No. 5 Squadron RAF
Number 5 (Army Co-operation) Squadron (often styled Number V (AC) Squadron) is a squadron of the Royal Air Force. Since its reformation on 1 April 2004, it has operated the Raytheon Sentinel R.1 Airborne STand-Off Radar (ASTOR) aircraft.
|No. V (AC) Squadron RAF|
|Active||26 July 1913 – 1 April 1918 (RFC)|
1 April 1918 – 20 January 1920 (RAF)
1 April 1920 – 1 August 1947
11 February 1949 – 12 October 1957
20 January 1959 – 7 October 1965
8 October 1965 – January 2003
1 April 2004 – present
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||No. 1 Group RAF|
|Home station||RAF Waddington|
|Motto(s)||Frangas non flectas|
(Latin for Thou mayst break, but shall not bend me)
|Aircraft||Raytheon Sentinel R.1|
|Squadron badge heraldry||A maple leaf, commemorating the squadron's close links with the Canadian Corps during the First World War. Approved by King George VI in June 1937.|
|Squadron codes||QN (Apr 1939 – allocated but possibly not used) |
OQ (Sep 1939 – Feb 1941, Mar 1946 – Aug 1947)
B (Mar 1952 – 1955)
A (Aug 1986 – Dec 1987)
CA–CZ (Tornado F.3)
As No. 5 Squadron Royal Flying Corps, it was formed at Farnborough on 26 July 1913, and following the outbreak of the First World War deployed to France on 15 August, equipped with a variety of aircraft types to implement reconnaissance for the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). It flew its first missions on 21 August and on the next day, an Avro 504 of 5 Squadron was the first British aircraft to be shot down, its crew of pilot Second Lieutenant Vincent Waterfall and navigator Lieutenant Charles George Gordon Bayly being killed over Belgium.
No. 5 Squadron standardised on the B.E.2, specialising as observers for artillery, re-equipping with the R.E.8 in May 1917, and working closely with the Canadian Corps, through to the end of the war and into 1919, when it moved into Germany as part of the Army of Occupation. (Its association with the Canadian Corps led to the incorporation of a maple leaf in the squadron's badge when it was approved in June 1937).
Thereafter in 1920, the squadron was reformed at Quetta, India (now part of Pakistan). There it continued working in Army Air Cooperation for operations on the North West Frontier. From 1920 until 1941 they had a succession of aircraft: Bristol Fighters, Westland Wapitis, Hawker Harts and Hawker Audaxs. In 1942 they received American built Mohawks and became escorts to Blenheim bombers over north west Burma. These were replaced in turn by Hawker Hurricanes and P-47 Thunderbolts. No. 5 Squadron converted to Tempest IIs in February 1946, but disbanded on 1 August 1947.
1949 to dateEdit
On 11 February 1949 it reformed at RAF Pembrey in Wales for target-towing duties but in 1951, the squadron moved to Germany to fly the de Havilland Vampire and its successor the de Havilland VenomFB.1. The squadron was part of the defence cuts of 1957 but was restored in 1959 as a night fighter squadron at RAF Laarbruch, Germany, first flying the Gloster Meteor NF.11 before re-equipping with the delta winged Gloster Javelin. It moved to RAF Binbrook in 1965 with the English Electric Lightning interceptor keeping these until 1987. From then until 2003, when it was disbanded at RAF Coningsby, No.5 Squadron flew the Panavia Tornado F3 and with this aircraft it was the first RAF squadron (accompanied by No. 29 Squadron) to be deployed as part the UK's contribution to the Gulf War.
The squadron reformed on 1 April 2004. The first production Raytheon Sentinel R.1 made its maiden flight on 26 May 2004. The ASTOR system officially entered service with the No. 5 Squadron on 1 December 2008. Full Operating Capability was achieved at the end of 2010. The new radar-equipped aircraft provides battlefield and ground surveillance for the British Army in a similar role to the American Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JOINT STARS) aircraft.
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- Yoxall, John. "No. 5 Squadron: A History of the "Fighting Fifth": Part 1". Flight, Vol. 72, No. 2543, 18 October 1957. pp. 618–623.
- Yoxall, John. "No. 5 Squadron: A History of the "Fighting Fifth": Part 2". Flight, Vol. 72, No. 2544, 25 October 1957. pp. 642–646.
- Yoxall, John. "No. 5 Squadron: A History of the "Fighting Fifth": Part 3". Flight, Vol. 72, No. 2546, 8 November 1957. pp. 745–746.