74(F) Sqn

74(F) Sqn Montage

For the six months following its formation at London Colney on 1 July 1917, Number 74 Squadron was a training unit flying Avro 504Ks before commencing work-up as a fighter squadron with SE5As prior to moving to France in March 1918. After a short spell with the Army of Occupation, the Squadron returned to the UK in February 1919 and disbanded the following July. The Squadron was reformed in unusual circumstances on 3 September 1935 when separate detachments from Nos 3, 23, 32, 56, 65 and 601 Squadrons en-route to Malta aboard the troopship Neuralia where combined to form No 74 Squadron. Ten months later, the unit and its Demons returned to the UK to form part of the newly created Fighter Command and re-equipped with Gauntlets. In February 1939, the Squadron began converting to Spitfires and these were used to carry out defensive patrols over southern England following the declaration of War in September and later the unit joined the air battles over Dunkirk as the British forces were forced to evacuate from France. No 74 was part of No 12 Group during the Battle of Britain and these battles extracted a heavy toll on both pilots and aircraft, and the Squadron was sent North to regroup. Shortly after moving to the Middle East in April 1942, the Squadron received Hurricanes and these were employed on shipping patrols, before the unit reverted to Spitfires 6 months later. No 74 returned home just in time to take part in the D-Day landings in June 1944, using its aircraft as fighter-bombers supporting the Allied liberation of France, Belgium and the Netherlands. May 1945 saw the arrival of jet aircraft in the shape of the Meteor F3 and these survived until 1957 when Hunters replaced them. Following a move to Coltishall, the unit began working-up on the Lightning and these classic aircraft remained with the Squadron until disbanded on 25th August 1971, by which time the Squadron was based in Tengah, Singapore, Far East Air Force. The Disbandment Parade (Reviewing Officer – Air Commander, Far East Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Nigel Maynard) included a fly-past of four Lightnings as the General Salute was given on the arrival of the Air Commander, and a single Lightning flew over the parade at dusk as the Squadron Standard was marched off the parade ground in slow time. Other Lightning jets were drawn up on the ground forming a backcloth to the parade in which RAF Regiment men of No. 63 Squadron also took part. Eleven single-seater Lightnings were then ferried from Singapore to Cyprus, with the first pair leaving on 2nd September.

Despite many rumours, No 74 was not reformed until 1984, remarkably with Phantoms, albeit the hybrid F4J(UK), and these were amongst the last of this classic aircraft to fly in RAF service until retirement in October 1992 and the numberplate passed on to one of the Hawk training squadrons at RAF Valley


74(F) Sqn Montage 74 Ops Patch Norman woz 'ere 74 Sqn Zap 74 Groundcrew 1984 74 Groundcrew Patch 1987 74 Tiger Trail 1991 Air Tattoo 1992 Display Team Mini Tiger Meet 92 Tiger Sqn Art zap 85 APC 74 Deci ZE352 ZE353 ZE354 56/74 Flypast 74 F4J 1984 74 Sqn APC 1988                              
74 Sqn Montage
74 Sqn Ops Patch 
74 Sqn Engineers Zap 
74 Sqn Zap
74 Sqn Groundcrew Patch from 1984 
74 Sqn Groundcrew Patch from 1987 
The Tiger Trail Patch from 1984 
1991 Air Tattoo zap 
The Display Team Patch from 1992 - the Phinal Year! 
Patch from the Mini Tiger Meet in 1992. Tiger Sqn
Painted by Nobby Clarke on the crewroom wall at Akrotiri on 74's first APCwith the F4J (The "More Holes in a PoloTour - 1985"). 
74(F) Sqn Wall Art from the Line Hut at Decimommanu, Sardinia.
ZE352 of 74(F) Sqn, flown by S/L's Griffen and Bannister and taken by F/L Mike Parkin (an ex-rigger) over the Gulf of California in summer of 1984 before the F4J's got to UK.
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ZE353 of 74(F) Sqn landing at Akrotiri in 1985 during the infamous first F4J APC where 74 failed to hit the banner. APC song credits to Jim Boomer who wrote "74 - they can't hit the banner" to the tune of Mull of Kintyre!
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ZE354 of 74(F) Sqn flying on an airborne QRA mission in Spring of 1987. (Note - no Sgt Fletchers but the big centerline tank instead)
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An airborne shot of the 56 / 74(F) Sqn Flypast over London in 1992 - notice the Snoopy in the FCP of the bottom left jet!
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A newly refurbished 74 Sqn F4J at North Island Air Base, Coronado near San Diego circa 1984. Terry Adamson far left, Dixie Deane 5th from left.
74 Sqn's APC photo from 1988. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
      Supplied by
Chris Turner
Supplied by
Daz Talbot
    Supplied by
Mark Jones
  Supplied by
Chris Turner
Supplied by
Chris Turner

Supplied by
Ian Dennington

Supplied by
John Lovegrove
Supplied by
Pete Williams
Supplied by
Pete Williams
Supplied by
Pete Williams
Supplied by
Charlie Brown
Supplied by
Terry Adamson