No 6 Squadron
7 May 1969 - 1 Oct 1974
Formed at Farnborough on 31 January 1914, No 6 Sqn, RFC, worked up with fixed-wing aircraft and also had responsibility for the Kite Flight, transferred from No 1 Sqn. After arriving in France in August 1914, the Squadron immediately lost its aircraft to other under-strength units. In July 1915, equipped with BE2s, Capt G L Hawker was awarded the VC for outstanding courage and determination during 11 months of continuous operational flying. The Squadron finished the war flying RE8s, and shortly after the end of the War, it transferred to Iraq and re-equipped with Bristol Fighters.
During the following years, it undertook operations against various uprisings before transferring to Egypt in 1929 and receiving Fairey Gordon bombers. Following increased tension between Arabs and Jews No 6 Sqn moved to Ramleh in Palestine during 1937 with Hawker Hardys. During the early part of WWII, the Squadron and its Lysanders remained in Palestine, but detached aircraft to the Western Desert until 1941 when Hurricanes were on strength. Further action in the Desert on anti-tank duties continued from 1942 until the end of the North African campaign. After converting to rocket-firing Hurricanes in 1944, the Squadron moved to Italy and flew the remainder of the War over the Balkans. A brief stint in Palestine after the War as followed by a move to Cyprus with Tempests.
During 1948 the unit received Vampires and a series of moves around the Middle East followed before finally arriving back in Cyprus with Venoms. Before receiving Canberras in 1956, No 6 Sqn took part in the Suez operation with its Venoms. The Squadron finally left the Middle East in 1969 when it moved to Coningsby to become the first Phantom Squadron. During 1974, No 6 Sqn moved to RAF Coltishall and re-equipped with Jaguar fighter bombers. Operational deployments with the Jaguar have seen the squadron involved in Operation Granby (Gulf War 1), Warden (later Op Resinate North - Northern Iraq - until 2003) and Deny Flight (Balkans). In April 2006 No 6 Sqn moved to RAF Coningsby where it was the last RAF Sqn operating the Jaguar.
On Monday 6 September 2010, Number 6 Squadron, the first Typhoon squadron in Scotland, officially stood up at Royal Air Force Leuchars. The Typhoon is the RAF’s state of the art multi-role combat aircraft that entered operational service in 2007. The Squadron took over responsibility for providing the northern element of the Quick Reaction Alert force in March 2011, providing aircraft and crews on high alert to scramble and intercept unidentified aircraft approaching UK airspace. In June 2014, as Leuchars ran down, the squadron moved to its new home in RAF Lossiemouth.
6 Sqn Crest
6 Sqn Aircrew Ops Patch
6 Sqn Montage
6 Sqn's APC picture from 1969.
(Opens in New Window) Pete Mears writes: "Those who went might recall we never got off the runway at Coningsby, as our Britannia (XM491) blew an engine, resulting in a (very) aborted take-off. After kicking our heels around for about four hours we tried again, but then, after about an hour in the air, we suffered instrument problems and after dumping fuel, diverted into Lyneham. Again, after hanging around for hours - going/not going, etc, we were eventually bussed to (I think) Wroughton to kip down for the night. Next day after more going/not going antics, we eventually got off in another Britannia (XL660) arriving at Akrotiri in the evening of the 23 Sep - all character building stuff for the APC ahead!"
Supplied by Pete Mears
Here are 6 Sqn groundcrew hanging around (as usual!) waiting to board Belfast XR369 at Coningsby on 8th May 1970 ready to go to their APC in Cyprus. Notice they had to travel in either full No 1 Home Dress, or KD longs, tie and No 1 SD hat - just the ticket for an 8 hour flog in a 'Belslow!' Pete Mears is in the front row (glaring at the camera), on the tall Chf Tech's left (nearest his duffle bag). (Opens in New Window)
Supplied by Pete Mears