No.7 Squadron

On a hurt, seven mullets of six points
On a hurt, seven mullets of six points
Per diem, per noctem - By day and by night
01 May 1914

Formed at Farnborough on 1 May 1914, No 7 Squadron was involved in experimental flying and lost many of its personnel to reinforce other units. Its formation resumed on 28 September 1914, and it deployed to France in 1915 where it undertook bombing, observation and reconnaissance missions. In August 1915 the Squadron's only Victoria Cross was awarded, posthumously, to Captain J A Liddell for recovering his badly damaged RE5 to base despite being mortally wounded. After the war, the Squadron returned to UK where it was disbanded on 31 December 1919.

On 1 June 1923 the Squadron re-formed at RAF Bircham Newton as a heavy bomber unit. It is probable that the installation of electrical bomb releases on three of the unit’s Virginia aircraft in November 1930 were the first issued to an operational unit. On 1 June 1939 the squadron was given a training role until 4 April 1940 when Nos 7 and 76 Squadrons merged to form No 16 Operational Training Unit. A new No 7 Squadron briefly formed but disbanded on 20 May 1940.

On 1 August 1940 the unit re-formed at RAF Leeming being the first to equip with the Short Stirling heavy bomber. In October 1942 the unit was transferred to the Pathfinder Force. For the rest of the war No 7 Squadron was involved in leading night attacks against German targets. At the end of the war the Squadron took part in mercy missions to drop food and supplies to Dutch civilians, and to repatriate POWs.

Remaining a bomber squadron after the war in 1954, unit detachments were sent to Malaya to help in attacks against terrorist camps. No 7 Squadron again disbanded on 1 January 1956.

The Squadron re-formed on 1 November 1956 at RAF Honington as a part of the V-bomber force. It was disbanded on 1 September 1962. On 1 May 1970 it reformed at RAF St Mawgan as a target facilities unit. It disbanded twelve years later on 5 January 1982. On 1 September 1982 the Squadron re-formed at RAF Odiham as a heavy transport helicopter unit.

In 1990 the Squadron was dispatched to the Gulf where its crews played a vital role in supporting the Army during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Whilst returning to the UK in 1991, the Squadron became involved in humanitarian relief operations for Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq.
During the 1990s the unit has been involved in operations in Croatia, the former Yugoslavia, Albania, Kosovo, Falklands and Northern Ireland as well as taking part in major exercises in support of the Army all over the world.

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.


Various types 1914 - 1916
BE2c/d/e 1915 - 1917
RE8 1917 - 1919
Vimy 1923 - 1927
Virginia I/VII/X 1927 - 1935
Heyford II/III 1935 - 1938
Wellesley I 1937
Whitley II/III 1938 - 1939
Anson I 1939 - 1940
Hampden 1939 - 1940
Stirling I/III 1940 - 1943
Lancaster I/III 1943 - 1950
Lincoln 1949 - 1955
Valiant 1956 - 1962
Canberra 18/2/19 1970 - 1981
Chinook 1/2 1982 – 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

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

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