28 Sqn H

28(AC) Squadron

28(AC) Sqn Crest


In front of a demi-Pegasus, a fasces, approved by HM King Edward VIII in October 1936. The demi-Pegasus represents the white horse on the downs near Yatesbury - the Squadron's first operational base - while the fasces commemorates service in Italy during the first World War


Quicquid agas age - 'Whatsoever you may do, do'

Key Dates:

1915 - Formed at Gosport.

1997 - The last RAF unit to leave Hong Kong.

2003 - First Merlin operational detachment to Bosnia.

2015 – Re-formed as the Support Helicopter OperationalConversion Unit

Current Aircraft and Location:

Current Aircraft: ChinookHC4, Puma HC2

Current Location: RAF Benson

Battle Honours:

Italian Front and Adriatic 1917-1918*

Piave, Vittoria Venito, Waziristan 1921-1925*

North-West Frontier 1939*

Burma 1942*

Arakan 1943-1944*

Manipur 1944*

Burma 1944-1945*.

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

The History of 28 Squadron:

Number 28 Squadron formed at Gosport on 7 November 1915 from a nucleus provided by No 22 Squadron. For 18 months it was a training unit before moving to Yatesbury in July 1917 and re-equipped with Sopwith Camels before moving to France in October. The Squadron had barely settled on the continent when it was moved to Italy, along with the British Expeditionary Force, to bolster the forces in that country. No 28 Squadron remained in Italy until February 1919 flying offensive patrols before returning home for the inevitable disbandment of the unit on 20 January 1920.

Four months later, the Squadron reformed by renumbering No 114 Squadron based at Ambala in India, then equipped with the trusty Bristol Fighter and operating on the North-West Frontier as an Army co-operation unit. The 'Brisfits' soldiered on until September 1931 when Wapitis arrived, these in turn being replaced by Audaxes in 1936. It wasn't until September 1941 that "modern" equipment in the form of Lysanders arrived. These were used to support British forces in Burma fighting the Japanese advance until the country was over-run. The Squadron re-grouped at Lahore and co-operated in a series of exercises until the end of the year when it traded the Lysanders for Hurricane fighter-bombers. The 'Hurri-bombers' as they were known commenced operations over Burma in January 1943 and continued through to the Japanese surrender by which time No 28 had started to re-equip with Spitfires. The Squadron then returned to Burma as part of the permanent defence force before transferring to Hong Kong in May 1949 in light of the situation in China.

February 1951 saw Vampires arrive and the Squadron on the move again, this time to Sek Kong where it remained for three years before returning to Kai Tak and receiving Venoms. The multi-role Hunter was taken on strength in 1962 before the unit was disbanded in December 1966. On 1 April 1968, No 28 Squadron reformed at Kai Tak, this time with Whirlwind helicopters. These were replaced by Wessex's in early 1972. No 28 was the last unit to leave the colony of Hong Kong before it was returned to Chinese control in June 1997 during which time it provided support not only to British forces, but local authorities on the colony. It was reformed again in 2000 to operate the first Merlin HC3 helicopters from RAF Benson, these arriving from January 2001 onwards. The first operational deployment by the squadron with its Merlins was made in 2003 when aircraft commenced operations in Bosnia.

The Squadron was reformed again in 2001 at RAF Benson to operate the first Merlin HC3 helicopters. On achieving Initial Operating Capability, the first operational deployment commenced immediately with the Squadron deploying two aircraft to Bosnia in support of SFOR in Banja Luka. Since then the Squadron has gone from strength to strength, supporting helicopter operations worldwide including Operation TELIC in Iraq until 2009 alongside 78 Squadron as the Merlin Force. Following the drawdown from Iraq operations, the Merlin Force swiftly trained aircrew and modified the aircraft to cope with higher altitudes, and the Squadron deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation HERRICK in November 2009 as 1419 Flight.

The Squadron formally handed over Merlin helicopter operations to845 Naval Air Squadron on 9 July 2015 at RAF Benson and changed role to becomethe combined Puma and Chinook Operational Conversion Unit. Their task is totrain helicopter aircrew to fly Puma and Chinook helicopters and to underwritethe future operational capability of both of the RAF support helicopter fleets.28 Squadron became operational on 21 October 2015.

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