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Helpline: 0300 102 1919

33 Squadron proud to celebrate centenary year

Having formed at RAF Filton on 12 January 1916, 33 Squadron was immediately put to service during the First World War.

The Squadron's main task was countering enemy airship raids on towns and cities in the North Midlands, employing FE2B and 'Ds, Bristol F2Bs and Avro 504s, but, despite many interceptions, could not claim any successes.

33 Squadron mark their 100th birthday

After disbanding in June 1919, the Squadron reformed in 1929, this time as a day bomber unit equipped briefly with Hawker Horsleys, but soon replaced by Harts.

In 1935, the Squadron moved to Egypt during the Abyssinian crisis, and remained in the Middle East when the conflict was over.

With the outbreak of the Second World War, No. 33 moved to the Western Desert, active action beginning with the entry of Italy into the war in June of 1940.

The unit has taken part in several major RAF operations since, most noticeably the Gulf War of 1991, and Operation Agricola, the Kosovo peacekeeping force. During the 1990s, the Squadron moved to RAF Benson, its current home.

The Squadron has been busy since, taking part in Operation Barwood in Mozambique, providing helicopter support to NATO forces in Bosnia and most recently taking part in operations in Iraq. On return from operations in Iraq in 2009, the Squadron was joined by 230 Squadron at RAF Benson to co-locate the Puma Force.

The Squadron celebrated the distinctive milestone with a parade, service and congratulatory dinner, interspersed with snippets of Squadron history and a message from 33 Squadron personnel currently deployed in Afghanistan.

To raise awareness of the Fund, and thank them for the support individuals have received, RAF Benson have taken 100 places in the Reading Half Marathon. Led by Station Commander Group Captain Simon Paterson, 33 Squadron hopes to raise £25,000.

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