27 Squadron

27 Sqn Crest


An elephant - approved by HM King Edward VIII in October 1936. The badge was based on an unofficial emblem first used in 1934 and commemorates the Squadron's first operational aircraft - the Martinsyde G100 'Elephant' - and the unit's long sojourn to India.


Quam celerrime ad astra - 'With all speed to the Stars'.

Key Dates:

1914 - Formed at Hounslow.

1947 - Took part in the Berlin Airlift.

1956 - Took part in the Suez crisis.

2003 - Took part in the Operation Telic in Iraq.

    Current Aircraft and Location:

    Current Aircraft: Chinook HC2

    Current Location: RAF Odiham

    Battle Honours:

    Western Front 1916-1918*, Somme 1916*, Arras, Ypres 1917*, Cambrai 1917*, Somme 1918*, Lys, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Mahsud 19420, Waziristan 1920-1925, Mohmund 1927, North West Frontier 1930-1931, Mohmund 1933, North West Frontier 1935-1939, Malaya 1941-1942*, Arakan 1942-1944*, North Burma 1944*, Burma 1944-1945, Gulf 1991.

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

    The History of 27 Squadron:

    Formed at Hounslow on 5 November 1915 from a nucleus provided by No. 24 Squadron, No.27 became the first squadron to be fully equipped with the Martinsyde G100 'Elephant'. Although intended as a fighter, the aircraft found itself more suited to reconnaissance and bombing missions after moving to France in March 1916. It wasn't until the autumn of 1917 that DH4 light bombers replaced the G100s, and these remained with the Squadron for the remainder of the war. In March 1919, the Squadron returned to the UK and disbanded in January 1920.

    Within three months, however, No. 99 Squadron in India was renumbered No. 27 and the Squadron assumed air-policing duties over the North West Frontier with DH9s. These were not replaced until 1930 when Wapitis arrived. These aircraft remained on strength until October 1939 by which time the Squadron became a Flying Training School at Risalpur. Operational status was restored a year later with the arrival of Bleheims, and the Squadron moved to Malaya a few months later. This proved to be a short-lived situation as the Squadron was decimated by the advancing Japanese forces and disbanded in February 1942. When the first Beaufighters arrived in India in September 1942, No. 27 Squadron was reformed and began ground attack operations at the turn of the year. During 1944, rocket-firing Beaufighters had arrived, and No. 27, along with No. 47 Squadron, formed an anti-shipping Strike Wing. Ground attack and air-jungle rescue duties in Burma followed, but the Squadron was disbanded in February 1946.

    In November 1947, the Squadron was reformed at Oakington with Dakotas and, after taking part in the Berlin Airlift, concentrated on paratrooping and air-supply duties until disbanded once more in November 1950. In June 1953, No. 27 Squadron reformed as a Canberra bomber squadron and took part in Operation Musketeer, the Suez campaign, but was again disbanded on the last day of 1957. In April 1961, the Squadron reformed at Scampton and began a 13-year association with Vulcans in the strike and maritime reconnaissance roles before the type was replaced by Tornados in the bomber role in 1983. No. 27 Squadron relinquished its Tornados in 1993, reforming as No. 27 (Reserve) Squadron, the Chinook/Puma OCU, at Odiham and regained full squadron status in January 1998 solely equipped with Chinooks.

    In recent years the squadron has seen a number of operational tours, notably the Balkans (Op Agricola), Afghanistan (Op Ptarmigan) and Iraq (Op Telic).

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