No.84 Squadron

A scorpion
Badge
A scorpion
Motto
Scorpiones pungent - Scorpions sting
Formed
01 January 1917
Disbanded
Current

No 84 Squadron was formed at Beaulieu in January 1917 and moved to France in September of that year. During its 15 months on the Western Front No 84 Squadron destroyed 129 enemy aircraft, 50 balloons and forced down 132 other enemy aircraft. One of its pilots Lt A W Beauchamp-Proctor was awarded the Victoria Cross. After a short period as part of the occupation forces the unit returned to the UK in August 1919 and disbanded on 30 January 1920.

On 13 August 1920 the unit reformed in Iraq and between the World Wars the Squadron helped to police Mesopotamia (Iraq), operating a variety of fighter-bombers. In September 1940 after the Italian declaration of war No 84 Squadron moved to the Western Desert and was involved heavily in the early fighting. In November it moved to Greece but following the German April 1941 Balkan blitzkrieg it was forced to evacuate back to Egypt. The unit then saw further action with the Desert Air Force moving forward into Libya. In January 1942 it was moved to the Far East. The squadron arrived in Sumatra at the end of January but by the end of February the unit’s equipment and personnel had been dispersed by the advancing Japanese. The squadron reformed in India and after a lengthy work up began dive-bombing operations over the Burma front from February 1944.

No 84 Squadron remained in the Far East theatre until 20 February 1953 when it disbanded. On the same day No 204 Squadron was renumbered No 84 Squadron at Fayid, Egypt. The unit operated in the transport role. Later ithe squadron flew from sites throughout the Gulf with operations in East Africa and Aden. On 31 October 1971 the unit disbanded.

On 17 January 1972 No 84 Squadron reformed from No 1563 Flight with helicopters based at Akrotiri, Cyprus. 'A' flight performed SAR duties throughout the Eastern Mediterranean whilst 'B' Flight operated out of Nicosia in support of UNFICYP. In March 1982 the flights were amalgamated and re-equipped with the twin engined Wessex HCMk2.

Recent operations have shown some of this diversity. Operation Lacrimoso in November 1992 saw 84 Squadron help to fight widespread bush fires in the Lebanon. Furthermore in January 1993 Operation Befriend required a number of sick Palestinian deportees encamped in the Bekaa Valley to be moved on behalf of the International Red Cross. Once again the Squadron displayed its ability to respond, at very short notice, to an "out of area" task and to complete that task efficiently and successfully.

In January 2003 the Wessex was retired and has been replaced by Griffin HAR2 helicopters. These continue to provide a search and rescue service for the island of Cyprus and its surrounding coastline.


AIRCRAFT

Various 1917 - 1917
SE5A 1917 - 1919
DH9A 1920 - 1928
Wapiti 1928 - 1935
Vincent 1935 - 1939
Blenheim I/IV 1939 - 1942
Vengeance 1942 - 1944
Mosquito VI 1945 - 1946
Beaufighter 10 1946 - 1949
Brigand 1949 - 1953
Valetta 1953 - 1960
Beverley 1958 - 1967
Andover 1 1967 - 1971
Whirlwind 10 1972 - 1982
Wessex 2/5 1982 - 2003
Griffin HAR2 2003 – current (30 June 2006)


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

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

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