No. 230 Squadron RAF
No. 230 Squadron is an RAF squadron, currently based at RAF Benson. The squadron was part of Royal Air Force Germany, operating the Puma HC.1 there from 1980. Following the drawdown at the end of the Cold War, the squadron disbanded on 30 April 1992. This was short-lived however and the squadron reformed at RAF Aldergrove on 4 May 1992, again with the Puma HC.1.
|No. 230 Squadron RAF|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Role||Helicopter medium-lift support|
|Part of||Joint Helicopter Command|
|Home station||RAF Benson|
|Motto(s)||Kita chari jauh|
(Malay for We search far)
|Aircraft||Westland Puma HC2|
|Squadron badge heraldry||In front of a palm tree eradicated, a tiger passant guardant. The badge commemorates the squadron's association with Malaya, the travellers palm being a reference to the long flights undertaken and the tiger is said to have been inspired by the labels on the bottles on the local Singaporean beer. Approved by King George VI in February 1937.|
|Squadron codes||FV (Apr 1939 – Sep 1939)|
NM (Sep 1939 – Jan 1943)
DX (1942 – Dec 1942)
4X (Apr 1946 – Apr 1951)
B (Apr 1951 – 1956)
230 (1956 – Feb 1957)
D (Carried on Pumas whilst at Odiham)
The squadron is well experienced in night flying; almost a third of flights are undertaken after dark. The 2004 Future Capabilities chapter of the UK Defence White Paper, Delivering Security in a Changing World announced a plan to reduce the squadrons Puma force by 6 helicopters. It was announced in late 2008 that the squadron was to move to RAF Benson by 2010. The Squadron re-equipped with Puma HC Mk2 in 2014 following removal from service of the Puma HC Mk1.
No. 230 Squadron was formed on 20 August 1918 at Felixstowe, consisting of three Flights. No.327 and 328 Flight used Felixstowe F.2 and F.2A flying boats and Fairey IIIs for maritime reconnaissance, whilst No.487 Flight flew Sopwith Camels on escort duties. At the end of World War I the squadron was retained as one of the few RAF coastal units. In 1920 the squadron got Felixstowe F.5 flying boats, and it moved to RAF Calshot in May 1922, where on 1 April 1923 it was renumbered to 480 Flight RAF.
On 1 December 1934 No. 230 Squadron was reformed at RAF Pembroke Dock with Short Singapore flying boats. The Squadron used the Singapore till 1938, serving from Aboukir, Alexandria, Lake Timsah and after a short return to the UK, RAF Seletar. On 22 June 1938 the first Short Sunderland flying boat arrived, the aircraft the Squadron would be equipped with for the next 20 years, in fact until 28 February 1957 when the Squadron was disbanded at Pembroke Dock.
On 1 September 1958 No. 215 Squadron RAF at Dishforth was renumbered 230 Squadron, flying Scottish Aviation Pioneer light transport aircraft. From 1960 these were augmented with Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer aircraft. Westland Whirlwind HC.10 helicopters began to arrive in June 1962 to become the Squadron's standard equipment. In January 1963 No.230 Squadron moved to RAF Gütersloh, West Germany, returning to the UK in January 1965 before being transferred to Borneo. In 1967 the Squadron returned to the UK and in November 1971 began to convert to the Westland Puma HC.1 at RAF Odiham. On 14 October 1980, the squadron moved back to RAF Gütersloh, West Germany where they remained until being disbanded and reformed at RAF Aldergrove, Northern Ireland in April 1992.
230 sqn was one of two Northern Ireland based squadrons of the Royal Air Force, the other being 72 Squadron (equipped with Westland Wessex HC2s). 230 Squadron's 18 Puma aircraft were rotated with No. 33 Squadron's 15 Pumas to even out flight hours amongst the fleet (Northern Ireland based helicopters had a much higher operational tempo). The main role of the squadron was tactical transport of the Security Forces, including the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), Police Service of Northern Ireland and the British Army.
On 17 November 2009, 230 Squadron eventually left Northern Ireland for RAF Benson in Oxfordshire (together with 33 Squadron from RAF Odiham) after 17 years in the province.
On 11 October 2015, one member of the squadron was killed in an accident in Kabul, Afghanistan, whilst landing at the NATO Training and Support Mission HQ. A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the crash was "an accident and not the result of insurgent activity". The crewman was named a day later, and was repatriated back to the UK on the 20th. The Flight Lieutenant's CO commented saying "A man with exceptionally high standards, he was never afraid to remind anyone when he felt they could have done better. However, this advice was always delivered with his characteristic wry smile and good humour. The Support Helicopter Force has lost not only an outstanding operator but a good friend to so many...his lasting legacy will be the professionalism and courage he passed onto all who flew with him. A loving husband and father, our thoughts are with his wife and children at this most difficult of times." A post mortem found he died of severe head injuries. The inquest was adjourned indefinitely until the conclusion of separate inquiries being undertaken by the Ministry of Defence were completed.
The squadron was awarded a new squadron standard in February 2019 by RAF Benson’s Honorary Air Marshal, HRH Prince Michael of Kent. The standard, the third to be awarded to the squadron, is made of silk and features the battle honours awarded to the unit since its formation.
|August 1918||March 1919||Curtiss H.12||H.16|||
|September 1918||December 1918||Sopwith Camel||No. 487 Flight|
|October 1918||June 1921||Fairey III||B, C||Nos. 327 and 328 Flight|
|August 1918||April 1923||Felixstowe F.2||A, F.3||Nos. 327 and 328 Flight|
|January 1920||April 1923||Felixstowe F.5|
|April 1935||November 1938||Short Singapore||Mk.III|
|June 1938||January 1943||Short Sunderland||Mk.I|
|June 1941||March 1942||Dornier Do 22||K||Ex-Yugoslav air force no. 2 squadron|
|June 1941||March 1942||Rogožarski SIM-XIV||H||Ex-Yugoslav air force no. 2 squadron|
|December 1941||January 1943||Short Sunderland||Mk.II|
|April 1942||March 1945||Short Sunderland||Mk.III|
|January 1945||February 1957||Short Sunderland||Mk.V|
|September 1958||March 1960||Scottish Aviation Pioneer||CC.1|
|January 1960||December 1962||Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer||CC.1/CC.2|
|June 1962||December 1971||Westland Whirlwind||HAR.10|
|October 1971||December 2012||Westland Puma||HC.1|
|March 2013||Today||Airbus Helicopters Puma||HC.2|
|20 August 1918||7 May 1922||RAF Felixstowe, Suffolk|
|7 May 1922||1 April 1923||RAF Calshot, Hampshire|
|1 December 1934||2 October 1935||RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales||Air echelon left 23 September 1935|
|23 September 1935||2 October 1935||En route to Egypt|
|2 October 1935||24 October 1935||RAF Aboukir, Egypt|
|24 October 1935||25 November 1935||RAF Alexandria/Maryut, Egypt|
|25 November 1935||1 December 1935||Lake Timsah, Egypt|
|1 December 1935||7 August 1936||Alexandria/Maryut, Egypt||Air echelon left 30 July 1936|
|30 July 1936||3 August 1936||En route to UK|
|3 August 1936||14 October 1936||RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|14 October 1936||8 January 1937||En route to Far East|
|8 January 1937||13 February 1940||RAF Seletar, Malaya|
|15 October 1939||27 October 1939||Penang/Gelugor, Malaya||Detachment|
|27 October 1939||30 October 1939||Trincomalee, Ceylon||Detachment|
|30 October 1939||23 November 1939||RAF Colombo, Ceylon||Detachment|
|23 November 1939||13 February 1940||RAF Koggala, Ceylon||Detachment|
|13 February 1940||2 May 1940||RAF Koggala, Ceylon|
|2 May 1940||6 May 1940||En route to Egypt|
|6 May 1940||19 June 1941||Alexandria/Maryut, Egypt|
|12 December 1940||18 April 1941||Skaramagas, Greece||Detachment|
|19 June 1941||3 July 1942||RAF Aboukir, Egypt|
|3 July 1942||28 July 1942||Kasfareet/Fanara (Great Bitter Lake), Egypt|
|28 July 1942||9 January 1943||RAF Aboukir, Egypt|
|9 January 1943||7 February 1944||Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika Territory|
|1 June 1943||7 November 1943||RAF Aboukir, Egypt||Detachment|
|7 February 1944||17 April 1945||RAF Koggala, Ceylon|
|17 April 1945||23 May 1945||RAF Akyab, Burma|
|23 May 1945||1 August 1945||RAF Rangoon, Burma|
|1 August 1945||1 December 1945||Red Hills Lake, Madras, British India|
|1 December 1945||15 April 1946||RAF Seletar, Singapore|
|15 April 1946||10 August 1946||RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|10 August 1946||16 September 1946||RAF Castle Archdale (Lower Lough Erne), County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland|
|16 September 1946||16 February 1949||RAF Calshot, Hampshire|
|4 July 1948||18 December 1948||Finkenwerder, Hamburg, West-Germany||Detachment Berlin airlift|
|16 February 1949||28 February 1957||RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|1 September 1958||27 November 1958||RAF Dishforth, North Yorkshire|
|27 November 1958||7 April 1959||RAF Nicosia, Cyprus|
|7 April 1959||1 May 1959||RAF Dishforth, North Yorkshire|
|1 May 1959||30 May 1960||RAF Upavon, Wiltshire|
|30 May 1960||14 January 1963||RAF Odiham, Hampshire|
|September 1960||September 1961||Mamfe, Cameroon||Detachment|
|14 January 1963||1 January 1965||RAF Gütersloh, West-Germany||Detachment at Nicosia, Cyprus|
|1 January 1965||10 March 1965||RAF Odiham, Hampshire|
|10 March 1965||14 November 1966||Labuan, Malaysia|
|14 November 1966||25 November 1966||En route to UK|
|25 November 1966||10 March 1969||RAF Odiham, Hampshire||Detachment at Nicosia, Cyprus|
|10 March 1969||3 December 1971||RAF Wittering, Cambridgeshire||Detachment at Nicosia, Cyprus|
|1 October 1971||1 January 1972||RAF Odiham||Training as No.230 Sqn (Puma Echelon)|
|1 January 1972||14 October 1980||RAF Odiham, Hampshire|
|14 October 1980||30 April 1992||RAF Gütersloh, West-Germany||Dets. at Belize and Northern Ireland|
|November 1990||April 1991||Ras-Al-Ghar, Saudi Arabia||Detachment for Operation Granby|
|4 May 1992||17 November 2009||RAF Aldergrove, County Antrim|
|August 1995||October 1995||Bosnia||Detachment|
|17 November 2009||present||RAF Benson, Oxfordshire|
- Rawlings 1982, p. 156.
- Halley 1988, p. 297.
- Barrass, M. B. (2015). "No. 226–230 Squadron Histories". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- Warner 2004, pp. 34–36.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 14.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 76.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, pp. 31–32.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 116.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 126.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 199.
- "Job cuts over RAF Aldergrove exit". BBC News. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "230 Squadron". RAF Museum. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
- Rawlings 1969, p. 242.
- Rawlings 1969, p.244.
- "The final flights from Aldergrove". BBC. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
- Air International January 2010, p.7.
- "RAF helicopter crash: Five Nato staff die in Afghanistan". BBC News. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "Flight Lieutenants Alan Scott and Geraint Roberts have died - Fatality notice - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "UPDATE: Inquest into deaths of two RAF Benson airmen opens". Herald Series. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "RAF Benson's 230 Squadron Receive New Standard". Forces Network. 8 February 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
- Rawlings 1982, p. 157.
- Halley 1988, p. 298.
- Jefford 2001, pp. 76–77.
- Warner 2004, p. 174.
- Jefford 2001, p. 76.
- Warner 2004, p. 171.
- Warner 2004, pp. 182–184.
- Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
- Deller, Alan W. The Kid Glove Pilot: A Personal Account of Flying Sunderlands in World War Two. Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland: Colourpoint Books, 2004. ISBN 1-904242-20-0.
- Docherty, Tom. Hunt Like a Tiger: 230 Squadron at War, 1939–45. Bognor Regis, West Sussex, UK: Woodfield Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-903953-37-5.
- Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A Full Explanation and Listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied Air Force Unit Codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
- Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1980. ISBN 0-85130-083-9.
- Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
- Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
- "Operation Tiger 9". Air International, January 2010, Vol. 78, No. 1. p. 7.
- Rawlings, J.D.R. "History of 230 Squadron". Air Pictorial, July 1969. Vol. 31 No.7. pp. 242–244.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
- Warner, Guy. No. 230 Squadron Royal Air Force "Kita chari jauh – We search far". Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland: Colourpoint Books, 2004. ISBN 1-904242-33-2.