|LIV / 54 Squadron Royal Air Force|
> Units and Formations
Updated: 9 Nov 11
Formed: 5 May 1916, RAF Castle Bromwich
Disbanded: 25 Oct 1919
Formed:15 Jan 1930, RAF Upavon
Disbanded: 31 Oct 1945, RAAF Melbourne
Reformed: 15 Nov 1946 through renumbering of 183 Sqn, RAF Chilbolton
Disbanded: 1 Sep 1969
Reformed: 1 Sep 1969, RAF Coningsby
Disbanded: 11 Mar 2005
Reformed: 5 Sep 05, RAF Waddington
Jaguar :: 1974 - 11 Mar 2005
Phanton FGR2 :: 1970 -
Squadron was stationed at:
RAF Castle Bromwich :: 5 May 1916 -
RAF Yatesbury :: Feb 1919 - 25 Oct 1919
RAF Hornchurch :: 15 Jan 1930 -
RAF Upavon ::
RAF Hornchurch :: 15 Jan 1930 -
RAF Catterick :: Sep 1940
RAF Hornchurch :: Sep 1940 - Sep 1940
RAF Castletown :: Nov 1940 -
RAF Hornchurch :: Feb 1941 - Nov 1941
RAF Wellingore :: June 1942 - 1942
RAF Chilbolton :: 15 Nov 1946 - 1947
RAF Odiham :: 1947 - Jul 1959
RAF Stradishall :: Jul 1959 - 1963
RAF West Raynham :: 1963 - 1 Sep 1969
RAF Coningsby :: 1 Sep 1969 - 1974
RAF Coltishall :: 1974 - 11 Mar 2005
RAF Waddington :: 5 Sep 2006 -
54 Sqn formed in 1916 at Castle Bromwich on 5 May 1916 and tasked with Home Defence duties operating on the BE2C and Avro 504. By Sep 1916 it transferred to day fighter missions and moved to France, escorting bombers and attacking observation balloons on the Sopwith Pup. By 1918 it was flying Sopwith Camels in both ground attack and air-to-air roles. In February 1919, the Squadron returned to RAF Yatesbury, reduced to cadre status and was disbanded on 25 October 1919.
The Squadron was reformed at RAF Hornchurch on 15 January 1930 as a fighter squadron equipped initially with Siskins. The squadron had a brief stay at RAF Upavon in 1931, prior to returning to RAF Hornchurch. The Siskins were subsequently replaced with Bulldogs, Gloster Gauntlets in September 1936 and Gladiators in April 1937, before the Squadron's first monoplane, the Supermarine Spitfire, arrived in March 1939.
After the outbreak of war the Sqn was assigned to coastal patrol duties before providing air cover for the evacuation of Dunkirk and subsequently operating in the Battle of Britain, until it moved north to RAF Castletown, in November 1940 to regroup, prior to undertaking coastal patrols.
In June 1942, the squadron was moved to RAF Wellingore, to prepare for moving to Australia where it joined No 1 (Spitfire) Wg RAAF on air defence duties against the Japanese threat on 1 Jan 1943. Following the end of the war, the squadron disbanded in Melbourne on October 31, 1945.
One year later, 183 Sqn, a Hawker Tempest ground-attack unit, was renumbered 54 Sqn on 15 Nov 1946 and spent a year training pilots destined for overseas service before receiving Vampires and moving to RAF Odiham a year later.
Six Vampires from the Sqn made history in 1948 when they made the first jet aircraft crossing of the Atlantic. After the Meteor in Apr 1952, the Hunter followed in Mar 1955, and the Squadron took up ground-attack duties as part of 38 Group's Offensive Strike Wing. The Sqn moved to RAF Stradishall in Jul 1959 and RAF West Raynham in 1963.
The squadron disbanded on 1 Sep 1969 reforming the same day on the Phantoms FGR2 at RAF Coningsby.
The Sqn moved to Coltishall and the Jaguars in 1974, deploying frequently to operational theatres. However after 2000 with the decision to reduce the Jaguar and take the aircraft out of service in anticipation of the arrival of Typhoon 54 Squadron was disbanded at RAF Coltishall on 11 March 2005.
Reformed as 54 (Reserve) Squadron at RAF Waddington on 1 September 2005 it re-roled as the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Conversion Unit, responsible for training all mission crews for the E-3D Sentry, the Nimrod R1. The unit will also train crews of the Sentinel R1 when it comes into service.
54(F) Sqn disbanded on the 11 Mar 2005.
Seven months after disbanding as 54(F) Sqn at RAF Coltishall, 54 Sqn re-formed as 54(R) Squadron at Waddington as the Intelligence Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Operational Conversion Unit to train aircrews from the three ISTAR platforms E-3D Sentry, Nimrod R1 and Sentinel R1.
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