Squadron Royal Air Force
Frangas non flectas - 'Thou mayst break but shall not bend me'
> Units and Formations
Updated: 27 May 07
Formed: 26 Jul 1913, Farnborough
Reformed: 1920, Quetta
Reformed: 1949, Pembrey
Disbanded: still an active RAF Squadron
Squadron based at:
Quetta :: 1920 - 1940
RAF Pembrey :: 1949 - 1951
Germany :: 1951 - 1957; 1959 - 1965
RAF Binbrook :: 1965 - 1987
RAF Coningsby :: 1987 - 2003
RAF Waddington :: ?? - present
BE2c :: Aug 1914 - 1920
Bristol Fighter :: 1920 - 1931
Wapiti :: 1931 - 1940
Hart :: 1940 - 1942
Mohawk :: 1942 -
Javelin :: 1959 - 1965
Lightning :: 1965 - 1987
Tornado F3 :: 1987 - 2003
SENTINEL R1 :: 2004 - present
Formed at Farnborough in 1913, 5 Sqn RFC provided reconnaissance for the BEF in Aug 1914. The Sqn has the distinction of recording the RFC's first war casualties when an aircraft was hit by rifle fire on 22 Aug 1914. It also records the Royal Flying Corps’ first ever victory 24 Aug 1914 when an Erich monoplane was forced down by a 5 Sqn Avro 540.
5 Sqn took a leading role in the development of aerial photography and wireless telephony during the early phases of the Great War. Artillery observation was the main task with the BE2C.
In 1915 it formed a close association with the Canadian 16 Corps which led to the maple leaf being adpoted as its emblem.
In 1920 the Squadron reformed at Quetta, India (now Pakistan) for army co-operation work on the North West Frontier. Its Bristol Fighters remained with them for 11 years until replaced in 1931 by Wapitis. These outdated biplanes remained until 1940 when they where replaced by the equally ancient Hart. These were replaced by the Mohawk fighter in 1942 for escort duties, accompanying Blenheim from Assam attacking targets in Burma. Up to disbandment in 1947 the Sqn also flew Hurricane and Thunderbolt.
5 Sqn reformed at RAF Pembrey on 11 Feb 1949 on target-towing duties. In Sep 1951, 5 Sqn moved to Germany and flew Vampire and Venom fighter bombers before disbanding in the 1957 defence round.
In 1959 it was reformed in the all-weather fighter force in Germany, flying Javelin. It stayed here until 1965, moving to RAF Binbrook to be re-equipped with with the Lightning F6. In 1987 the Sqn moved to RAF Coningsby and re-equipped to the Tornado F3.
A combined 5 Sqn and 29 Sqn force was the first RAF component to arrive in Saudi Arabia in Aug 1990 after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
5 Sqn disbanded again in 2003 at Coningsby and reformed on 1 Apr 04 at RAF Waddington to operate SENTINEL R1, the Airborne STand-Off Radar (ASTOR) aircraft.
V Sqn Association
For details on the V Sqn Association please contact Bob Riste (01522 794035) or firstname.lastname@example.org
5 Sqn history on RAF website
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