29(F) Sqn

29(F) Sqn

No 29 Squadron was formed at Gosport on 7 November 1915 from a nucleus supplied by No 23 Squadron, and after training moved to France in March 1916 as the third squadron to be fully equipped with fighters. Its DH2s were engaged in escort duties to protect the slow and vulnerable reconnaissance aircraft over the Western Front, achieving their first combat victory on 1 May 1916. IIn March 1917 it re-equipped with Nieuport Scouts Scouts in March 1917, and in April 1918 these were replaced by SE5As, which were used for the rest of the war on fighter and ground -attack missions. After a short period in Germany, the squadron Squadron was reduced to a cadre and in August 1919 returned to Spittlegate in the UK, in August 1919 where it was disbanded on 31 December 1919.

On 1 April 1923, No 29 reformed as a fighter squadron at Duxford with Snipes, re-equipping with Grebes in January 1925. In turn, these were replaced by Siskins in March 1928 and Bulldogs in June 1932. In March 1935, No 29 became a two-seat fighter squadron with the arrival of Demons, which it took in October to Egypt during the Abyssinian crisis, a few Gordons being used for night patrols at this time. Returning to the UK a year later, it converted to Blenheims in December 1938. On At the outbreak of World War Two these were used for patrols over shipping and for early trials with airborne radar. When German night bombers began operating in strength in June 1940, No 29 became fully involved in night fighting, beginning to receive Beaufighters in November, though it was February 1941 before the squadron Squadron was fully equipped. Its defensive role remained after conversion to Mosquitoes in May 1943, but in May 1944 intruder missions began to be flown which and continued until February 1945. Conversion to Mosquito 30s began followed, but few operations with these were flown before the end of the war. In October 1945 the squadron Squadron moved to West Malling to become part of the peace-time night night-fighter force in the UK.

The Mosquitoes continued to serve until replaced by Meteors in August 1951 at Tangmere. In January 1957 the squadron Squadron moved north, first to Northumberland and then in July 1958 to Scotland, conversion to Javelins taking having taken place in November 1957. In February 1963, No 29 was moved to Cyprus and in December 1965 went detached to Zambia for nine months on detachmentduring the Rhodesian crisis. In May 1967 the squadron Squadron returned to the UK to become are-equip with Lightnings squadron, disbanding on 31 December 1974. No 29 reformed at Coningsby as a Phantom squadron on 1 January 1975. A detachment was provided for the defence of the Falklands as soon as the airfield at Stanley was capable of operating Phantoms at the end of August of 1982. This became No 23 Squadron in March 1983

The Squadron swapped its Phantoms for Tornado F3 fighters in 1987 remaining at Coningsby until disbanded in October 1998. Five years later, the squadron was reformed, this time as the Typhoon operational conversion unit (OCU) based at BAE Systems' Warton airfield. In April 1987, No 29 Squadron became the first operational squadron to be equipped with the Tornado F3, deploying to Saudi Arabia after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 and flying throughout Operation DESERT STORM in the air-defence role. The Squadron was again disbanded in October 1998.

29(R) Squadron began reforming in September 2003 as the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit, responsible for the technical and tactical training of all engineers and pilots for the Typhoon aircraft. The return to service for the Squadron began at BAE Systems’ aerodrome at Warton, where the Typhoon aircraft is being manufactured. For a period of eleven months Squadron personnel worked closely with 17(R) Squadron, the Operational Test and Evaluation Unit, to familiarise with the aircraft and to evaluate its capabilities.

In June 2005 the Squadron officially moved to its home base at RAF Coningsby and by July it was teaching new pilots for 17(R) Squadron on a formal course. Bucking the trend of recent squadron disbandments, 29(R) Squadron officially ‘stood up’ for operational service on 4 November 2005. This signified a major milestone in the introduction of the Typhoon to RAF service, as it indicated that the Squadron was now ready to begin training front-line pilots to fully equip current and future Typhoon squadrons. For 29(R) Squadron it heralded a long and healthy future, one that seems certain to last until the centenary and beyond.


29(F) Sqn Montage 29(F) Sqn Crest The XXX Zap Gold  Black Phantom Zap XXX patch Fin Patch FI Patch 70th Anniversary Skyflash trophy patch Spearhead of NATO! Phantoms Phorever Reggie T-shirt Bravo 1984 1984 Euro Tour Energetic & Keen? Asi Tshirt 29 Sqn 1980 Stanley 1982 29 Blue lads 1984 29 Sqn Blue SNCOs 1984 29 Red Shift lads 1984 29 Red SNCOs plus 1984 29 Red Line 1984 29 Farewell SNCOs in Cyprus 1 Cyprus 1983 John & Kev Rimini Exchange Rose & NAAFI Cyprus Snecs 1 Cyprus Snecs 2 Deci Full Moon Toga Toom T-room Fully Loaded XV436 Night Tomb    
29(F) Sqn Montage
29(F) Sqn Crest 
 The Triplex Zap
29(F) Sqn badge on Phantom Gold/Black Zap.
The standard XXX patch worn by all Sqn members. 
 The Buzzard & Eagle patch as emblazoned on the aircraft fins.
The Falkland Island Air Defence patch, originally created by 29 when they first went to Stanley in 1982. 
The zap created for the Sqn's 70th Anniversary. 
The Skyflash Trophy winners patch of 1980. 
A memorable time during the '80s when 29 were most definatly the "Spearhead of NATO"! 
A somewhat ribald offering in the form of some wall art from 29(F) Sqn at Deci in 1985!
Brian Croft remembers... "Akrotiri in either '84 or '85 we had a really good bondhu burn going outside the blocks behind the mess and Pen club. The Snowdrops turned up, told us to put the fire out and go to bed but.....Mal Horton aka "Reggie The Dog" had other ideas. He manned the fire hose and squirted the snowdrops and ran away shouting "At least I'm a real corporal!" before spending the night in the lock-up. Anyone still got the "Reggie is innocent!" T-shirt?" Yep - Frankie Barrow!  
This is the T-shirt made up in 1984 to honour the cocked-up landings by the Junior Pilot on the Sqn. Frankie can't remember his name -can you?.... 
Back in 1984, 29 had quite an action packed detachment calender - so packed they decided to do a t-shirt for it.....

Front

Back 

A little bit washed out now (like me!) the APC 1985 t-shirt,
"Energetic & Keen?" 
Here's one of the shirts from 29's trip down south in '82. They had to wait a while at ASI for the REME to build a long enough runway at Stanley... 
29(F) Sqn taken around 1980. There are a lot of faces on here that are recognizable on the large image.

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29(F) Sqn parading at RAF Stanley shortley after arriving there from Ascension Is in 1982.
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29(F) Sqn's Blue Shift lads during APC in 1984.
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29(F) Sqn's Blue Shift SNCOs during APC in 1984.
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29(F) Sqn's Red Shift lads during APC in 1984.
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29(F) Sqn's Red Shift SNCOs and Wanabes during APC in 1984.
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29(F) Sqn's Red Shift Linies during APC in 1984.
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A photo taken as 29(F) Sqn ended it's days with the Phantom and became a Tornado Sqn at Coningsby in 1987. 
Not really a "Det Moment" but a "Mess Moment" from 29 Sqns days with WO Geoff Bland in 1982.
  The two FSs holding the banner are Sam Mullen & "Rockhopper" Rogers.  Front row are the "Seven Dwarfs" Frankie Barrow, ?, "Pyro" Fred Stewart, Dick Mottram, ?, ?, Dave Stephens.
Den Rayner, Paul Lumley and "Tojo" during 29's trip to Akkers in 1983. 
Same det, different party (I think...) John Godwin, Kev Waldock (tired & confused as a newt!) with Dave Ford in background 
The majority of Triplex outside the "Rose & NAAFI" during the exchange to Rimini in the '80's. Too many to name, see how many you can make out!
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One of the "shows" in the Rose & NAAFI during the Rimini det. Could be "Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes"?
L-R
?, Mick Fowen, John Dixon, ? with Al "Rockhopper" Rodgers seated.
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Relaxing after a hard night shift in Cyprus! These 29(F) Sqn Snecs are (L-R) John Godwin, John Lyons, Bill Froggatt, Al Rodgers, Dave Hilbert, John Magee, Nige Scurr, Mick Denison. (Thanks to John G for filling in the gaps!) 
Just before a night on the Strip, more 29 Snecs! (L-R) Dave Hilbert, Tim Covens, Graeme Parry, Bill Reay, John Godwin. 
In Deci this time, the 29 Sqn Linies giving the JEngO a "full moon" when he had a back seat trip in a Hawk. It could be Andy Carr on the right side but we're not sure. (Only click the link if you are sure you want a "clear view"!!
A few lads on 29 getting ready for a Toga Party in Deci - Biggus Dickus was the Sqn Boss in those days!! 
L>R, Paul Lumley, Kev Roe, Den Rayner, Fraz Cunningham, Gary Walker, (Thanks Dave Ford, thats been bugging me!!), Matt Helm. 
Here we have Dave Ford proudly displaying the 29 Sqn Det Flag outside the Tomb "T" Room at RAF Stanley shortley after the Sqn took up residence. 
A 29(F) Sqn Phantom - Fully Loaded!! 
Whats was left of XV436, "E" of 29 Sqn after it's rallying escapade off the Boston end of Coningsby's runway in Mar 1980. 
A picturesque view of XV424, 29(F) Sqns "India" during a night ECU run on the ASP at RAF Coningsby.
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Den Rayner
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Chris Turner
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Den Rayner
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Den Rayner
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Den Rayner
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Den Rayner
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Mark Jones
(Phantom Preservation Group)
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Gary Mannion
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Mick Fowen
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Frankie Barrow
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Frankie Barrow
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Den Rayner
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Taff Jones
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Gary Mannion
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Graham Parry
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Steve Courtney
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Steve Courtney
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Steve Courtney
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Tom Sawyers
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Frank Barrow
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Bob Durie
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Mick Fowen
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Mike Fowen
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Mike Fowen
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Mike Fowen
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Den Rayner
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Dave Ford
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Carl Howard
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Fraz Cunningham