No. 663 Squadron AAC
|No. 663 Squadron AAC|
|Active||24 October 1969 - present|
|Branch||Army Air Corps|
|Part of||3 Regiment Army Air Corps
16 Air Assault Brigade
|Motto||We fly for the guns.|
|Squadron badge heraldry||An Eagle displayed holding a snaffle bit|
No. 663 Squadron RAF had been formed in northern Italy on 14 August 1944, as an Air Observation Post (AOP) unit, manned by Polish officers and men, to spot for allied artillery units located in that war zone. The unit left for the UK on 10 October 1946 and it was formally disbanded on 29 October. 663 Squadron was reformed as a Royal Auxiliary Air Force (R.Aux.A.F.) AOP unit on 1 July 1949, manned by Territorial Army artillery officers and men. It was based at RAF Hooton Park, Cheshire, with detached flights. The R.Aux.A.F was disbanded on 10 March 1957.
Army Air Corps history and operations
The unit was reformed as 663 interim Aviation Squadron in October 1969 at ]Perham down from 3flt AAC and the the air troop of 15/19 Hussars and 5 Lt Regt RA commanded by Maj Bill Duthoit the Flt commanders being Capt J Orde and Capt Morley RA. Its allocated mission was to support army formations in the Salisbury Plain area. The unit's initial equipment was the Bell Sioux AH.1 helicopter, with these being later replaced by the Westland Scout AH.1 turbine helicopter. On 1 January 1973 the unit was renamed No. 663 Squadron AAC. The Squadron again disbanded in July 1977.
Following a restructuring of Army Air Squadrons, 660 Squadron was redesignated as 663 Squadron, part of 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, based at Soest. From 1993 it has been based at Wattisham Airfield near Stowmarket, Suffolk. In recent years it has replaced its Westland Gazelles with Westland-assembled Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. More recently, the squadron has served in the Iraq War (Operation Telic) and in Afghanistan (Operation Herrick).