501 (County of Gloucester)

The facts

Station name: RAF Brize Norton

Station address: Carterton, Oxfordshire OX18 3LX

Motto: Nil Time (Latin meaning ‘No Fear’)

Mission: To provide a cadre of RAuxAF logistics personnel trained, equipped and prepared for mobilisation to support the Royal Air Force on enduring operations, both at home and abroad.

Roles: https://www.raf.mod.uk/recruitment/roles/

Get in touch: 0345 606 9069

More about this squadron

Based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron has been newly re-formed to expand the RAF Reserves Logistics capability, recruiting Logistics Officers, Drivers and Suppliers to support the RAF Air Transport fleet. Until early in 2013 the squadron operated in a Force Protection role; its recent change of function supports the RAF Reserves requirements under the Future Reserves 2020 programme.

Roles and specialist skills

The squadron recruits exclusively in the Logistics branch and trades, and all posts are open to male and female applicants alike.

Logistics Officers provide the logistics support necessary to keep our aircraft flying, by leading a team of airmen/women, managing personnel and equipment, and distributing equipment by land, sea and air on a global scale. Logistics (Mechanical Transport Drivers) provide the RAF’s professional driver capability, while Logistics (Suppliers) deliver integrated supply chain support for storing and moving defence material and equipment.

These are demanding roles and Logistics personnel must be robust, as well as mentally and physically fit.

Recent deployments

From 2005 until 2009, Reservists from 501 Squadron in its Force Protection role were deployed at Basra Airport in Iraq. Since 2006, the squadron’s personnel have also been deployed to either Kandahar Airfield or Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan.


501 Squadron began its life as a Special Reserve unit - a combination of Regular and Reserve personnel - in 1929, when it was equipped with DH9A aircraft. In 1936 it became 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force, converting from Westland Wallaces to Hawker Harts then to Hawker Hinds. In 1938, the squadron was transferred from Bomber Command to Fighter Command and received its first Hurricanes in March 1939. Following action in France as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force (AASF), the Squadron recovered to England and took part in the Battle of Britain. By 17 December 1940, the squadron had claimed 149 destroyed and boasted aces such as ‘Ginger’ Lacey and Antoni Glowacki (to name but two).

Later in the war the Squadron served in UK, flying Spitfires, and then Tempests, and took part in the battle against the V1 flying bomb. By 1945, 501 Squadron had flown 11,140 sorties and had shot down 201 enemy aircraft and 84 flying bombs. The squadron was disbanded in 1945 but re-formed in the following year at Filton as a Royal Auxiliary Air Force fighter squadron flying Vampire jets, before being disbanded again in 1957.

It returned to life in 2001, as a Force Protection unit at RAF Brize Norton as 501 (County of Gloucester) Operational Support Squadron, and operated in this role until its recent re-formation as a Logistics unit.

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