No.63 Squadron

A dexter arm in bend couped below the elbow grasping in the hand a battle axe
Badge
A dexter arm in bend couped below the elbow grasping in the hand a battle axe
Motto
Pone nos ad hostem - Follow us to find the enemy
Formed
05 July 1916
Disbanded
31 October 1958

No 63 Squadron formed at Stirling on 5 July 1916 as a light bomber unit. Although initially intended for the Western Front it in fact was sent to Mesopotamia arriving on 13 August 1917. Although plagued with disease and the intense heat it took part in the advance on Kirkuk and Mosul. The squadron became particularly adept at strafing retreating Turkish columns. After the Turkish surrender its detached elements were brought together at Kirkuk in February 1920 just in time to disband on 29 February.

On 15 February 1937 No 63 Squadron reformed at RAF Andover as a light bomber unit. On 17 March 1939 it was designated a training squadron. On 8 April 1940 it was re-designated No 12 Operational Training Unit.

On 15 June 1942 a detachment of No 239 Squadron based at RAF Gatwick was renumbered No 63 Squadron. This unit was now a tactical reconnaissance unit. In 1944 it re-equipped so that it could become a naval gunnery spotting unit. It operated over the Normandy beaches in this role. It again discharged these duties during the Walcheren landings. On 30 January 1945 the unit disbanded.

On 1 September 1946 No 164 Squadron was renumbered No 63 Squadron. The unit operated as a part of the UK air defences. It finally disbanded on 31 October 1958.


AIRCRAFT

Various types 1916 - 1917
BE2e 1917 - 1919
DH4 1917 - 1919
Bristol Scout 1917 - 1918
Spad S7 1917 - 1918
RE8 1917 - 1920
Martinsyde G.102 1917 - 1919
Bristol M1c 1919 - 1919
SE5A 1919 - 1919
Camel 1919 - 1919
Hind 1937 - 1937
Audax 1937 - 1937
Battle 1937 - 1940
Anson I 1939 - 1940
Mustang I 1942 - 1944
Hurricane II/IV 1944 - 1944
Spitfire V 1944 - 1945
Spitfire 16 1946 - 1948
Meteor 3/4/8 1948 - 1957
Hunter 6 1956 – 1958


Recommended Reading

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

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


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