No.57 Squadron

Issuant from two logs fessewise in saltire, a phoenix
Issuant from two logs fessewise in saltire, a phoenix
Corpus non animum muto - I change my body not my spirit
08 June 1916

The squadron was formed at Copmanthorpe on 8 June 1916 and at first undertook a period of training. It moved to France in December 1916 for fighter duties. Equipped with aircraft wholly unsuited to the task it converted after five months to a bomber unit. In May it began mail-carrying operations. In August it returned to the UK and on 31 December 1919 it disbanded.

On 20 October 1921 the unit reformed at RAF Netheravon as a light bomber squadron. The squadron moved to France in September 1939 for strategic reconnaissance duties. The unit only remained in France for a week in May 1940 after the German blitzkrieg before it had to evacuate to the UK. In July it moved to Scotland for anti-shipping duties. On 13 January 1941 it began night bombing and this continued to the end of the War. The squadron disbanded on 25 November 1945.

On 26 November 1945 No 103 Squadron’s Lincoln Flight was redesignated No 57 Squadron. Between March and July 1950 the squadron was detached to Malaya for anti-terrorist operations. The unit disbanded on 9 December 1957.

On 1 January 1959 the squadron reformed at RAF Honington as a Victor v-bomber squadron. In June 1966 the unit converted to a tanker role. It disbanded on 30 June 1986.

On 1 July 1992 the number plate was allotted to the Hercules Operational Conversion Unit, No 242 OCU at RAF Lynham. No 57(R) Squadron is responsible for the conversion to type of all RAF Hercules aircrews, the periodic refresher training and categorisation of Hercules squadron aircrews, all RAF Hercules simulator training and transport training. Additionally, training is given to crew members from many other Air Forces which operate a variety of C130 models.


Various types 1916 - 1916
FE2d 1916 - 1917
DH4 1917 - 1919
Hart 1931 - 1936
Hind 1936 - 1938
Blenheim I/IV 1938 - 1940
Wellington I/II/III 1940 - 1942
Lancaster I/III 1942 - 1945
Lincoln 1945 - 1951
Washington 1951 - 1953
Canberra 2 1953 - 1957
Victor B1 1959 - 1966
Victor K1/2 1966 - 1986
Hercules 1/3/4/5 1992 - current (17 March 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

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