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No. 651 Squadron RAF
Active 1 Aug 1941 - 1 Nov 1955
1 Nov 1955 - 1 Sep 1957
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Air Observation Post Squadron
Motto Dirige
Latin: "Direct"
Insignia
Squadron badge heraldry A seashell fired[1]
Squadron codes MA 1944 - 45 (HQ Flight)
MB 1944 - 45 ('A' Flight)
MC 1944 - 45 ('B' Flight)
MD 1944 - 45 ('C' Flight)[2]

No. 651 Squadron RAF was a unit of the Royal Air Force in Italy and North Africa during the Second World War and afterwards in Egypt. Numbers 651 to 663 Squadrons of the RAF were Air Observation Post units working closely with Army units in artillery spotting and liaison. A further three of these squadrons - 664, 665 and 666 - were RCAF AOP squadrons manned by Canadian and British personnel. Their duties and squadron numbers were transferred to the Army with the formation of the Army Air Corps on 1 September 1957.[3][4]

Contents

History

No 651 Squadron was formed at Old Sarum, Wiltshire, on 1 August 1941. It went into action in November of that year, during Operation Torch in North Africa. It later served in Italy, North Africa, and finally Egypt from 1945 were it remained until 1 November 1955.

On that same day, No. 657 Squadron RAF was re-numbered to 651 Squadron at Middle Wallop, it now flew Sycamore helicopters as well as Austers. On 1 September 1957 the squadron was transferred to the Army Air Corps and became No. 651 Squadron AAC. The original squadron is represented today by 651 Squadron of the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing.

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by 653 Squadron[5][6]
From To Aircraft Variant
Aug 1941 Jul 1942 Taylorcraft Plus C
Sep 1941 Oct 1941 Taylorcraft Plus D
Oct 1941 Dec 1941 Stinson Vigilant Mk.I
Feb 1942 Sep 1942 Taylorcraft Plus C.2
Jul 1942 Oct 1943 Auster Mk.I
Aug 1943 Dec 1944 Auster Mk.III
May 1944 Oct 1945 Auster Mk.IV
Dec 1944 Jun 1947 Auster Mk.V
Nov 1949 Feb 1952 Auster Mk.V
Mar 1947 Oct 1955 Auster AOP.6
Nov 1949 Mar 1952 Auster AOP.5
Nov 1955 Sep 1957 Bristol Sycamore HC.11
Nov 1955 Sep 1957 Auster AOP.6

See also

References

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Notes

  1. ^ Halley 1988, p. 445.
  2. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 89.
  3. ^ Halley 1988, p. 445.
  4. ^ Jefford 2001, pp. 102-103.
  5. ^ Halley 1988, p. 445.
  6. ^ Jefford 2001, pp. 102-103.

Bibliography

  • Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • 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.
  • 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 Ltd., 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.

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