RAF Badges Cigarette Cards (Part 4)

No 66 (Fighter) Squadron

No 66 was formed in June 1916, as a fighter squadron, and flew to France in March 1917 in time to play a prominent part in the air operations during the battles of Arras. In June 1917 the squadron moved to Calais for special patrol work in the Dover Straits area, to intercept enemy aircraft raiding England. After a short time however it returned to its normal duties with the army. Towards the end of 1917 the squadron was transferred to Italy. After a distinguished record of service it returned to England in 1919 and was disbanded. In July 1936, No 66 was reformed at Duxford, Cambs, where it is still in occupation.

No 70 (Bomber Transport) Squadron

The squadron was formed in April 1916. In May the first flight left for France, followed by the remaining two flights in June and July respectively. Equipped for fighter-reconnaissance duties the squadron quickly earned a reputation during the Somme battles for dogged perseverance in face of relentless opposition. Re-equipped in July 1917, as a fighter squadron, No 70 further enhanced its already high reputation. After the Armistice the squadron moved to Bickendorf. It was eventually disbanded at Spittlegate in January 1920. In the following month, No 58 Squadron in Egypt was redesignated No 70. The squadron is at present serving in Iraq.

No 74 (Fighter) Squadron

Formed in July 1917, at Northolt, this famous fighting squadron flew overseas in March 1918. On its arrival in France the squadron, by notable successes in formation fighting and leadership, quickly established a decisive superiority over the enemy. In addition to air fighting, No 74 assisted the final Allied advance, by direct action against enemy troops with bomb and machine gun fire from low height. Returning to England in February 1919, the squadron was disbanded in the following July. In September 1935 it was reformed at Hornchurch, Essex, its present station.

No 104 (Bomber) Squadron

Formed in September 1917 at Andover, this squadron was not mobilised for active service until May 1918. Equipped as a day bomber squadron, it flew to France for duty with the Independent Force, for action against the industrial centres in the Rhineland area. During the remaining months of the war, the squadron, in face of severe opposition, carried out its duties with the utmost vigour and determination. Returning to England in February 1919 it was disbanded in the following June. In January 1936 No 104 was reformed at Abingdon and is now located at Hucknall, Notts.

No 111 (Fighter) Squadron

Formed as a fighter squadron in August 1917 at Deir el Belah, Palestine, No 111 played a prominent part in assisting General Allenby’s forces in their victorious advances. In co-operating with the advancing infantry, it successfully used the method of picking up written messages from the ground by means of a weighted hook on the end of a hanging wire. In February 1920 the original squadron was renumbered No 14 Squadron and a new No 111 was formed at Duxford in October 1923. This squadron is now stationed at Northolt, Middlesex.

No 151 (Fighter) Squadron

In view of the increase in enemy night bombing activity in France in May 1918, a night fighting squadron, No 151, was formed in England for service on the Western front. The squadron arrived in France on June 16 1918, and during its five months’ active service accounted for a large number of enemy aeroplanes. These included sixteen shot down behind the British lines, of which one was a five engine ‘Giant’ with a crew of nine, the first of its kind to fall in Allied territory. The squadron returned to England in 1919 and was disbanded. In August 1936 No 151 was reformed at North Weald, Essex, its present station.

No 201 (General Reconnaissance) (Late Flying Boat) Squadron

Initially formed as No 1 Squadron, R.N.A.S. at Gosport in October 1914, this squadron became No 201 on the formation of the Royal Air Force in April 1918. In February 1915 the squadron flew to Dunkirk where its work comprised mainly the bombing of German Zeppelin and submarine bases in Belgium, co-operation with the fleet and offensive patrols. In February 1917, it was attached to the Royal Flying Corps and for the remainder of the war served as a fighter squadron with the British Expeditionary Force. Disbanded in December 1919, No 201 was reformed in January 1929. The squadron’s home station is Calshot, Hants.

No 203 (General Reconnaissance) (Late Flying Boat) Squadron

Originally No 3 R.N.A.S., this squadron may claim descent from the first British Navy flying unit. Formed at Eastchurch in 1911, it flew to France in August 1914 and two months later destroyed a Zeppelin in its shed at Dusseldorf. It served throughout the Dardanelles campaign and was then disbanded. Reformed as a fighter unit in June 1916 it was renumbered 203 in April 1918. Its record during the subsequent operations in France was distinguished. In Jan 1923 the squadron was disbanded and was reformed as a flying boat unit 1929. It has since served in Iraq and at Aden, and is now on service at Basrah, Iraq.

No 207 (Bomber) Squadron

This squadron is distinguished by the fact that it was the first British unit to be used solely for long-range night bombing. Formed in France in November 1916 as No 7 Squadron R.N.A.S. it was equipped with weight carrying aircraft in the following April and for a year maintained a relentless bombing offensive against the U Boat bases in Belgium and against German railway communications. Renumbered 207 and refitted in England, the squadron returned to France in June 1918 in time to play a part in the final allied advance. The original squadron was disbanded in January 1920 but was reformed twelve days later and in 1922-23 saw service in Turkey. The present station is at Worthy Down, Hants.

No 216 (Bomber Transport) Squadron

In 1917, as a counter to the German night bombing of London, an offensive against German munitions areas was initiated by naval and military aircraft operating from the Nancy area. The naval unit known originally as “A” Squadron and later No 16 Squadron was created early in Oct 1917 and, equipped for long range night bombing, made its first attack the same month. The squadron, renumbered 216 in April 1918, continued night bombing of industrial centres and communications in the Rhineland until the end of the war. In 1919 No 216 flew to Egypt where it is still stationed at Heliopolis.

No 230 (General Reconnaissance) (Late Flying Boat) Squadron

This squadron, formed in the autumn of 1918 from the anti-submarine patrol unit at Felixstowe, may be said to have inherited in part the tradition of this famous East Coast air base. Established in 1913, Felixstowe Naval Air Station became the centre of British flying boat development and was notable for many outstanding successes against U Boats and Zeppelins during the war years. No 230 Squadron moved to Calshot in May 1922 and was disbanded a year later. Reformed in December 1934, the squadron was sent to Alexandria in 1935 and in the following year flew to Singapore where the unit is still in operation.

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