No. XXXV Squadron RAF
No. 35 Squadron is a squadron
Squadron (aviation)
A squadron in air force, army aviation or naval aviation is mainly a unit comprising a number of military aircraft, usually of the same type, typically with 12 to 24 aircraft, sometimes divided into three or four flights, depending on aircraft type and air force...

 of the 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...


It was formed on February 1, 1916 at Thetford
Thetford is a market town and civil parish in the Breckland district of Norfolk, England. It is on the A11 road between Norwich and London, just south of Thetford Forest. The civil parish, covering an area of , has a population of 21,588.-History:...

, training as a Corps reconnaissance squadron. In January 1917 the unit moved to 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...

, equipped with the Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8
Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8
The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 was a British two-seat general-purpose biplane built by Armstrong Whitworth during the First World War. The type served alongside the better known R.E.8 until the end of the war, at which point 694 F.K.8s remained on RAF charge....

, beginning operations during the Battle of Arras
Battle of Arras (1917)
The Battle of Arras was a British offensive during the First World War. From 9 April to 16 May 1917, British, Canadian, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and Australian troops attacked German trenches near the French city of Arras on the Western Front....

, working alongside the Cavalry Corps, throughout 1917 (which later resulted in the Pegasus winged horses head in the Squadrons crest). It re-equipped with Bristol Fighter
Bristol F.2 Fighter
The Bristol F.2 Fighter was a British two-seat biplane fighter and reconnaissance aircraft of the First World War flown by the Royal Flying Corps. It is often simply called the Bristol Fighter or popularly the "Brisfit" or "Biff". Despite being a two-seater, the F.2B proved to be an agile aircraft...

s in the later part of 1918, before returning 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 1919 and then disbanding on June 26, 1919.

On March 1, 1929 the squadron reformed at Bircham Newton
RAF Bircham Newton
RAF Bircham Newton was a Royal Air Force airfield in the west of the county of Norfolk in the United Kingdom, eight miles west of Fakenham.-History:...

, and was initially equipped with Airco DH.9A
Airco DH.9A
The Airco DH.9A was a British light bomber designed and first used shortly before the end of the First World War. Colloquially known as the "Ninak" , it served on in large numbers for the Royal Air Force following the end of the war, both at home and overseas, where it was used for colonial...

s, re-equipping with the Fairey IIIF
Fairey III
The Fairey Aviation Company Fairey III was a family of British reconnaissance biplanes that enjoyed a very long production and service history in both landplane and seaplane variants...

 in November that year. In 1932, its IIIFs were replaced by an improved development, the Fairey Gordon
Fairey Gordon
|-See also:-External links:* * *...

. As a response to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia
Second Italo-Abyssinian War
The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a colonial war that started in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire...

, the squadron was posted to the Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 in late 1935, returning to Worthy Down
RAF Worthy Down
Worthy Down Barracks is a British Army barracks near Winchester, Hampshire. It is the headquarters and depot of the Adjutant General's Corps and is part of the Winchester Garrison...

 in August 1936, and re-equipping with the Vickers Wellesley
Vickers Wellesley
The Vickers Wellesley was a British 1930s light bomber built by Vickers-Armstrongs at Brooklands near Weybridge, Surrey, for the Royal Air Force...

. On 12 April 1938 the squadron converted to the Fairey Battle
Fairey Battle
The Fairey Battle was a British single-engine light bomber built by the Fairey Aviation Company in the late 1930s for the Royal Air Force. The Battle was powered by the same Rolls-Royce Merlin piston engine that gave contemporary British fighters high performance; however, the Battle was weighed...


On the outbreak of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, 35 Squadron was designated a training unit, receiving Avro Anson
Avro Anson
The Avro Anson is a British twin-engine, multi-role aircraft that served with the Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm and numerous other air forces prior to, during, and after the Second World War. Named for British Admiral George Anson, it was originally designed for maritime reconnaissance, but was...

s and Bristol Blenheim
Bristol Blenheim
The Bristol Blenheim was a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company that was used extensively in the early days of the Second World War. It was adapted as an interim long-range and night fighter, pending the availability of the Beaufighter...

s in late in 1939. The squadron disbanded after being absorbed into No. 17 OTU along with No. 90 Squadron at Upwood
RAF Upwood
RAF Upwood was a United States Air Force installation adjacent to the village of Upwood, Cambridgeshire in the United Kingdom.It is a non-flying station which was under the control of the United States Air Force, and one of three RAF stations in Cambridgeshire currently used by the United States...

, on 8 April 1940.

It reformed on 5 November 1940 at RAF Leeming
RAF Leeming
RAF Leeming is a Royal Air Force station in North Yorkshire, UK.HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is the Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Leeming. The Station Commander is Group Captain Anthony Innes....

 in Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

 as the first Handley Page Halifax
Handley Page Halifax
The Handley Page Halifax was one of the British front-line, four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. A contemporary of the famous Avro Lancaster, the Halifax remained in service until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing...

 squadron. In August 1942 it became a pathfinder unit, forming part of No. 8 Group
No. 8 Group RAF
No. 8 Group RAF was a Royal Air Force group which existed during the final year of World War I and during World War II.-Formation in World War II:...

 at Graveley
RAF Graveley
- 35 Sqn RAF :The first Squadron to move to Graveley was 35 Sqn RAF in August 1942 using the Handley Page Halifax it became a pathfinder unit, forming part of No. 8 Group...

. In March 1944 the squadron 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...


During 1946 the squadron participated in a goodwill tour of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, later returning to Stradishall
Stradishall is a village and civil parish in the Borough of St Edmundsbury in the English county of Suffolk.The Royal Air Force operated an airfield near Stradishall, RAF Stradishall, which was operational between 1938 and 1970. The former airfield is now the site of two category C prisons: HMP...

, due to Graveley's closure. The Lancasters were replaced by 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...

s in September 1949, and the squadron later disbanded on February 23, 1950.

On September 1, 1951 the squadron reformed at Marham
RAF Marham
Royal Air Force Station Marham, more commonly known as RAF Marham, is a Royal Air Force station; a military airbase, near the village of Marham in the English county of Norfolk, East Anglia....

 equipped with the Boeing Washington
B-29 Superfortress
The B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing that was flown primarily by the United States Air Forces in late-World War II and through the Korean War. The B-29 was one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War II...

, and in April 1954 the squadron re-equipped with the English Electric Canberra
English Electric Canberra
The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

. The squadron disbanded on September 11, 1961.

No. 35 Squadron reformed for the last time on 1 December 1962 at RAF Coningsby
RAF Coningsby
RAF Coningsby , is a Royal Air Force station in Lincolnshire, England. It has been commanded by Group Captain Martin Sampson since 10 December 2010.-Operational units:...

 as part of RAF Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. During World War II the command destroyed a significant proportion of Nazi Germany's industries and many German cities, and in the 1960s stood at the peak of its postwar military power with the V bombers and a supplemental...

's V-bomber force, equipped with eight Vulcan B2
Avro Vulcan
The Avro Vulcan, sometimes referred to as the Hawker Siddeley Vulcan, was a jet-powered delta wing strategic bomber, operated by the Royal Air Force from 1956 until 1984. Aircraft manufacturer A V Roe & Co designed the Vulcan in response to Specification B.35/46. Of the three V bombers produced,...

 aircraft and Yellow Sun
Yellow Sun
Yellow Sun was the first British operational high-yield strategic nuclear weapon. The name actually refers only to the outer casing; the warhead was known as "Green Grass" and "Red Snow"...

 free-falling bombs in a high-altitude strategic bombing role, moving to RAF Cottesmore
RAF Cottesmore
RAF Cottesmore was a Royal Air Force station in Rutland, England, situated between Cottesmore and Market Overton. The station housed all the operational Harrier GR9 squadrons in the Royal Air Force, and No 122 Expeditionary Air Wing...

 on 7 November 1964. The squadron was re-equipped with the one megaton Blue Steel stand-off bomb when it became available, later being deployed for a short time with Blue Steel in a low-level penetration mode. When the WE.177B
WE.177 was the last air-delivered tactical nuclear weapon of the British Armed Forces. There were three versions; WE.177A was a boosted fission weapon, while WE.177B and WE.177C were thermonuclear weapons...

 strategic bomb became available from mid-1966, eight were issued to No. 35 Squadron at Cottesmore. These laydown bombs were specifically designed for the low-level penetration role, did not require a pre-release 'pop-up' manoeuvre, and improved the survivability of the squadron's Vulcans.

Following the transfer of responsibility for the nuclear deterrent to the Royal Navy the squadron joined the Near East Strike Force at RAF Akrotiri
RAF Akrotiri
Royal Air Force Station Akrotiri, more commonly known as RAF Akrotiri , is a large Royal Air Force station, on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. It is located in the Western Sovereign Base Area, one of two areas which comprise Akrotiri and Dhekelia, a British Overseas Territory, administered as a...

, Cyprus, still equipped with eight Vulcan B2s and eight WE.177 nuclear weapons and a variety of conventional weapons. The squadron remained at Akrotiri with 9 Squadron's similarly equipped Vulcans assigned as part of the UK contribution to CENTO
Cento is a city and comune in the province of Ferrara, part of the region Emilia-Romagna . In Italian "cento" means 100.-History:The name Cento is a reference to the centuriation of the Po Valley...

 the Central Treaty Organisation, for use in the low-level penetration role until the end of 1974, returning to RAF Scampton
RAF Scampton
Royal Air Force Station Scampton is a Royal Air Force station situated north of Lincoln in England, near the village of Scampton, on the site of an old First World War landing field.-First World War:...

in January 1975 where the squadron disbanded for the last time on 1 March 1982.

External links

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