RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

RAF No 604 (County of Middlesex) Squadron

Motto: Si vis pacem para bellum (If you want peace, prepare for war)

Formed at Hendon on 17 March 1930 as a light bomber squadron in the Auxiliary Air Force, although it's initial equipment of Wapiti's did not arrive until September, until when it used DH9As. It continued in this role until 23 July 1934 when it was redesignated a fighter squadron. Pending the arrival of Demons, which arrived in June 1935, it was equipped with Harts and in January 1939 it received the Blenheim IF.

It became one of the first units to have its aircraft equipped with airborne radar, but some of its early operations were daylight sweeps over the Low Countries. By the time the Battle of Britain started it had reverted to the night fighter role and in September 1940 its first Beaufighter had arrived.

It continued to provide night defence to the UK until early 1943 but with the reduction in German activity over Britain, it began to move over to night intruder operations. In February, the squadron was allocated to 2 TAF and at the same time began conversion to Mosquitos. Operations from Normandy began in August but the following month it returned to the UK, returning to the continent once again in January 1945, remaining there until disbanding on 18 April 1945.

With the reactivation of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 604 was reformed on 10 May 1946 at Hendon as a day fighter squadron. It was initially equipped with Spitfire LF 16s but converted to jets in November 1949 when Vampires arrived. These were replaced by Meteor F 8s in August 1952 but along with all the flying units of the RAuxAF, it was disbanded on 10 March 1957.

Squadron Codes used: - WQ Jan 1939 - Sep 1939; NG Sep 1939 - Apr 1945, 1949 - Apr 1951;RAK Jul 1946 - 1949

Standards: - Standard originally awarded on 15 Oct 1957 but presented:- ?

Battle Honours: - France & Low Countries, 1940: Dunkirk: Battle of Britain, 1940: Home Defence, 1940-44: Fortress Europe, 1943-45: Normandy, 1944: France & Germany, 1944-45

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023