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No. 652 Squadron RAF: Wikis


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No. 652 Squadron RAF
Active 1 May 1942 - 1957
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Air Observation Post Squadron
Motto Latin: Sive aere sive campo
("In the air and in the field")
Squadron badge heraldry In front of wings conjoined in base, a gun barrel fesswise[1]
XM (Sep 1946 - 1951)[2][3]

No. 652 Squadron RAF was a unit of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and afterwards in Germany. 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 AOP units of the Royal Canadian Air Force 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.[1][4]



No. 652 Squadron was formed at Old Sarum, Wiltshire, on 1 May 1942 and went into action in Normandy on 7 June 1944 in support of the British Second Army and the Operation Overlord landings. Most of its pilots and observers came from the British Army, while maintenance was carried out by RAF personnel. The squadron moved with the Second Army through France and the Netherlands into Germany, and after the German surrender it remained as part of the British Air Forces of Occupation, later of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, until September 1957, when it was merged into the Army Air Corps. 'C' Flight, No. 652 Squadron RAF has been credited with firing the last British shots of the war in Europe while directing artillery fire at the siege of Dunkirk on 7 May, 1945, sharing in this action with No. 665 Squadron RCAF. The original squadron is represented today by 652 Squadron of 1 Regiment, Army Air Corps

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Version
May 1942 Nov 1942 de Havilland Tiger Moth Mk.II
Oct 1942 Mar 1943 Auster Mk.I
Mar 1943 Mar 1944 Auster Mk.III
Feb 1944 Aug 1946 Auster Mk.IV
Dec 1944 Sep 1946 Auster Mk.V
Sep 1946 Sep 1957 Auster AOP.6


Notable squadron members

See also




  1. ^ a b c Halley 1988, p. 445.
  2. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 114.
  3. ^ Flintham and Thomas, p. 160.
  4. ^ a b Jefford 2001, pp. 102-103.


  • 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.

External links

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