No. 97 Squadron RAF
No. 97 Squadron, was a Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 squadron formed on December 1, 1917 at Waddington
RAF Waddington
RAF Waddington is a Royal Air Force station in Lincolnshire, England.-Formation:Waddington opened as a Royal Flying Corps flying training station in 1916 until 1920, when the station went into care and maintenance....

, Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders...

, first as a training unit, until moving to Netheravon
Netheravon is a village and civil parish on the River Avon, about north of the town of Amesbury in Wiltshire.-Notable people:The writer Frank Sawyer , although born in Bulford, spent most of his life in Netheravon as river keeper River Avon and died on the banks of the river near the parish church...

 in March 1918, and re-equipping with the Handley Page O/400
Handley Page Type O
The Handley Page Type O was an early biplane bomber used by Britain during the First World War. At the time, it was the largest aircraft that had been built in the UK and one of the largest in the world...

 heavy bomber. The squadron served in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 for the remainder of the war. From 17 November 1918, 97 Squadron was based at RAF Saint Inglevert, departing on 4 March 1919, and re-equipping with the Airco DH.10
Airco DH.10
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography*Jackson, A. J. British Civil Aircraft Since 1919, Volume 2. London: Putnam, Second Edition, 1973. ISBN 0-370-10010-7.*Jackson A. J. De Havilland Aircraft since 1909. London:Putnam, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-802-X....

. The squadron was later posted to India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, where it remained until disbanding on April 1, 1920, after being re-numbered No. 60 squadron
No. 60 Squadron RAF
No. 60 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed in 1916 at Gosport. It is currently part of the Defence Helicopter Flying School based at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire....


The squadron reformed on September 16, 1935 at RAF Catfoss
RAF Catfoss
RAF Catfoss was a Royal Air Force station during the Second World War. Located just to the West of Hornsea, Yorkshire, England. The nearest village is Brandesburton.-History:Originally used as a grass airfield in the 1930s. On 1 January 1932 No...

, and was equipped with the Handley Page Heyford
Handley Page Heyford
The Handley Page Heyford was a twin-engine British biplane bomber of the 1930s. Although it had a short service life, it equipped several squadrons of the RAF as one of the most important British bombers of the mid-1930s, and was the last biplane heavy bomber to serve with the RAF.-Design and...

. The squadron was disbanded again in April 1940.

The squadron reformed again on February 25, 1941 at Waddington, and was equipped with the Avro Manchester
Avro Manchester
|-See also:-References:NotesCitationsBibliography* Buttler, Tony. British Secret Projects: Fighters and Bombers 1935–1950. Hickley, UK: Midland Publishing, 2004. ISBN 978-1857801798....

 bomber. Later the squadron was re-equipped with the Avro Lancaster
Avro Lancaster
The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber made initially by Avro for the Royal Air Force . It first saw active service in 1942, and together with the Handley Page Halifax it was one of the main heavy bombers of the RAF, the RCAF, and squadrons from other...

, and in April 1943 became a pathfinder
Pathfinder (RAF)
The Pathfinders were elite squadrons in RAF Bomber Command during World War II. They located and marked targets with flares, which a main bomber force could aim at, increasing the accuracy of their bombing...

 force squadron.

In July 1946, the squadron re-equipped with the Avro Lincoln
Avro Lincoln
The Avro Type 694, better known as the Avro Lincoln, was a British four-engined heavy bomber, which first flew on 9 June 1944. Developed from the Avro Lancaster, the first Lincoln variants were known initially as the Lancaster IV and V, but were renamed Lincoln I and II...

, and remained operational until disbanding at Hemswell
RAF Hemswell
RAF Hemswell was an airfield used by RAF Bomber Command for 20 years between 1937 and 1957 and saw most of its operational life during World War II. Later used by RAF Fighter Command as a nuclear ballistic missile base during the Cold War it closed to military use in 1967...

 on January 1, 1956.

The squadron was reformed - as 97(SM) Sqn. - on 1 December 1959 as one of 20 Strategic Missile (SM) squadrons associated with Project Emily
Project Emily
Project Emily was the deployment of American-built PGM-17 Thor Intermediate-range ballistic missiles in the United Kingdom between 1959 and 1963....

. The squadron was equipped with three Thor
PGM-17 Thor
Thor was the first operational ballistic missile of the U.S. Air Force . Named after the Norse god of thunder, it was deployed in the United Kingdom between 1959 and September 1963 as an intermediate range ballistic missile with thermonuclear warheads. Thor was in height and in diameter. It was...

 Intermediate range ballistic missiles. and based at RAF Hemswell
RAF Hemswell
RAF Hemswell was an airfield used by RAF Bomber Command for 20 years between 1937 and 1957 and saw most of its operational life during World War II. Later used by RAF Fighter Command as a nuclear ballistic missile base during the Cold War it closed to military use in 1967...


In October 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

, the squadron was kept at full readiness, with the missiles aimed at strategic targets in the USSR.
The squadron was disbanded on 24 May 1963 when the Thor Program in Britain was terminated.

The squadron was then reformed againj, via the re-numbering of No. 151 Squadron
No. 151 Squadron RAF
-World War I:No. 151 squadron was founded at Hainault Farm in Essex on 12 June 1918, and was equipped with Sopwith Camel aircraft.During the five months in which 151 Squadron had taken part in hostilities overseas, the total number of hours flown by night was 1443 hrs 26 mins.Sixteen enemy aircraft...

, disbanding for the final time on January 2, 1967.
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