellingtons and flew many night sorties against Germany and Italy. These aircraft were replaced barely 18 months later by the Lancaster and became specialised in airborne radar jamming to disrupt German night-fighters interceptions. After the war, Lincolns replaced the Lancasters and the unit moved to Binbrook. In June 1951, No. 101 became the RAF's first jet-bomber squadron when it received Canberras, and it was with this aircraft that the squadron was involved in operations in both Malaya and Suez before once again disbanding on 1 Feb 1957.

    A brief period of inactivity ended on 15 Oct 1957, when No. 101 Sqn joined the V-bomber force with Vulcans as part of the Finningley Wing before moving to Waddington four years later. The squadron became synonymous with the type, and took part in Operation Corporate, the Falklands Conflict, operating from Ascension Island. Shortly after the conflict, the squadron relinquished its Vulcans and disbanded again, until it reformed on 1 May 1984 to operate VC10s in the air-to-air-refuelling role, and has since demonstrated the flexibility the aerial refuelling offers to combat aircraft in such operations as the Gulf War and Operation Allied Force.

    Following the disbanding of sister VC10 squadron, No 10, 101 became the sole operator of the type in October 2005.

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