BAE 146

32(The Royal) Squadron

32(TR) Sqn Crest


A hunting horn stringed - approved by King George VI in December 1936. The horn signified the unit's ability to hunt the enemy.


Adeste comites - 'Rally round, comrades'

Key Dates:

1916 - Formed at Netheravon.
1940 - Took part in the Battle of Britain.
1995 - Became the Royal Squadron following amalgamation with the Queens Flight.

    Current Aircraft and Location:

    Current Aircraft: [link not available]. BAE 146 and Agusta 109E

    Current Location: RAF Northolt

    Battle Honours:

    Western Front 1916-1918, Somme 1916-1918, Arras, Ypres 1917*, Amiens*, France and Low Countries 193-1940*, Battle of Britain 1940*, Home Defence 1940-1942, Dieppe*, North Africa 1942-1943*, Italy 1943, South East Europe 1944-1945*, Gulf 1991.

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

    History of XXXII(TR) Squadron:

    No 32 (The Royal) Squadron celebrates its centenary in January 2016. The past 100 years of service have seen it operate aircraft from the DH2 in the First World War to the Hurricane and Spitfire in the Second World War and later the Vampire, Venom and Canberra light bomber. Netheravon in Wiltshire was the first home of the Squadron which was formed in January 1916 when it was officially stood up with a fleet of DH2s. These were rapidly deployed to the front line in France with the Commanding Officer Major L W B Rees being awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry. During the early days of the Battle of Britain, No 32 Squadron fought in the skies above Britain using the legendary Hurricane. It suffered heavy losses and was withdrawn from the frontline until 1942 but at this time the Squadron had scored more kills than any other involved in the Battle. The squadron later departed for North Africa where it joined the Desert Air Force before trading its Hurricanes for Spitfires and moving on through the Continent then onto Italy and Greece. Post World War II the Squadron flew its Spitfires in Palestine and Cyprus before updating these trusty aircraft for the Vampire and later the Venom.
    In April 1995, following amalgamation with The Queens Flight, the Squadron became No 32 (The Royal) Squadron and operated the HS125, BAe146 and Wessex, Gazelle, Twin Squirrel and now the Augusta 109 helicopter types in the Communications role. For over a decade 32 Squadron has seen its aircraft constantly involved in support of operations in theatres such as the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Libya, Mali and Somalia with aircraft deployed for the duration of Operations TELIC and HERRICK in Iraq and Afghanistan
    32 (The Royal) Squadron’s role today is Command Support Air Transport (CSAT) - the movement of small groups of high priority personnel or cargo by air in order to facilitate global key leadership engagement and further UK influence. The Squadron is tasked to deliver a safe, secure and responsive CSAT capability for senior military commanders, Government Ministers and occasionally the Royal Family.
    In 2012 two BAe 146 QC variants were purchased as part of an Urgent Operational Requirement to provide short range intra theatre Tactical Air Transport for troops in Afghanistan. Based at Kandahar Airfield these aircraft fulfilled this role for two years before returning to the UK when Operation HERRICK ended in December 2014. The HS125s were retired from service in April 2015 leaving the Squadron with four BAe146s and one Augusta A109E helicopter to deliver its primary role of CSAT. The capabilities of the rotary and fixed wing assets complement each other to provide UK Defence with a seamless and responsive capability ensuring that the right people get to the right place at a time of their choosing.

    Text size: