15(R) Squadron

15 Sqn Crest


A hind's head affrontee erased at the neck between wings elevated and conjoined in base - approved by King Edward VIII in May 1936. The badge was a modification of the hart emblem used previously, changed to highlight the fact that the Hind aircraft was in service when the badge was authorised.


Aim Sure

Key Dates:

1915 - Formed at Farnborough.

1938 - One of the first squadrons to receive the Fairey Battle.

1955 - Took part in the Suez crisis.

1983 - First RAF Germany squadron to receive the Tornado GR-1.

Current Aircraft and Location:

Current Aircraft: Tornado GR4

Current Location: RAF Lossiemouth

Battle Honours:

Western Front 1915-1918*, Somme 1916*, Arras, Cambrai 1917*, Some 1918, Hindenburg Line*, France and Low Countries 1939-1940, Meuse Bridges*, Dunkirk, Invasion Ports 1940, Fortress Europe 1941-1944, Ruhr 1941-1945*, Berlin 1941-1945*, Biscay Ports 1941-1945, France and Germany 1944-1945, Normandy 1944*, Gulf 1991*.

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

The History of XV Squadron:

Formed as a training unit at Farnborough on 1 March 1915, No. 15 Squadron crossed to France in December of that year equipped with BE2Cs for corps-reconnaissance duties. One unusual task the unit undertook was the dropping of ammunition by parachute to troops on the front line during 1918. After the War, the squadron succumbed to the inevitable disbandment. The Squadron reformed at Martlesham Heath in March 1924, but it was little more than in name, as their aircraft were part of the A&AEE trial fleet. This arrangement continued until 1934 when the squadron was reformed at Abingdon with Hawker Harts. It was shortly after this, that on the insistence of its Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader TW Elmhirst DFC, that the Squadron became known as XV Squadron.

During 1938, the Squadron was one of the first to receive Battles, and it was with these that XV Squadron flew to France in September 1939. In early 1940, the Squadron returned to the UK and re-equipped with Blenheims flown in the ground attack role. By the turn of the year, these had been traded in for Wellingtons, and shortly after that XV Squadron became one of the first Stirling heavy-bomber units. One famous aircraft flown by XV Squadron was named 'MacRobert's Reply', an aircraft donated by Lady MacRobert in memory of her three sons killed in RAF service. Lancasters arrived during 1943, and the Squadron remained part of No. 1 Group's main force for the remainder of the war.

Other heavy bombers were flown in the shape of Lincolns and Washingtons, but in 1953, XV Squadron moved into the jet age with Canberras. During the Suez crisis, the Squadron dropped more bombs than any other Canberra unit, but was disbanded in 1957. In September 1958, the Squadron reformed at Cottesmore as the second Victor squadron, but six years later was again disbanded.

On 01 October 1970, the Sqn was reformed at Honington, before moving to Laarbruch in January 1971. After the Gulf War, three Tornado Squadrons at Laarbruch were disbanded, XV Squadron being one of these, at the end of 1991. On 1 April 1992, the XV (Reserve) numberplate was given to the Tornado Weapons Conversion Unit at Honington. XV(R) Squadron remained at Honington training Tornado aircrew until November 1993, when it moved to Lossiemouth, its present home.

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