No.50 Squadron

A bend severing a mantle palewise
Badge
A bend severing a mantle palewise
Motto
From defence to attack
Formed
15 May 1916
Disbanded
31 March 1984

Formed at Dover on 15 May 1916, No 50 Squadron was a home defence unit providing patrols from airfields in Kent. It recorded a successful combat on 7 July 1917 when one of its pilots shot down a German Gotha bomber. The unit disbanded on 13 June 1919.

On 3 May 1937 the squadron reformed at RAF Waddington as a bomber unit. Bombing raids began on 19 March 1940 and continued until the end of World War Two. On 30 May 1942 Flying Officer Leslie Thomas Manser was captain of a bomber taking part in a raid on Cologne. His Manchester aircraft was badly damaged by enemy flak units. Manser struggled to bring the aircraft home but when this proved impossible he held the aircraft steady so that the rest of the crew could parachute to safety. He was killed in the crash which followed. The unit remained a part of the peace time Bomber Command but disbanded on 31 January 1951.

On 15 August 1952 No 509 Squadron reformed at RAF Binbrook with Canberra bombers. It disbanded again on 1 October 1959. On 1 August 1961 it reformed as part of the V-bomber force. During the Falklands Conflict No 50 Squadron converted its Vulcans to flight refuelling duties. The squadron disbanded on 31 March 1984.


AIRCRAFT

BE2c/e 1916 - 1917
BE12/a/b 1916 - 1918
Vickers FB19 1916 - 1916
RE8 1917 - 1917
Vickers ES1 1917 - 1917
FK8 1917 - 1918
Pup 1917 - 1917
SE5A 1918 - 1919
Camel 1918 - 1918
Hind 1937 - 1939
Hampden 1938 - 1942
Manchester 1942 - 1942
Lancaster I/III 1942 - 1946
Lincoln 1946 - 1951
Canberra 2 1952 - 1959
Vulcan 1/2 1961 – 1984


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

Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their aircraft Phillip J R Moyes Macdonald & Jane’s 1976

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

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