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Famous RAF Squadron Revived

Photo: Hawk T.2 ZK029 ‘FE’ is the first aircraft to be painted in the markings the reformed 25 Squadron. (RAF Valley)

 

One of the RAF’s longest-serving historic squadrons is to be reformed, the force has announced.

With an increased demand for fast jet pilots to fly in the expanded Typhoon Force and the build up of the new F-35 Lightning Force, the Hawk T.2 advanced training unit at RAF Valley is to be reorganised.

No.4 (AC) Sqn that currently flies the 28 Hawk T 2s delivered is to split with half the squadron becoming 25 (F) Sqn. The reformed squadron will provide jet conversion for student pilots coming from the Tucano (and shortly the Texan II) and also advanced fast jet training – including low flying and navigation. Pilots will then pass to 4 Squadron for tactical and weapons training.

No.25 Sqn was first formed September 1915 and served on the Western Front from February 1916 flying the FE.2b ‘pusher’ and later the DH.4 light bomber. The squadron had nine ‘aces’ among its ranks during the Great War. It remained operational as a fighter squadron on a permanent basis as part of the much-reduced post-war RAF, before converting to night fighters just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

A black painted Beaufighter Mk.VIF of 25 Sqn awaits its next night patrol at Church Fenton, 1942. (J D R Rawlings)

During that conflict, 25 Squadron flew with distinction helping to counter the Luftwaffe’s night ‘blitz’ and operated Blenheims, Beaufighters and Mosquitos. No.25 remained in the night fighter role post-war flying Vampire NF.10s, Meteor NF.12 and 14s, and Javelin FAW.7s before spending many years re-equipping with the Bloodhound 2 surface-to-air missile system in 1962.

From 1989, No.25 Squadron operated the Tornado F.3 until disbanding in 2008.

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