RAF badges Cigarette Cards (Part One)

Number 1 Fighter Squadron

This Squadron is a direct descendant of Number One Airship Company, Royal Engineers, out of which it was formed in May 1912. The Squadron went to France in March 1915 and until January 1917 was engaged on army cooperation duties. It was then re-equiped as a fighter squadron and was almost continuously engaged against the German Air Force until the armistice in 1920. Yhe Squadron was disbanded in England and immediately reformed at Risalpur, India whence it was sent to strengthen the British forces in Iraq during the political disturbances in April 1921. It is now stationed at Tangmere in Sussex.

Number 2 Army Co-Operation Squadron

Formed in May 1912 at Farnborough, Number 2 has the distinction of being the first squadron to move from its parent depot to work as a complete unit at a new station. The Squadron distinguished itself at the outset. In August 1913 one of its pilots flew with a passenger from Farnborough to Montrose, breaking the then existing world’s record for passenger flight. Soon after the outbreak of war the Squadron flew to france and commenced a long career of outstanding service as an army cooperation unit. In February 1919, reduced to cadre,  it returned to England and 12 months later commenced to reform in Ireland. It is now located at Hawkinge, Kent.

Number Four Army Co-Operation Squadron

Formed in September 1912 at Farnborough, Number Four Squadron until the outbreak of the Great War was mainly concerned with experimental work. In August 1914 the Squadron joined the expeditionary force in France. Predominantly its duties in co-operation with the army were wide and diverse, with an outstanding record of consistently good work. In February 1919, reduced to cardre, it returned to England and in April 1920 was reformed at Farnborough as a permanent squadron. Apart from a year spent in Constantinople in 1922-23 the squadron has remained in this country on army co-operation duties and is at present stationed at Odiham, Hants.

Number 9 (Bomber) Squadron

The squadron was originally formed from the Headquarters Wireless Unit of the Royal Flying Corps, at St Omer, France, in December 1914, taking the title of No 9. (Wireless) Squadron. This original unit only lasted a brief period, being disbanded in March, 1915. A new No 9 Squadron was formed a month later at Brooklands, and crossed to France in December 1915, equipped for Army Co-Operation work. It was engaged on this duty on the Western Front for the remainder of the war. In December 1919, the squadron was dispanded at Castle Bromwich and reformed as a bonber squadron at Upavon in April 1924. It is now located at Scampton, Lincs.

Number 11 (Bomber) Squadron

Formed in February 1915, No. 11 flew to France, five months later. The squadron, which was the first British air unit to be wholly equipped with fighting aircraft, was soon in action. During the Battles of the Somme in 1916 it took a prominent part in the fierce and unremitting air offensive which characterised these battles. Re-equipped in June 1917, with aeroplanes of higher performance, the squadron continued until the Armistice to enhance an already splendid fighting record. After a few months in Germany in 1919, No 11 returned to England and was disbanded. Reformed as a bomber squadron at Andover in January 1923, it was transferred to Risalpur, India, its present station.

Number 12 (Bomber) Squadron

The squadron was formed at Netheravon, in February 1915, and in the following September was sent to France as an Army Co-Operation squadron. It was first employed directly under General Headquarters, but from February 1916 until the Armistice was engaged solely on Army Co-Operation duties. After the Armistice it formed part of the Army of Occupation in Germany and remained in that country until July 1922, when it was disbanded at Bickendorf. In April 1923, No 12. was reformed at Notholt, Middlesex, as a bomber squadron and is now stationed at Andover, Hants.

Number 13 (Army Co-Operation) Squadron

Formed in Hanuary 1915 at Gosport, No. 13 Squadron left for France in the following October. Equipped for Army Co-Operation duties, the squadron played a distinguished part during the battles of Arras in 1917, while working in co-operation with the XVII Corps. During 1918 the squadron was highly commended for its good work, notable for the great assistance it rendered to the infantry during the battle of the Canal du Nord in September 1918. Returning to England, the squadron was disbanded in December 1919, and reformed at Kenley on April 1st 1924. It is at present stationed at Odiham, Hants.

Number 15 (Bomber) Squadron

The squadron, which was formed at South Farnborough in March 1915, crossed to France in the following December, equipped for Army Co-Operation duties and served on the Western Front until the Armistice. The excellent photographic and artillery co-operation work rendered by the squadron in assisting the Fifth Army during atacks on the Ancre Salient in January 1917, earned the special recognition of Sir Douglas Haig. No 15. was disbanded in December 1919, reformed as a bomber squadron at Martlesham Heath in March 1924, and is at present stationed at Abingdon, Berks.

Number 16 (Army Co-Operation) Squadron

In Febrauary 1915, detachments equipped with miscellaneous types of aeroplanes, were sent by Nos. 2, 5 & 6 Squadrons to St Omer, France, to create No 16. Within a few days of its formation, this squadron was in action, being called upon to perform reconnaisance duties for the Army. It was re-equipped in May 1917, with a new type of aeroplane and continued on Army Co-Operation work until the Armistice. The squadron returned to England in 1919 and was disbanded in December of that year. In April 1924 it was reformed as No 16 (Army Co-Operation) Squadron, and is now located at Old Sarum, Wilts.

Number 17 (Fighter) Squadron

The squadron was formed at Gosport in February 1915 and embarked for Egypt in the following November. The squadron had a fine record in the East, playing a conspicuous part in the operation in the Western Desert, Sudan, Sinai and in Macedonia. No 17 Squadron was disbanded at Constantinople in November 1919, and reformed as a fighter squadron at Hawkinge in April 1924. It is now stationed at Kenley, Surrey.

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