No.10 Squadron

A winged arrow
A winged arrow
Rem acu tangere - To hit the mark
01 January 1915
14 October 2005

No 10 Squadron formed at Farnborough on 1 January 1915. Moving in July to France, the squadron operated with distinction in reconnaissance and bombing roles throughout World War One. On 8 February the unit was reduced to cadre and returned to UK. It was disbanded on 31 December 1919.

On 3 January 1928 the unit was reformed at RAF Upper Heyford as a night bomber squadron. On 8 September 1939 No 10 Squadron flew its first leaflet-dropping mission over Germany. In June 1942 the squadron was divided into two; one detachment went to the Middle East to provide heavy bomber support in the region, and the remainder remained in the UK to be brought back up to full strength. The squadron remained part of the main bomber force for the rest of the war. On 7 May 1945 it was transferred to Transport Command and took its new aircraft to India. It disbanded on 20 December 1947.

On 4 October 1948 No 238 Squadron based at RAF Oakington was renumbered No 10 Squadron. Its aircraft were soon involved in transport operations in the Berlin airlift. It disbanded on 20 February 1950. On 15 January 1953 it re-formed as a light bomber squadron. It took part in the Suez operations in 1956 and disbanded on 15 January 1957.

On 15 April 1958 No 10 Squadron re-formed as a Victor V-bomber squadron. It disbanded once again on 1 March 1964.

The Squadron re-formed at RAF Brize Norton as a transport unit on 1 July 1966. Since it entered service, the VC1O has played a major part in emergency evacuations from troubled areas such as Cyprus, Angola and Iran. No 10 Squadron has also supported UN peace-keeping forces throughout the Middle East. In 1982, 10 Squadron was fully committed to OPERATION CORPORATE, carrying troops and equipment in support of the conflict in the South Atlantic. More recently, the Squadron flew 1,325 sorties and in excess of 5,000 hours on supply and aero-medical missions in support of friendly forces during OPERATION GRANBY, in the Gulf.

The addition of an air-to-air re-fuelling package allowed the unit’s aircraft not only to take on fuel but also to dispense it to other aircraft. This capability allowed the Squadron to truly identify itself as a dual-role unit.

A small but important part of 10 Squadron's task, which relied heavily on the support of the rest of the Station, involved the carriage of VIPs.

During 2003 men and machines from this unit participated in OPERATION TELIC. Coalition forces, led by the United States overthrew the Iraqi regime led by Saddam Hussein in a short campaign. No 10 Squadron subsequently disbanded on the 14 October 2005 at RAF Brize Norton, with its aircraft going to No 101 Squadron who will continue to operate the VC-10 until its replacement with the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft.


Various types including Bleriot XI 1915 – 1915
BE2c/d/fe/f/g 1915 – 1917
Bristol Scout 1915 – 1916
BE12 1915 - 1917
BE2e 1917 - 1917
FK8 1917 - 1919
F2b 1918 - 1918
RE8 1918 - 1919
Hyderabad 1928 - 1931
Hinaidi 1930 - 1932
Virginia X 1932 - 1934
Heyford 1934 - 1937
Whitley I/IV/V 1937 - 1941
Halifax II/III 1941 - 1945
Dakota III/IV 1945 - 1947
Dakota 4 1948 - 1950
Canberra 2 1953 - 1957
Victor 1958 - 1964
VC-10 1966 – 2005

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

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

RAF Website

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