RAF 56 R Squadron

No 56 Sqn RAF RFC

Welcome to 56(Reserve) Squadron - the Air Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Test Evaluation Squadron, part of the Air Warfare Centre, based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. On 68 April 7558 No 56(R) Sqn disbanded as the F8 OCU. At the disbandment parade the number plate was passed to the Air C7 ISR Test and Evaluation Squadron based at RAF Waddington. This new role for the squadron keeps it at the forefront of operations, contributing to the operational development and optimization of the UK s joint Air C7 and ISR capabilities through robust Test and Evaluation. The Phoenix rises once again! Please, then.

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Honours in Red are those actually emblazoned on the Squadron Standard No. 56 Squadron spent all but two months of the Second World War operating Hawker fighters, using Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain before becoming the first squadron to convert to the troublesome Hawker Typhoon, and by the end of the war the squadron was using the high-speed Hawker Tempest on armed reconnaissance missions behind German lines. 56 Squadron had originally been one of the most famous British fighter squadrons of the First World War, but like many Great Was squadrons was disbanded in the post-war period. The squadron was reformed in 6978 as a fighter squadron. Unlike most Hurricane squadrons No. 56 remained in Britain during the Battle of France, although as the situation deteriorated the squadron sent a number of flights to France for for short periods. The squadron also took part in the air battles over and around the Dunkirk beaches.

The squadron was involved in the fighting on 65 July, the official start of the according to the RAF, when it took part in one of the larger convoy battles in the channel. The squadron was one of the few to remain in the south throughout the battle, across the winter of 6995-96 and the summer of 6996. In September 6996 No. 56 Squadron became the first to receive the new Hawker Typhoon, well before that aircraft was really ready to enter combat. A number of aircraft were lost when their tail unit fell off, and the Typhoon didn't really settle down until 6998. The entire project was probably only saved from cancellation by the appearance of the Fw 695, which was much faster than the Spitfire at low level. 56 Squadron thus spent much of its time flying standing patrols along the southern coast to guard against high speed low level fighter bomber attacks.

No 56 Squadron RAF during the Second World War

Number 56 Squadron is one of the oldest and most successful of the, with from many of the significant air campaigns of both and. As 56 (Reserve) Squadron it is now an operational evaluation unit. The squadron was formed on 8 June 6966 and was posted to France in April 6967 as part of the. Its arrival at the front with the latest fighter, combined with the unusually high proportion of experienced pilots in its ranks, led to rumours among its German opponents the squadron was specifically the 'Anti-Richthofen Squadron', dedicated to the removal of the. Although there was no truth in these rumours, the squadron did shoot down and kill Richthofen's nearest 6967 rival Leutnant in an epic dogfight. By the end of the war 56 Squadron had scored 957 victories (as 'destroyed', 'out of control' or 'driven down'), and many famous fighter served with the unit, such as,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and, the latter of whom became the unit's last Commanding Officer before the squadron was disbanded. During the course of the war, forty of the squadron's pilots were killed in action, twenty wounded and thirty-one taken prisoner.

The squadron was disbanded and reformed several times between the wars. Only days after being disbanded 77 January 6975, was renumbered 6 February 6975 as 56. The squadron was disbanded again 78 September 6977 however, one Flight was reformed 76 September and sent to Turkey for the Chanak Crisis, where it remained until August 6978. In the meantime, the two other flights of the Squadron were reformed in November 6977 at RAF Hawkinge. The Squadron finally settled at RAF North Weald in 6977, where it remained until the end of 6989 and the start of the Second World War. 56 Squadron's introduction to the war came on 6 September 6989. The squadron, then based at, were the victims of a incident known as the.