No 43(F) Sqn

43(F) Sqn

The Squadron was formed at Stirling on 15 April 1916, from No. 18 Reserve Squadron as a unit of the Royal Flying Corps, equipped with various types, which it used for training until December 1916 whenSopwith 1½ Strutters arrived. These were taken to the Western Front the following month, where it operated as an Army squadron carrying out fighter reconnaissance duties. In September 1917, Sopwith Camels arrived, and ground attack replaced reconnaissance duties; the squadron continued in this vein until the end of the war. Snipes began to be received in August 1918 and conversion was completed in October but the Armistice prevented these playing a major part in the conflict, instead they were taken to Germany for occupation duties until August 1919 when the squadron moved to RAF Spitalgate where it disbanded on 31 December 1919. 

The squadron was re-formed at RAF Henlow on 1 July 1925, again with Snipes. In 1926 the Squadron converted to Gamecocks, thus inspiring the Squadron badge and the nickname 'The Fighting Cocks'. The black and white checkered markings also date from this era. The Squadron flew Siskins from 1928 and received the first production Hawker Fury Mk.I in May 1931. Prior to the outbreak of World War II the squadron re-equipped with Hurricanes, it was with these aircraft that the squadron covered the Dunkirk retreat and fought in the Battle of Britain. In November 1942, 43 Squadron moved to North Africa, now flying Spitfires. In 1944, as the tide of war turned in favour of the Allies, the squadron moved to France, where it was known by the local French population as "les coqs Anglais". By now the squadron's main role was ground attack, strafing and occasionally dive bombing enemy targets. The squadron ended the war in Austria and was disbanded in 1947.

In February 1949 No. 266 Squadron was renumbered to No. 43 Squadron, now flying Gloster Meteors from RAF Tangmere. The squadron moved to RAF Leuchars in 1950 and in 1954 began to receive the Hawker Hunter. The Hunters of 43 Squadron featured in the 1957 film High Flight. During much of the 1960s the Squadron operated from Aden and was disbanded on 7 November 1967. 43 Squadron reformed at Leuchars on 1 September 1969 with the McDonnell Douglas Phantom which it flew until its replacement by the Tornado F.3 in September 1989. With the F3 the squadron participated in the 1991 Gulf War and maintained a presence in the Iraqi no-fly zones. 43 Sqn crew and personnel are tasked with the duty of QRA, both in Fife, and in the Falklands as part of 1435 Flight and participated in Operation Telic. When the squadron are not on operational taskings they fly daily training sorties through the week, all year round. In April 2008 the squadron absorbed 56 (Reserve) Squadron to perform the role of Tornado F3 Operational Conversion Unit. The Squadron was awarded the "Freedom of the City" of Stirling in 2005, the squadron being Stirling's home squadron in the past. The squadron flagship, ZG757, had a gloss black spine and tail and 90th anniversary emblem on the tail.
No. 43F Sqn stood down on 13 July 2009 for the fourth time in its history.


43(F) Sqn Montage 43 Op Patch 43 Aircrew Patch Diamond Zap 43 Groundcrew Patch 43 Groundcrew Patch fighting Cocks patch Fighting Cocks Zap 43 70th Anniversary Patch 70th Zap APC T-Shirt 1988 43 Sqn 1976 43 Armourers 1971 43 Linies 43 Linies 1977 43 SNCOs Limassol 1970 43 Sollingen 1972 43 Sqn 1976 Early 43 Sqn 43 Sqn 1972 43 1989 43 and Bear Raf Leuchars 1976 Limejug 70 XT875 Xv572 - N Xv582 - Leuchars XV573  
43(F) Sqn Montage
43(F) Sqn Op Patch
 43(F) Sqn Aircrew Patch...
....and the zap
43(F) Sqn Fighting Cocks Patch 
43(F) Sqn Groundcrew Patch 
A later Fighting Cocks patch.... ....and the zap. The 43 70th Anniversary patch.... .... and the zap
The T-shirt from the last 43 Phantom Sqn APC to Akrotiri. Not a single Kokkinelli stain to be seen!! 
A Sqn picture taken 03 Sep 1976 outside the sqn hanger at Leuchars in front of XV581 / E.
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Paddy O'Hara, Taff Langdon, Bill Mead & Jim Bowie getting to grips with a Sparrow Launcher on a 43 Jet at Valley in 1971. 
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Carl Howard writes:
43 Sqn Lineys and Chiefs outside line hut, Leuchars ,taken around 77-80 after I had left. Names I recall, Bob Kirton, Ged Botham, Richard Hurren, Mark Lowe, Mick Ford and I think that is C/T Bob Vernon in middle, apologies for names forgotten. 
Gary Beeton has remembered Tiny Lowe and Ray Lennie as well.

Here are some more Linies from 43(F) Sqn around 77/78

Martin Copeland, first on the left, Phil Spencer, Chris Vaughan, Roy Webb,  X, X, Pete Gough, Chris Preston, Sandy Cummings, Taff ?, Bren Cresswell, X.  In front, X (Jock plummer I believe), Mick Love & Titch Anderson.  

If you can fill the "X's", drop me a line

 
43 Sqn SNCO's behaving gracefully Limassol 1970, Mick Slorance, Dave Stewart, Joe Kendrick and Dave Smith. 
Exercise Limejug, remember Kipper? 
43(F) Sqn Det to RCAF Sollingen in 1972 

43(F) Sqn around 1976/77. It is an amalgum of 4 images and quite large.

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A photo of 43(F) Sqn personnel "in the days of PD and Hank Martin" (whoever they are.....!!) 1969 ish.

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43(F) Sqn Groundcrew taken around 1972.
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43(F) Sqn taken around 1989. (Opens in New Window)
43(F) Sqn's "K" (XT875 ?) goes Bear hunting in 1977 from Leuchars. 
Carl Howard on the line, 76/77 
43 Sqn Leuchars,
Pete Campbell checking the tyres. 

43(F) Sqns XT874 all loaded up, (well, back left station anyway!) at MPC in 1971.

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XT875 - "K", again of 43(F) Sqn, leaving RAF Leuchars.

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XV572 - "N" of 43(F) Sqn showing some "drill" missiles to the camera.

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Here's a nice old B&W of XV582 "F" when on 43 all tooled up and ready to go. 
(Ed Note: This aircraft is still at Leuchars as "Black Mike" - still painted up as it completed its service on 111(F) Sqn)

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XV573 - "L" of 43(F) Sqn. Pre-RHWR so taken in the early part of the '70's

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  Supplied by
Chris Turner
Supplied by
Mark Jones
Supplied by
Chris Turner
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Terry Perkins
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John Jewell
Supplied by
Chris Turner
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Chris Turner
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Les Goss
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Les Goss
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Gary Mannion

Supplied by
Frank Weibo from Ken Hutchinson

Supplied by
John Gillespie
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Carl Howard
Supplied by
Phil Spencer
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Mick Slorance
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John Gillespie
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Carl Howard
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John Gillespie
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Danny O'Connell
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Iain Kyle
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Carl Howard
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Carl Howard
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John Gillespie
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Phil Birmingham
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Phil Birmingham
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Phil Birmingham
Supplied by
Terry Perkins