No. 35 Squadron RAF

No. 35 Squadron RAF
No. XXXV (Madras Presidency) Squadron RAF
XXXV Squadron crest.
Active February 1, 1916 - June 26, 1919
March 1, 1929 - March 1, 1982
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Motto Uno animo agimus
Latin: "We act with one accord"

No. 35 Squadron (also known as No. XXXV (Madras Presidency) Squadron) is a squadron of the Royal Air Force.

It was formed on February 1, 1916 at Thetford, training as a Corps reconnaissance squadron. In January 1917 the unit moved to France, equipped with the Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8, beginning operations during the Battle of Arras, working alongside the Cavalry Corps, throughout 1917 (which later resulted in the Pegasus winged horses head in the Squadrons crest).[1] It re-equipped with Bristol Fighters in the later part of 1918,[2] before returning to Netheravon in March 1919 and then disbanding on June 26, 1919.[3]

On March 1, 1929 the squadron reformed at Bircham Newton, and was initially equipped with Airco DH.9As, re-equipping with the Fairey IIIF in November that year. In 1932, its IIIFs were replaced by an improved development, the Fairey Gordon. As a response to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, the squadron was posted to the Sudan in late 1935, returning to Worthy Down in August 1936, and re-equipping with the Vickers Wellesley. On 12 April 1938 the squadron converted to the Fairey Battle.[4]

On the outbreak of World War II, 35 Squadron was designated a training unit, receiving Avro Ansons and Bristol Blenheims in late in 1939. The squadron disbanded after being absorbed into No. 17 OTU along with No. 90 Squadron at Upwood, on 8 April 1940.

It reformed on 5 November 1940 at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire as the first Handley Page Halifax squadron. In August 1942 it became a pathfinder unit, forming part of No. 8 Group at Graveley. In March 1944 the squadron re-equipped with the Avro Lancaster.

During 1946 the squadron participated in a goodwill tour of the United States, later returning to Stradishall, due to Graveley's closure. The Lancasters were replaced by Avro Lincolns in September 1949, and the squadron later disbanded on February 23, 1950.

On September 1, 1951 the squadron reformed at Marham equipped with the Boeing Washington, and in April 1954 the squadron re-equipped with the English Electric Canberra. The squadron disbanded on September 11, 1961.

No. 35 Squadron reformed for the last time on 1 December 1962 at RAF Coningsby as part of RAF Bomber Command's V-bomber force, equipped with eight Vulcan B2 aircraft and Yellow Sun free-falling bombs in a high-altitude strategic bombing role, moving to RAF Cottesmore on 7 November 1964. The squadron was re-equipped with the one megaton Blue Steel stand-off bomb when it became available, later being deployed for a short time with Blue Steel in a low-level penetration mode.[5] When the WE.177B strategic bomb became available from mid-1966, eight were issued to No. 35 Squadron at Cottesmore.[6] These laydown bombs were specifically designed for the low-level penetration role, did not require a pre-release 'pop-up' manoeuvre, and improved the survivability of the squadron's Vulcans.

Following the transfer of responsibility for the nuclear deterrent to the Royal Navy the squadron joined the Near East Strike Force at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, still equipped with eight Vulcan B2s and eight WE.177 nuclear weapons and a variety of conventional weapons.[7] The squadron remained at Akrotiri with 9 Squadron's similarly equipped Vulcans assigned as part of the UK contribution to CENTO the Central Treaty Organisation, for use in the low-level penetration role until the end of 1974,[8][9] returning to RAF Scampton in January 1975 where the squadron disbanded for the last time on 1 March 1982.


  1. ^ Brookes 1979, pp.229-230.
  2. ^ "No 31 - 35 Squadron Histories" Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  3. ^ Brookes 1979,p.230.
  4. ^ Brookes 1979, pp.230-231.
  5. ^ Humphrey Wynn. RAF Strategic Nuclear Deterrent Forces: their origins, roles and deployment 1946-1969. pps 128, 449-463. Pub MoD & HMSO. ISBN 0 11 772833 0
  6. ^ RAF nuclear front line Order-of-Battle 1966-67
  7. ^ RAF nuclear front line Order-of-Battle 1969
  8. ^ RAF nuclear front line Order-of-Battle 1973-74
  9. ^ Weapon overview @ Carriage

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