No. 602 Squadron RAF
|602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron RAuxAF|
|Active||12 September 1925 – 15 July 1945
10 May 1946 – 10 March 1957
1 July 2006 – present
|Branch||Royal Auxiliary Air Force|
|Role||ISTAR Support to ATM Force|
|Part of||No. 1 Group RAF|
|Headquarters||Kings Park, Glasgow (present)|
|Motto||Latin: Cave leonem cruciatum
(Translation: "Beware the crossed lion")
|Colours||Grey Douglas tartan|
|Battle honours||Home Defence, 1940–1945
Battle of Britain, 1940
Fortress Europe, 1940–1944
Channel and North Sea, 1940–1943
France and Germany, 1944–1945
These honours are those emblazoned on the squadron standard.
|Sqn Ldr A McCallum RAuxAF|
|Honorary Air Commodore (HAC)||Iain McMillan CBE|
|Sandy Johnstone, Al Deere, Paddy Finucane|
|Squadron Badge||In front of a saltire, a lion rampantThe lion was adopted in view of the squadron's association with Scotland and the saltire to represent the cross of St Andrew, being fimbriated to show it as a white saltire on a blue background.|
|Squadron Codes||ZT (May 1939 – Sep 1939)
LO (Jan 1939 – May 1939
Sep 1939 – May 1945, 1949 – 1953)
RAI (May 1946 – 1949)
602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron is a Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron. Originally formed in 1925 as a light bomber squadron, its role changed in 1938 to army co-operation and in 1939 to that of a fighter squadron.
During the Second World War, the squadron flew Spitfires and took part in the Battle of Britain. After the war, the squadron was reinstated as a fighter squadron within the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, until all these units disbanded in March 1957.
Reformed on 1 July 2006, the squadron presently assumes the ISTAR mission support role formerly held by the Mission Support Element (MSE) of 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron. The role provides flight operations and intelligence support to the RAF at home and overseas.
Formation and early years
The squadron was formed at RAF Renfrew on 15 September 1925 as a light bomber squadron in the Auxiliary Air Force, and initially equipped with Airco DH.9As. These were replaced by Fairey Fawns in 1927, Westland Wapitis in 1929, Hawker Harts in 1934 and finally Hawker Hinds in 1936.
The squadron continued in the light bomber role until 1 November 1938 when it was redesignated as an Army Co-operation unit. This did not last long, and on 14 January 1939 the squadron became a fighter squadron. It received Hawker Hectors in November, but was re-equipped with Gloster Gauntlets on conversion to a fighter role. These were short-lived, as Spitfires arrived in May 1939.
Second World War
Like 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron, 602 Squadron spent the early part of the war and Battle of Britain on defensive duties in Scotland. In August 1940, it moved south to join the battle, returning to Scotland in December. It moved south again in July 1941, remaining for a year before returning north. Another move came in January 1943, this time to the southwest, where in April it joined the newly forming 2nd Tactical Air Force. It briefly returned to Scotland from January to March 1944, when it returned south prior to taking part in the invasion of Europe.
From the end of June 1944, it operated from advance airfields in Normandy following the Army's advance into Belgium until September, when it returned from Antwerp to the UK. From RAF Coltishall flying Spitfire XVIs it carried out operations against V2 sites in the Netherlands over an area ranging from The Hook to Den Helder, until disbanding on 15 May 1945 at Coltishall.
With the reactivation of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, No 602 was reformed on 10 May 1946 at RAF Abbotsinch as a day fighter squadron. It was initially equipped with Spitfire F.14s and later with F.21s and F.22s, until January 1951 when Vampire FB.5s were received. It also acquired some F.3s in August 1953, which it flew alongside the FB.5s until February 1954. FB.9s arrived in November 1954 and the squadron continued to fly both types (FB.5 and FB.9s) until, along with all the flying units of the RAuxAF, it was disbanded on 10 March 1957.
As part of the new Royal Air Force Reserves umbrella organisation encompassing both the RAuxAF and RAFR, No 602 Squadron was reformed on 1 July 2006 when the mission support element of 603 (City of Edinburgh) Sqn was separated to form a new unit. Its current role is to provide operational support to the RAF Air Traffic Management Force, in the UK as well as to other deployed locations as needed (individual deployments to date have included National Air Traffic Control Centre Swanwick, Cyprus, Iraq and Oman). It does this by specialising in the following operational support roles: Flight Operations Officers, Flight Operations Managers, Flight Operations Assistants, Intelligence Officers and Intelligence Analysts. The Squadron trains Flight Operations and Intelligence Officers, Flight Operations Managers, Flight Operations Assistants and Intelligence Analysts to supplement regular RAF personnel in this task.
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- Rawlings 1978, p. 477.
- Halley 1988, p. 418.
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