No.41 Squadron

A double armed cross
Badge
A double armed cross
Motto
Seek and destroy
Formed
14 July 1916
Disbanded
Current

No 41 Squadron was formed at Gosport on 14 July 1916. It moved to France in October 1916. The squadron was involved in fighter and ground attack missions until the end of the war. In January 1919 the unit returned to the UK and on 31 December 1919 disbanded.

On 1 April 1923 No 41 Squadron was reformed at RAF Northolt as a fighter unit. From October 1935 until August 1936 during the Abyssinian crisis, the squadron served at Khormaksar and Sheikh Othman in the Western Aden Protectorate. At the outbreak of World War Two the squadron was equipped with Spitfires. It became one of the relatively few units that flew these famous fighters for the whole of the war. In May/June 1940 the unit was very active over France and England throughout the evacuation from Dunkirk. Later the squadron became heavily involved in the Battle of Britain.

In the following year No 41 Squadron spent much of its time on offensive sweeps. In August 1942 unit took part in the Dieppe raid. The unit helped provide air cover for the Allied landings in Normandy in June 1944 and during that summer was also engaged on interception of V1 flying bombs. In December 1944 the squadron moved to Belgium and armed fighter reconnaissance sweeps over Germany continued until the end of the war. On 1 April 1946 No 41 Squadron was renumbered No 26 Squadron and remained in Germany..

On the same day No 122 Squadron was renumbered No 41 Squadron at RAF Dalcross. By 1947 the squadron operated as an instrument flying training unit, until June 1948 when it re-equipped with Hornets as a fighter unit again.

In 1951 No. 41 Squadron became a jet fighter unit. On 31 January 1958 the unit disbanded.

On 1 February 1958 No 141 Squadron was renumbered No 41 Squadron and became a night all-weather fighter unit. The squadron disbanded on 6 December 1963.

On 1 September the squadron reformed as a surface-to-air missile (SAM) missile unit based at RAF West Raynham. The unit disbanded on 18 September 1970. On 1 April 1972 the squadron reformed as a fighter reconnaissance unit with a secondary ground attack role at RAF Coningsby.
On 1 October 1976 No 41 Squadron (Designate) was formed at RAF Coltishall flying Jaguar GR1 aircraft and for six months the two Squadrons operated independently. In April 1977 the Phantom Squadron was disbanded. Since the late 1970s the squadron has been involved in regular deployments to Northern Norway. In January 1991, No 41 Squadron played a major role during the Gulf Conflict. On 1 January 1996, the unit was declared, along with the rest of the Jaguar Wing, as an asset to NATO's Rapid Reaction Force, ready to deploy at short notice in support of NATO Operations.

RAF Jaguar squadrons were earmarked to take part in Operation Telic against the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein but Turkish refusal to allow them to operate from that country meant they did not take part in the hostilities.

41 Squadron has subsequently operated in support of the Allied effort in Iraq. With the withdrawal from RAF service of the Jaguar planned for 2007, 41 Squadron had the honour of training the 1038th and final RAF Jaguar pilot, Flt Lt Matt D'Aubyn, who completed his training on 10 October 2005. The withdrawal of the Jaguar meant that 41 Squadron needed to find a new role and they have taken over the work of the Fast Jet & Weapons Operational Evaluation Unit (FJWOEU), based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.


AIRCRAFT

Various types 1916- 1916
FE8 1916 - 1917
DH5 1917 -1917
SE5A 1917 - 1919
Snipe 1923 - 1924
Siskin III/IIIA 1924 - 1931
Bulldog 1931 - 1934
Demon 1934 - 1937
Fury II 1937 - 1939
Spitfire I/II/V/XII/XIV 1939 - 1945
Tempest V 1945 - 1946
Spitfire 21 1946 - 1947
Oxford 1947 - 1948
Harvard 1947 - 1948
Hornet 1/3 1948 - 1951
Meteor 4/8 1951 - 1955
Hunter 5 1955 - 1958
Javelin 4/5/8 1958 - 1963
Bloodhound 2 1965 - 1970

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