42 Squadron

42(R) Sqn Crest


On a terrestrial globe, a figure of Perseus - approved by King George VI in December 1938. Perseus was used because of his legendary ability to achive what he set out to do, and because the Squadron was equipped with a Perseus-engined aircraft when the badge was designed


Fortiter in re - 'Bravely into action'

Key Dates:

1916 - Formed at Filton.

1991 - Took part in Operation Granby in Iraq.

    Battle Honours:

    North West Frontier 1916-1918*, Afghanistan 1919-1920, Mahoud 1919-1920, North West Frontier 1939, Iraq 1941*, Syria 1941, Egypt and Libya 1941-1942*, Burma 1941-1942*, North Burma 1943-1944*, Arakan 1943-1944*, Manipur 1944*, Burma 1944-1945*, Gulf 1991

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

    The History of 42 Squadron:

    Number 42 Squadron formed at Filton on 1 April 1916 from a nucleus provided by No 19 Squadron, moving to France in August with BE2s for reconnaissance duties over the Western Front. In April 1917, the Squadron re-equipped with RE8s and moved to northern Italy to cover the Austro-Italian Front, returning to France in March 1918.In February 1919, the unit returned to the UK and disbanded at Netheravon on 26 June.

    Reformed at Donibristle on 14 December 1936 from 'B' Flight of No 22 Squadron, No 42 and its Vildebeests became one of only two torpedo strike units in the UK. After a number of moves the Squadron settled at Bircham Newton just as World War II began. It exchanged its Vildebeests for Beauforts in April 1940, with which it specialised in anti-shipping and mine laying along the coasts of northern Europe. In June 1942 the unit left for the Far East but delayed in the Middle East for operations there until December, when it finally arrived in Ceylon. It converted to Blenheims in India, which were used for bombing missions over Burma from March 1943 but re-equipped with Hurricanes in October for ground attack duties. A change to Thunderbolts took place in July 1945, but the Squadron disbanded at Meiktala in Burma on 30 December.It reformed with Beaufighters at Thorney Island in October 1946 as part of Coastal Command's Strike Wing, but disbanded again a year later.

    No 42 Squadron's current commission started on 28 June 1952 when it reformed at St Eval in Cornwall equipped with Shackletons for maritime reconnaissance duties. Nimrods finally replaced these venerable aircraft in April 1971. In April 1982, the unit despatched two aircraft to Ascension Island as part of the first phase of Operation 'Corporate'- the recovery of the Falkland Islands - gaining its 16th Battle Honour in the process. The Squadron also provided crews as part of the Nimrod detachment in Oman involved in Operation 'Granby' and in January 1991 it set up a major detachment in Cyprus to provide additional further support to the Allied forces. Disbanded as a front-line unit on 1 October 1992, the numberplate was then assigned to the Nimrod OCU, formerly No 236 OCU, at Kinloss in Scotland.

    In the aftermath of the October 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review an announcement was made to cancel the Nimrod MRA4 project.

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