No.26 Squadron

A springbok’s head couped
Badge
A springbok’s head couped
Motto
N Wagter in die Lug - A guard in the sky
Formed
08 October 1915
Disbanded
01 April 1976

No 26 Squadron was formed at Netheravon on 8 October 1915 from personnel from the South African Flying Unit which had operated in the German South-West African campaign. It left for East Africa in December 1915. Deployed in support of Imperial forces operating against enemy forces in the German East African colonies. In the early months of 1918 it was withdrawn and returned to the UK. On arrival at Blandford Camp in July 1918 it was disbanded. Scheduled to reform in November 1918 the Armistice forestalled this plan.

On 11 October 1927 No 26 Squadron reformed at RAF Catterick as an army co-operation unit. In October 1939 the squadron moved to France as a part of the Air Component of the BEF. Following the German Blitzkrieg in May 1940 No 26 Squadron was forced to evacuate its bases and return to the UK. The following year it began to re-equip. Involved in the Allied Normandy landings in added tactical reconnaissance and naval bombardment spotting to its roles. The end of the war found No 26 Squadron based in Germany where it disbanded on 1 April 1946.

On the same day No 41 Squadron was renumbered No 26 Squadron and it remained a day fighter unit until it disbanded on 10 September 1957. On 7 June 1958 the unit briefly reformed before again disbanding on 30 December 1960. Reformed at RAF Odiham on 1 June 1962 No 26 Squadron became a helicopter unit. It moved to Aden the following year to provide transport support to the British army operating in the Radfan area. On 30 November 1965 it was transferred to Singapore where it was merged with No 66 Squadron.

On 3 February 1965 the Northern Communication Squadron was re-designated No 26 Squadron. The unit provided communications aircraft for RAF Training Command. It disbanded on 1 April 1976.


AIRCRAFT

BE2c/e 1916 – 1918
Henry Faman F 27 1916 – 1918
Atlas 1927 – 1933
Audax 1933 – 1937
Hector 1937 – 1939
Lysander 1939 – 1942
Tomahawk 1941 – 1943
Mustang I 1942 – 1944
Spitfire V 1944 – 1945
Mustang I 1944 – 1945
Spitfire XI/XIV 1945 – 1947
Tempest 2/V 1946 – 1949
Vampire 5/9 1949 – 1953
Sabre 1953 – 1955
Hunter 4/6 1955 – 1960
Belvedere 1962 – 1965
Basset 1969 – 1976
Devon 1971 – 1976


Reference Sources

The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force James J Halley Air Britain (Historians) Ltd 1988

RAF Squadrons Wg Cdr C G Jefford Airlife 2001

Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their aircraft John D R Rawlings Crecy Books 1993

Coastal Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their aircraft John D R Rawlings Jane’s Publishing 1982

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