CXX Squadron

A maritime patrol squadron based in Scotland.


Standing on a demi-terrestrial globe, a falcon close. The falcon, an Icelandic Falcon, commemorates the Squadron’s stay there and indicates the Squadron’s predatory instincts.


  • 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
  • 120 Squadron was RAF Coastal Command’s highest-scoring anti-submarine warfare squadron in World War II
  • Became the first Avro Shackleton operator
  • 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

Battle honours

Atlantic, 1941–1945*

Biscay, 1941–1944*

Arctic, 1942–1944*

Channel and North Sea, 1941–1944*

South Atlantic, 1982

Gulf, 1991

Iraq, 2003

Iraq 2003-2011

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


Please contact the home Station Media Communications team for more information or to contact the Squadron

Media enquiries details for RAF Lossiemouth