27 SQUADRON - in 2009 the Branch formally adopted 27 Chinook Squadron. We were the first RAFA Branch in the UK to adopt an operational Squadron. Close ties have been established and visits to the Squadron are arranged. Evening visits to RAFA 381 by Squadron members occur and illustrated talks are given about their operational roles and experiences in Afghanistan. The Squadron has three Flights, each commanded by a Squadron Leader. All Flights deploy to Afghanistan in rotation.
A Brief History - initial formation until 1998
1915 Squadron formed
1916 Deployed to France – active service on the Somme, Ypres and Amiens flying the Martinsyde G100 Elephant
1920 - 1941 Deployed to India – active service on the North West Frontier
1941 Squadron moved to Singapore and then Malaya. Destroyed by the Japanese but personnel escaped to India.
1942 – 1945 Squadron re-formed with Beaufighters in the Far East theatre. Disbanded at wars end.
1947 – 1948 Squadron re-formed with Dakotas supporting the Berlin Airlift.
1953 – 1957 Squadron re-formed at RAF Scampton flying Canberra Bombers.Moved to Cyprus and took part in bombing raids during the Suez Crisis.
1961 – 1982 Squadron re-formed at RAF Scampton flying Vulcan Mk2 Blue Steel bombers. From 1973 flew maritime reconnaissance sorties shadowing and photographing Soviet shipping in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
1983 – 1993 RAF Marham flying the Tornado GR1. Active service during the Second Gulf War 1992.
1993 –1998 RAF Odiham as Operational Training Unit flying Pumas HC1’s and Chinook HC1’s.
1998 – Present RAF Odiham flying Chinook MC2’s and now CH47’s.
Service and Detachments from 1998 include: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Basra (2nd Gulf War), Pakistan, Lebanon, Canada, Oman, and Morocco.
Squadron Badge: Approved by HMKing Edward VIII in October 1936. using the unofficial emblem of the Elephant first used in 1934 commemorating flying the “Elephant” in 1916 and it’s time in India.
Welfare Boxes to 1310 Flight (Camp Bastion, Afghanistan) – we began sending out boxes on a regular basis soon after the 2009 adoption. This continues today. On average we send 50 boxes a year. Donations from Members include coffee, tea, cake, biscuits, sweets, magazines, toiletries and hand knitted balaclavas in the winter! We have a local group nicknamed “the Knitting Nannies” who provide the balaclavas and, recently, fingerless gloves. Regular “Blueys” (letters) are received thanking Members for their support. These are displayed in the Club.
1310 Flight Miles More Minutes – two years before MOD changed the rules the Branch agreed to the purchase £900-worth of phone cards each year which would be sent to the Flight at Christmas, Easter and the school summer holidays. This was for the Flight Commander to distribute as needed. One Branch member ran the London Marathon and raised sufficient funds to cover more than a year’s supply of phone cards. The purchase of phone cards specifically for 1310 Flt was halted by the MOD in 2012. Supplies of monthly welfare boxes continues.
18 B Squadron – the Branch recognised that 1310 Flt was also supported by 27 Squadron’s sister Squadron, 18 (B) Sqn, and it was felt appropriate that the Branch should include 18(B) Squadron in the supply of boxes and phone cards. An approach was made to Wg Cdr Jon Murnane in 2011 offering Affiliation to our Branch which was accepted. Sqn Ldr Glen Cole represented the Squadron at the official Affiliation in the November. The Squadron has three Flights each commanded by a Squadron Leader. A and B Flights rotate with the Flights of 27 Squadron in Afghanistan. C Flight is the ChinookTraining/Conversion Flight for new Aircrew.
Adoption/Affiliation - what does it mean? Every Squadron member and his/her family is an honorary member of our Branch/Club. We have a “Tab” at the bar to provide a drink for visiting Squadron members. We promote the Club as a “base” should anyone wish to come down to the coast to enjoy a day out.
Support from the Squadrons include:
a) Evening visits by aircrew who deliver a presentation on their recent work on 1310 Flt. We invite our local Cadet Forces. Post-presentation is a social evening.
b) Providing representatives at the November Remembrance Day Parade plus a Chinook flypast.
c) Providing a Chinook flypast during the June Armed Forces Day outdoor Drumhead Service. Invites to the day are sent to both Squadrons.
RAFA Bar - Tuskers2 - we have set aside an alcove in the bar in which we display photos, latest news and a “ring binder” scrap book which covers both Squadrons. For years I have been trying to obtain a length of rotor blade to display at the entrance – no success so far!
Mike Monk – Chinook Force Liaison July 2013
RAFA 381 D-DAY 70TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
4 day Coach trip to the British Sector
Tuesday 6th Friday to 9th May 2014
Cost per Member £287 (sharing) Deposit £100pp
* Woods luxury coach for our use only
* Afternoon Ferry crossing Portsmouth to Caen and afternoon return
* 3 nights B&B in 3 star hotel near Caen
* Trips to Beaches, Pegasus Bridge etc.
Itinerary details to be announced.
Not included: Entrance fees to museums, Travel Insurance (£44), Single Supplement (£54)
Booking forms available from Mike Monk – contact 01243 823268 or email MikeandWynne@aol.com
30 places available so early booking strongly advised.
PLEASE NOTE: If we can’t get 30 places sold then the trip might not take place. It's great value so don't lose out!
Mike Monk, Chinook Squadrons Liaison
CALL OUT TO KNITTERS
27/18 Squadron in Afghanistan
Do you knit or would you donate Double Knitting Wool to those who do?
27/18 Squadron have requested warm hats and/or fingerless gloves for this winter.
Please contact Janet Tapping Tel: 01243 824414 for patterns or more details.
LET'S DO IT FOR THEM!