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No. 42 Squadron RAF
42 Squadron RAF.jpg
Official Badge of No. 42 Squadron RAF
Active 1 Apr 1916 (RFC) - 26 Jun 1919
14 Dec 1936 - 30 Jun 1945
1 Jul 1945 - 30 Dec 1945
1 Oct 1946 - 15 Oct 1947
28 Jun 1952 - 1 Oct 1992
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Maritime Patrol
Base RAF Kinloss
Motto Latin: Fortiter in re
("Bravely into action")
Aircraft Nimrod MR.2
Battle honours Western Front, 1916-1918*; Italian Front & Adriatic, 1917-1918*; Somme, 1916; Arras, 1917; Ypres, 1917; Lys; Channel & North Sea, 1939-1942*; Biscay, 1940*; Baltic, 1941*; Fortress Europe, 1941: Pacific, 1943-1945: Eastern Waters, 1943*; Arakan, 1943-1944*; Manipur, 1944*; Burma, 1944-1945; South Atlantic 1982; Gulf, 1991.
Honours marked with an asterisk are those emblazoned on the Squadron Standard[1]
Squadron Badge heraldry On a terrestrial globe, a figure of Perseus[2]
No. 42 Squadron was the 1st to use the Bristol Perseus engine and this accounts for the presence of Perseus in the badge; he was known always to achieve his object and destroy his enemies and he stands in front of a globe to signify his activities over many lands and seas[3]
Squadron Codes QD (Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939, but probably not used)
AW (Sep 1939 - Jun 1942, 1943 - Dec 1945)
QM (Oct 1946 - Oct 1947)
A (Jun 1952 - 1956)
42 (1956 - 1968)

No. 42 Squadron of the Royal Air Force has served during World War I as an army co-operation squadron and during World War II in various roles. It is at present an Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) for the Nimrod MR.2, based at RAF Kinloss, Moray.




Formation and First World War

Formed 1 April 1916 from crews of 19 Squadron Royal Flying Corps at Filton in 1916, 42 Squadron spent the First World War flying reconnaissance sorties. Using BE2s (and later RE8s), the squadron spent time on both the Western Front and the Austro-Italian Front. On returning to England after the war, the squadron was disbanded at RAF Netheravon on 26 June 1919.[3]

Reformation and Second World War

On 14 December 1936 'B' flight of No. 22 Squadron RAF was expanded into a new No. 42 Squadron.[3][2] In 1939 No. 42 Squadron was based at RAF Bircham Newton. Initially the unit was equipped with Vickers Vildebeests before re-equipping with Bristol Beauforts in January 1940. The squadron operated also a bomber unit in the Burma campaign flying Blenheims during 1942 and as fighter-bomber unit flying Hurricanes during 1943. The squadron disbanded on 30 June 1945 but on the following day 146 squadron was renumbered to No. 42 squadron and flew Thunderbolts.[2] The squadron fought on with these until the Burma campaign ended and thereafter the squadron disbanded on 30 December 1945 at Meiktela.[3]

Post War

On 1 October 1946 254 squadron at RAF Thorney Island was renumbered to No. 42 squadron. Equipped with Beaufighters, it was a strike unit in RAF Coastal Command until disbanded on 15 October 1947.[2]

On 28 June 1952 No. 42 squadron was reformed, flying Shackletons in the maritime reconnaissance role. It converted to Nimrods in April 1971.[2] No. 42 (Reserve) is currently the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) for the Nimrod MR.2, based at RAF Kinloss, Moray.

See also



  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e Halley 1988, p. 95.
  3. ^ a b c d Rawlings 1982, p. 65.


  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1981-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • 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, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • 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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