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Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force

The Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (RHKAAF) was an auxiliary unit of the United Kingdom Royal Air Force, based in Hong Kong. It was formed in 1949 as part of the Hong Kong Defence Force. In preparation for the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China, the unit was disbanded on 31 March 1993.[1]

Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force
Badge of the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force.svg
Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force badge
Agency overview
JurisdictionHong Kong
HeadquartersHong Kong International Airport
RHKAAF Aérospatiale SA 360 Dauphin at Kai Tak in 1982

Although technically an armed military unit, run on the lines of an RAF squadron, latterly its responsibilities were mostly involved in providing non-military aviation services such as police support, search and rescue, air ambulance and firefighting in the colony.


The RHKAAF came into existence in 1949 as part of the Hong Kong Defence Force. From 1949 to 1950, it was known as HKAAF and the Royal title was approved by King George VI in 1951. The RHKAAF was finally disbanded on 1 April 1993. All non-military operations were taken over by the Government Flying Service (GFS), a newly created civilian unit with the original service staff of the RHKAAF. The remaining military duties were transferred to other RAF units based in the colony, and passed to the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison (Shek Kong Airfield, Shigang Air Base, Guangdong and Guangzhou Shadi Air Base) on the actual transfer of sovereignty in 1997.

The RHKAAF was based at Kai Tak Airport from 1979 to 1993, with a sub-station at Sek Kong Airfield.


Over the years, the RHKAAF fleet comprised:


Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
BAe Bulldog United Kingdom training / patrol Model 128 2[2]
Cessna 404 United States transport / utility 1[2]
Super King Air United States patrol 200C 2[2]
Britten-Norman BN-2 United Kingdom drug interdiction / utility[3] 1[2]
Sikorsky S-76 United States SAR / utility A+/C 6 / 2[4]
Aérospatiale SA 360 France SAR / utility 365C 2[2]
Trainer Aircraft
T67 Firefly United Kingdom basic trainer M200 4[4]


RHKAAF personnel were a mixture of full-time and part-time staff. Most were locally recruited, in the latter years mostly local Hong Kongers. The ranks used were similar to those of the Royal Air Force.

Commanding Officers

Start Date Name
1 May 1949 Sqn Ldr M.N. Oxford
1 October 1950 Wg Cdr A.W. Wood DFC BEM
1 January 1955 Wg Cdr J.E.L. Larsen, AFC
15 October 1955 Wg Cdr P.O. Scales, AE
12 October 1962 Wg Cdr G.J. Bell, OBE, AE & clasp
19 September 1966 Wg Cdr R.P. Smith, OBE, AE & clasp, JP, QCVSA
1 October 1971 Wg Cdr S.P.J. Ellis, AE
1 June 1975 Wg Cdr R.G. Penlington, OBE, AE & clasp
1 April 1983 Wg Cdr A.P. Asprey, OBE, AE, JP
1 January 1988 Wg Cdr R.W. Brooks, MBE, AE & clasp
1 January 1991 Wg Cdr P.D. Yip, MBE, AE & clasp, JP, QCVSA


The last Badge of the force was used until 1993, after which time, the Hong Kong Coat of Arms was used on GFS aircraft, until the handover in 1997:

  • St Edward's Crown
  • Octagon-shaped badge with a Chinese dragon, propeller
  • Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force is contained on the band of the badge
  • Motto contain the wording Semper Paratus (Latin, "Always Ready")
  • Oak Laurel wreath


  1. ^ 1st April 1993 immediately after the disbandment of its predecessor, the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force. It is one of the disciplined services of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
  2. ^ a b c d e "World Air Forces 1987 pg. 60". Flightglobal Insight. 1987. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  3. ^ "World Air Forces 1981". Flightglobal Insight. 1981. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b "World Air Forces 1991 pg. 60". Flightglobal Insight. 1987. Retrieved 6 February 2019.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

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