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No. 202 Squadron RAF: Wikis


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No. 202 Squadron RAF
202 Squadron badge
Active 17 October 1914 (as RNAS)
Role Search and Rescue
Garrison/HQ RAF Valley plus detached Flights
Motto "Semper vigilate" (Be always vigilant)
Equipment Sea King HAR.3
Battle honours Western Front 1916-1918, Atlantic 1939-1945, Mediterranean 1940-1943, North Africa 1942-1943, Biscay 1942-1943
A mallard alighting

No. 202 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Sea King HAR.3 in the Search and rescue role at three stations in the northern half of the United Kingdom.



202 Squadron was formed along with the RAF on 1 April 1918 by renumbering No. 2 Squadron RNAS. It was originally formed as one of the first aeroplane squadrons of the RNAS on 17 October 1914.[1] It served on the Western Front during the First World War, carrying out reconnaissance and bombing missions from bases in Belgium and France before being disbanded on 22 January 1920.[1]

No. 481 Flight, operating the Fairey III floatplane at Malta was re-numbered as 202 Squadron in 1929, continuing to fly patrols over the Mediterranean Sea throughout the 1930s, being re-equipped with flying boats in 1935.[2] During the Second World War, 202 Squadron flew anti-submarine patrols from Gibraltar until 1944, when it moved to RAF Castle Archdale, Northern Ireland, disbanding in June 1945.[2]

It reformed as a Weather Reconnaissance squadron at RAF Aldergrove near Belfast on 1 October 1946, flying converted Handley Page Halifax bombers on long range meteorological flights over the North Atlantic (codenamed "Bismuth"). It re-equipped with the more modern Handley Page Hastings from November 1950, continuing in this role until disbanding on 31 July 1964.[3]

202 Squadron was reformed by the renumbering of No. 228 Squadron RAF at RAF Leconfield, 202 began operating in its search and rescue role using the Westland Whirlwind. The squadron moved to RAF Finningley on re-equipping with Sea Kings in 1978 (without operating the Wessex HAR.2 as an intermediate type), moving its HQ to Boulmer on the closure of Finningley in 1996, and then to RAF Valley at the start of 2008 where the HQ is co-located with the SAR Force HQ and HQ 22 Squadron. The squadron usually has two aircraft at each of its detached flight locations which, as of 2008, are:

Aircraft operated

See also




  1. ^ a b Lewis 1959, p.69.
  2. ^ a b 202 Squadron History. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
  3. ^ Jackson 1989, pp.48-49.


  • Halley, James J. Famous Maritime Squadrons of the RAF, Volume 1. Windsor, Berkshire, UK: Hylton Lacy Publishers Ltd., 1973. ISBN 0-85064-101-2.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jackson, Paul. "The Hastings...Last of a Transport Line". Air Enthusiast. Issue Forty, September-December 1989. Bromley, Kent: Tri-Service Press. pp. 1—7, 47—52.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Lewis, Peter. Squadron Histories: R.F.C, R.N.A.S and R.A.F. 1912-59. London: Putnam, 1959.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.

External links


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