From being the first Squadron equipped with the Martinsyde G100 'Elephant' to 13 years with the iconic Vulcan bomber, 28 Squadron has a rich history of aviation.
This history was marked with a parade at RAF Odiham yesterday, with the Duke of Gloucester acting as Reviewing Officer. He will review the entire Squadron as well as the newly attached 27 Squadron Engineers. Friends and family were also invited. The parade was followed by a hangar party with distinguished guests and former Squadron members.
Formed on November 5, 1915, the Squadron was originally borne out of 24 Squadron. The 'Elephant', intended as a fighter, proved itself more suited to reconnaissance and bombing and the Squadron spent much of the First World War overseas in France.
Following the end of the conflict the Squadron assumed air policing duties over the North West Frontier, flying DH9s. Several changes of aircraft followed, from Wapitis to Blenheims then Beaufighters as the Squadron was moved from Pakistan to Malaya then India and Burma during the Second World War.
In November 1947 the Squadron took on Dakotas and were involved in the Berlin Airlift, concentrating on paratrooping and air supply duties. Later, in 1953, the Squadron joined the Suez Campaign, this time as a Canberra bomber squadron, taking part in Operation Musketeer.
Then followed a 13-year association with the Vulcan bomber at RAF Scampton before they were replaced by the Tornados in the bomber role. In 1993 the Squadron moved to RAF Odiham where it was equipped with the Chinook and Puma helicopters. Since 1998, the Squadron has solely worked with the Chinooks and has seen a number of operational tours including Op Telic in Iraq and Op Herrick in Afghanistan.
A new squadron painting featuring the Chinook has been commissioned to mark the centenary. Artist Richard Symonds chose to depict the Chinook in a more ‘cheerful’ setting with four other key Squadron aircraft below in pencil.
He said: "This painting has been a huge honour for me and I hope I have created a piece of art that will not only commemorate the pilots and aircrew of 27 Sqn of the present but also remembering those of the past."