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No. 11 Squadron RAF: Wikis


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No. 11 Squadron RAF
11 Squadron badge
Active 14 February 1915 -1919
1923-February 1948
29 March 2007 -
Role Air Defence, Air Interdiction, Close Air Support, Ground Attack
Garrison/HQ RAF Coningsby
Motto Latin: Ociores acrioresque aquilis
("Swifter and keener than eagles")
Equipment Typhoon FGR4
Battle honours Western Front 1915-1918, Loos, Somme 1916, Arras, Cambrai 1917, Somme 1918, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, North-West Frontier 1930-1931, North-West Frontier 1935-1939, East Africa 1940, Egypt and Libya 1940-1942, Greece 1941, Syria 1941, Ceylon April 1942, Arakan 1943-1944, North Burma 1943-1944, Manipur 1944, Burma 1944-1945.
Two eagles volant in pale

No. 11 or XI(F) Squadron is a Royal Air Force squadron. The squadron operated the Tornado F3 until 2005 when it was disbanded. It was reactivated in 2006 to operate the Typhoon F2, receiving its first aircraft (ZJ931) on 9 October 2006.[1]




World War 1

No. 11 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps was formed at Netheravon in Wiltshire on 14 February 1915 for "fighting duties", receiving two seat pusher Vickers Gunbus fighters in June, and deploying to France on 25 July 1915.[2] Since all previous squadrons (Royal Flying Corps or other nations) were reconnaissance or army co-operation units, 11 can make a claim to be the oldest dedicated fighter squadron in the world.

The squadron's Gunbuses were soon pressed into service, with Second Lieutenant G S M Insall of the squadron being awarded a Victoria Cross for an action on 7 November 1915 in which he forced down and destroyed a German Aviatik observation aircraft. The Gunbus was already obsolete however, and was replaced by Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2 fighters of similar layout but higher performance in June 1916. These in turn were traded for Bristol Fighters in 1918, these being used both for offensive patrols over German held territory and for ground attack. The Squadron was disbanded at the end of 1919.[3]

No. 11 Squadron numbered 19 flying aces in its ranks during the war. Among them were Victoria Cross winner Lionel Rees, as well as Andrew Edward McKeever, future Air Commodore John Stanley Chick, Eugene Coler, Albert Ball, Frederick Libby, Ronald Maudit, John Quested, Herbert Sellars, Donald Beard, Stephen Price, Hugh Hay, and Thomas Frederick Stephenson.[4]

The twin Eagles on the Squadron's crest (awarded in May 1937), represents the two seat fighters operated in the First World War.[5]

Between the Wars

The Squadron reformed at RAF Andover in January 1923 as a day bomber squadron equipped with Airco DH.9As, quickly moving to RAF Bircham Newton in Norfolk. In April 1924, these were replaced by the Fairey Fawn despite the fact that they offered little improvement in performance over the DH.9A, moving with them to RAF Netheravon in May that year. The unpopular Fawns were replaced by Hawker Horsleys in November 1926, keeping these until December 1928, when it handed the Horsleys to 100 Squadron and was posted to Risalpur in India (now in Pakistan), flying Westland Wapitis in Army co-operation and carrying out punitive air raids against rebelling tribal forces.[3][6] It replaced its Wapitis with Hawker Harts in February 1932, operations continuing as before. It received Blenheim I monoplane bombers in July 1939, moving to Singapore the next month, just before the outbreak of World War II in Europe.[3]


Lightning F3 of 11 Squadron in 1980

The squadron most recently operated the twin seat Panavia Tornado F3 from RAF Leeming between August 1988 and October 2005.

11 Squadron gained some publicity when it was announced in February 2003 that it was some of their Tornado F3s which were modified to carry the ALARM missile (as EF3s) to widen the F3s capabilities to include SEAD. The logic of this is clear, as Tornado GR4s are required to carry large offensive payloads while in recent conflicts the requirement for air superiority fighters has been limited. If the SEAD burden can be moved to the F3 force (and possibly also laser-designation) the potency of the GR4 force can be increased.

Following the publication of the Future Capabilities study on 21 July 2004, XI(F) squadron disbanded in October 2005. The RAF announced that 11 Sqn will be the second front line squadron to re-equip with the Typhoon but will now be based at RAF Coningsby. The Squadron stood up at Coningsby on 29 March 2007, dropping the (F) designation in recognition of its new tasking as the Royal Air Force's lead Typhoon multi-role squadron.

See also


  1. ^ "100th Typhoon arrives at RAF Coningsby". (Royal Air Force). 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2006-10-26. 
  2. ^ Ashworth 1989, p.51—52
  3. ^ a b c Ashworth 1989, p.52.
  4. ^ Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  5. ^ Ashworth 1989, p.51.
  6. ^ Lewis 1959, p.17.
  • Ashworth, Chris. Encyclopedia of Modern Royal Air Force Squadrons. Wellingborough, UK:PSL, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-013-6.
  • Lewis, Peter. Squadron Histories: R.F.C, R.N.A.S and R.A.F., 1912-59. London: Putnam, 1959.

External links


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