18 Squadron

18 Sqn Crest


Pegasus rampant - approved by King Edward VIII in May 1936. The Pegasus commemorated the unit's co-operation with the Cavalry Corps on the Somme during World War I.


Animo et fide - 'With courage and faith'

Key Dates:

1915 - Formed at Northolt.

1941 - Dropped a replacement artificial leg to the captured Douglas Bader during a bombing mission .

1942 - Wing Commander HG Malcolm was posthumously awarded the VC.

1947 - Took part in the Berlin Airlift.

1955 - Took part in the Suez crisis.

1982 - Provided the sole Chinook in the Falklands campaign.

    Current Aircraft and Location:

    Current Aircraft: Chinook HC2

    Current Location: RAF Odiham

    Battle Honours:

    Western Front 1915-1918*, Somme 1916*, Somme 1918*, Hindenburg Line*, Lys, France and Low Countries, Invasion Ports 1940*, Fortress Europe 1940-1942, Channel and North Sea 1940-1941*, Egypt and Libya 1942, North Africa 1942-1943*, Mediterranean 1943, Sicily 1943, Salerno, South East Europe 1943-1944, Italy 1943-1945*, Gothic Line, South Atlantic 1982*, Gulf 1991.

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

    The History of 18 Squadron:

    No. 18 Squadron formed initially as a training unit at Northolt on 11 May 1915. During the Great War, it concentrated on bombing, and after the Armistice moved to Germany as part of the Army of Occupation before returning the UK in September 1919 and disbanding. The Squadron remained dormant until reformed in October 1931at Upper Heyford with Harts and then Hinds.

    As part of the Air Component of the BEF and equipped with Blenheims, No. 18 Squadron suffered heavy losses in their attempts to stem the German advance the Europe before being withdrawn to the UK in May 1940. The Squadron was then assigned to anti-shipping duties, but during one raid over France in August 1941, one aircraft dropped a box over St Omer airfield containing an artificial leg. It was a spare for Wing Commander Douglas Bader. The Squadron then moved to North Africa with the Blenheim V and took up day bombing duties. During an unescorted raid on Chouigui airfield in December 1942 led by Wing Commander HG Malcolm, his aircraft was shot down and he was posthumously awarded the VC. During 1943-45, No. 18 Squadron supported the allied advance through Italy before moving to Greece in September 1945, disbanding there a year later.

    No. each in December 1947 flying Dakotas in the transport role, using these in the Berlin Airlift and disbanding shortly after. Reformed in August 1953 with Canberras, the Squadron took part in operations during the Suez crisis of 1955 before temporarily disbanding prior to becoming a Valiant Squadron in 1957. In 1965, the Squadron moved to Germany with Wessex helicopters, having received the type a year before. It remained there until disbanded in 1980, but reformed as the first RAF Chinook squadron in August 1981. During the Falklands War in 1982, four Chinooks were dispatched on the cargo ship Atlantic Conveyor, but three were lost when the vessel was sunk. The sole surviving aircraft gave sterling service on the islands in the months that followed. After the conflict, the Squadron returned to Germany, taking a small number of Pumas on strength before moving to Odiham in 1997.

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