16 Squadron

Providing initial pilot training.

Hidden things are revealed

Two keys in saltire - approved by King Edward VIII in November 1936. The badge symbolises the time spent on army co-operation duties, the keys indicating the unlocking of the enemy's secrets, the gold key by day, the black key by night.


  • Stationed at RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire.
  • In 1915 it was the first air unit to use wireless technology to report troop movements
  • Aircraft flown have included, the Canberra, Buccaneer and Tornado GR1
  • Was a Jaguar Operational Conversion Unit until 2005


1915 - Formed at St Omer.

1944 - Flew reconnaissance missions in preparation for D-Day.

1960 - Became a nuclear equipped strike squadron.

2005 - Squadron Disbanded at RAF Coltishall.

2008 - Squadron reformed at RAF Cranwell

Battle honours

Western Front 1915-1918

Neuve Chappelle


Somme 1916*


Ypres 1917*

France and Low Countries 1940


Fortress Europe 1943-1944

France and Germany 1944

Normandy 1944*

Arnhem*, Ruhr 1944-1945

Gulf 1991

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

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