CXX Squadron is based at RAF Lossiemouth, 120 Squadron is the RAF’s first operator of the Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA).

120 Squadron began its long association with anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol when it began operating the Liberator GR.Mk I from RAF Nutt’s Corner, County Antrim, in 1941.

It was RAF Coastal Command’s highest-scoring anti-submarine warfare squadron in World War II and became the first Avro Shackleton operator. CXX Squadron flew the Nimrod from 1970.




1918   120 Squadron stood up 1 January as a Royal Flying Corps unit at RAF Cramlington, Northumberland. It disbanded in October 1919.

1941   Also known as CXX Squadron, the unit began flying the Consolidated Liberator in the Battle of the Atlantic.

1942   Deployed detachments to Reykjavik, Iceland and the Middle East, before relocating to Iceland in 1943.

1944   Returned to Ireland, stationed at Ballykelly.

1946   Re-equipped with the Avro Lancaster.

1951   First squadron to operate the Avro Shackleton MPA.

1970   Began operating the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod jet MPA. Disbanded, still on the Nimrod, in 2010.

2017   Announced as the first Poseidon MRA1 squadron, receiving the UK's initial example in 2019.

2020   Flew the first UK-based Poseidon to Kinloss Barracks while upgrade work at RAF Lossiemouth was completed.


1941 - 1945*   Atlantic

1941 - 1944*   Biscay

1942 - 1944*   Arctic

1941 - 1944*   Channel and North Sea

1982   South Atlantic

1991   Gulf

2003   Iraq

2003 - 2011   Iraq

*Honours marked with an asterisk are those emblazoned on the Squadron Standard.