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No. 656 Squadron RAF
Active 31 Dec 1942 - 15 Jan 1947
29 Jun 1948 - 1 Sep 1957
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Air Oberservation Post Squadron
Motto Latin: Volans et videns
("Flying and seeing")
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry In front of two gun barrels in saltire, a Chinthe head[1]

No. 656 Squadron RAF was a Air Oberservation Post unit of the Royal Air Force in India and Burma during the Second World War and afterwards in British Malaya.

Numbers 651 to 663 Squadron of the RAF were Air Observation Post units working closely with British Army units in artillery spotting and liaison. A further three of these squadrons, 664–666, were manned with Canadian personnel. Their duties and squadron numbers were transferred to the Army with the formation of the Army Air Corps on 1 September 1957[1][2] With this it became 656 Light Aircraft Squadron Army Air Corps

Contents

History

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Formation and World war II

No. 656 Squadron was formed at RAF Westley on 31 December 1942[3]. It embarked for India in August 1943 and went into action during the Burma campaign with the Fourteenth Army. It was to take part in the Allied invasion of Malaya, but the Japanese surrendered before this took place and the squadron disbanded there on 15 January 1947.

Reformation and Operation Firedog

The squadron reformed from No. 1914 Flight RAF on 29 June 1948 at Sembawang in Malaya and served in British Malaya to support Army and Police against Communist guerillas before it went over to Army control in September 1957. 656 Squadron performed a total of 143,000 operations in Malaya during Operation Firedog.

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Variant
Jan 1943 Aug 1943 de Havilland Tiger Moth Mk.II
Jan 1943 Mar 1943 Auster Mk.I
Feb 1943 Aug 1943 Auster Mk.III
Nov 1943 Jun 1945 Auster Mk.III
Oct 1944 Jun 1945 Auster Mk.IV
Feb 1945 Jan 1947 Auster Mk.V
Jun 1948 May 1951 Auster AOP.5
Jul 1950 Apr 1956 Auster AOP.6
Sep 1955 Sep 1957 Auster AOP.9

[1][2]

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Halley 1988, pp. 446-447.
  2. ^ a b Jefford 2001, pp. 103-104.
  3. ^ Maslen-Jones 1997, pp. 4 and 172.

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.
  • Maslen-Jones, E.W., MC, DFC. Fire by Order: Recollections of Service with 656 Air Observation Post Squadron in Burma. Barnsley, UK: Leo Cooper/Pen And Sword Books, 1997. ISBN 0-85052-557-8.

External links


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