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  12 Squadron Royal Air Force
Leads the Field

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Heavy Conversion Units
1654 HCU
1656 HCU
1660 HCU
1661 HCU
1662 HCU
1665 HCU
1667 HCU
1668 HCU
21 HGCU

Advanced Flying Schools
201 AFS

Advanced Flying Units
12 AFU
15 AFU

Flying Training Schools
1 FTS
2 FTS
3 FTS
6 FTS
7 FTS
12 FTS
1 Lancaster Finishing School
Central Flying School

Operational Training/
Conversion Units
(Fighter)
6 OTU
53 OTU

56 OTU

(Bomber)
228 OCU
230 OCU

Air Armament Schools
1 AAS
2 AAS
Empire Central AS

Other schools
1 Gp Aircrew School
1 Ground Defence School
1 Air Observers School
Central Gunnery School
5 Gp Anti Air School

Other units
Bomber Command
Coastal Command
Fighter Command
HQ No 5 Group
HQ No 23 Group
1485 Gunnery Flight
2782 Defence Sqn
178 Support Unit
399 Signals Unit
Nationality based Sqns

Updated : 7 Jan 09

Formed: 14 Feb 1915, Netheravon

Disbanded: 1961

Reformed: 1962

Squadron was based at:

RAF Finningley :: - 3 Jul 1940

RAF Binbrook :: 3 Jul 1940 - 7 Aug 1940; 7 Sep 1940 - 25 Sep 1942; 24 Sep 1945 - Jul 1946

RAF Wickenby :: 25 Sep 1942 - 24 Sep 1945

RAF Waddington :: Jul 1946 - 1953

RAF Wittering :: 1953 -

RAF Coningsby :: 1962 - 1964

RAF Cottesmore :: 1964 - 1967

RAF Honington :: 1969 -

RAF Lossiemouth ::

Sqn Code: PH, GZ

Aircraft operated:

Fairey Fox ::

Fairey Battle :: Feb 1938 - Nov 1940

Wellington MkII :: Nov 1940 - Aug 1942

Wellington MkIII :: Aug 1942 - Nov 1942

Lancaster Mk I, Mk III :: Nov/Dec 1942 -

Lincoln :: >= 1946 - ??

Canberra B2 ::

Canberra B6 ::

Vulcan B2 :: 1962 - 1967

Tornado :: - present

12 Squadron was formed on 14 February 1915 at Netheravon. Its fox emblem was taken from its full squadron crest, which in turn came from the fact that this squadron was the only one to use the Fairey Fox biplane. The motto Leads The Field is because the Fairey Fox bomber was faster than the fighters then in service.

RAF Wickenby and 12 & 626 Sqns are commemorated in memorial stone of Icarus at the entrance to the airfield, now a flying club. See "A Brief History of the RAF in Lincolnshire" :: website. The relevant page is linked directly in the column to the right of this page.

12 Sqn arrived at Binbrook from Finningley in early July 1940 flying Fairy Battles, but converted to Wellington bombers in Nov 1940. In April 1941 12 Sqn sent 28 aircraft on the first of the bomber raids targetting Cologne. In 1942 12 Sqn moved to Wickenby and converted to Lancasters while concrete runways were constructed at Binbrook, returning there on 24 Sep 1945. It was disbanded in 1961 but reformed in 1962 at Coningsby with the Vulcan B2 Bomber. In 1964 it moved to Cottesmore, staying until 1967 when the primacy of the Royal Navy in generating Britain's nuclear deterrent began to take its toll on the Vulcan Sqns.

The entire RAF Form 540, otherwise known as the Summary of Events, for 12 Sqn May 1943 has been typed up and posted to the web. It is a fascinating insight into day-to-day operations :: website

Roy Lambeth was an LAC Supplier Accounts at RAF Honington in March 1970 whilst 12 Sqn was re-equipping.

"I involved in building up 12 Sqn and 237OCU with spares from various Royal Naval Stores Depots. I understand that 12 Sqn was reformed at RAF Honington in 1969 adopting The Honington Fox as its emblem and stayed there until it was moved to RAF Lossiemouth. It flew Buccanneer Mks 2,2a & 2b. Its first aircraft were XV351, XV352 and XV353 with thge prototype XV350 being kept by the researchers. I last saw XV350 as a wingless fuselage on a trolley at RAF Swanton Morley around 1977."

books about 12 Sqn

12 Sqn Memorial Stone

Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire
(Tourism)

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