No.87 Squadron

A serpent reversed, head reguardant and tail embowed
A serpent reversed, head reguardant and tail embowed
Maximus me metuit - The most powerful fear me
01 September 1917
03 January 1961

No 87 Squadron was formed at Upavon on 1 September 1917. It moved to France in April 1918 where it undertook fighter and ground attack missions until the end of the war. In February 1919 it returned to the UK where it disbanded on 24 June 1919.

On 15 March 1937 the squadron reformed at RAF Tangmere as a fighter unit. It moved to France at the beginning of the war as part of the Air Component of the BEF. During the May 1940 German Blitzkrieg the unit gave fighter cover until it was forced to evacuate back to the UK. It took part in the Battle of Britain providing both day and night fighter defence. Towards the end of 1940 it main task was night fighter work. In November 1942 it moved to Gibraltar and then North Africa following the Allied invasion of Algeria and Morocco. In September 1943 it moved to Sicily and then on to Italy. By August 1944 it was undertaking fighter-bomber missions over Italy and the Balkans. On 30 December 1946 it disbanded.

On 1 January 1952 the unit reformed at RAF Wahm, Germany as a night fighter squadron. On 3 January 1961 it disbanded.


Various types 1917 – 1918
Dolphin 1917 – 1919
Fury II 1937 – 1937
Gladiator 1937 – 1938
Hurricane I/II 1938 – 1944
Spitfire V/IX/VIII 1943 – 1946
Meteor 11 1952 – 1957
Javelin 1/4/5 1957 – 1960

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

Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their aircraft John D R Rawlings Crecy Books 1993

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