service with the RAF the Vulcan was flown by nine squadrons
(plus the OCU).
This page gives a brief overview of each of them.
Towards the bottom of this page is a table showing where
each Vulcan squadron was based.
230 Operational Conversion Unit
Motto: "Temper the sword"
Badge: A sword in front of waves.
working with the Vulcan 230 OCU had the responsibility to train
(convert) pilots to fly piston engined aircraft like the Lincoln &
Lancaster. Vulcan XA897 was officially given to 230 OCU in 1956, but
unfortunately it was destroyed returning from New Zealand. This set
back prevented the OCU from acquiring a Vulcan until 1957. Training
with the B2 began in 1960. During its life the 230 OCU was stationed
at Waddington, Finningley and Scampton. The unit disbanded in August
Motto: "Per noctem volamus"
(Throughout the night we fly).
Badge: A bat. The badge is based on a
device used previously.
Authority: King Edward VIII, November 1936.
9 squadron was home to English Electric Canberra and Avro Lincoln
before being disbanded in 1959. It was reformed in 1962 and equipped
with the Vulcan B2. In the Winter of 1964 the squadron moved to
Cottesmore, and in early 1969 the wing was sent to Akrotiri along
with 35 squadron. It stayed until 1975 before returning to
Waddington. The squadron was disbanded in April 1982. Eight weeks
later it became the first RAF squadron to operate the Tornado GR1
Motto: "Leads the field".
Badge: A fox's mask. The squadron was once
equipped with Fox aircraft which were, to a great extent,
responsible for the early reputation of the unit. The badge
and motto also denote a period in the squadron's career
which was noteworthy in advancing to a marked degree the
potential of fast daylight bombing.
Authority: King George VI, February 1937.
squadron flew Lincoln, Wellington and Lancaster aircraft before
being disbanded in 1961. It was reformed at Coningsby a year later
with the Vulcan B2. 1964 saw the squadron moved to Cottesmore where
it stayed for three years before becoming one of the first
casualties of the gradual "down-sizing" of the Vulcan force due to
the Polaris nuclear deterrent programme. In more recent times 12
squadron has flown Buccaneers and Tornados on a regular basis.
Motto: "Quam celerrime ad
astra" (with all speed to the stars)
Badge: An elephant
Authority: King Edward VIII, October 1936
squadron spent over 25 years stationed in the Middle East & India
before returning to the UK in 1946. It was disbanded in 1956, and
reformed at Scampton in April 1961. The squadron was equipped with
Vulcan B2A aircraft each armed with Blue Steel missiles. In 1969 the
Vulcan reverted to conventional bombing duties for 3 years before
being disbanded. A year later it was reformed and used Vulcan SR2s
to conduct maritime reconnaissance. This role continued until March
Motto: "Uno animo agimus"
(We act with one accord).
Badge: A horse's head winged. The badge
commemorates co-operation with the Calvary during the First
Authority: King Edward VIII, October 1936.
squadron flew the Halifax during the
Second World War and went on to fly Lincolns and Canberras before
it was disbanded in 1961. It reformed just over a year later and
equipped with Vulcan B2s. It was the last Vulcan squadron to be
established by the RAF. It moved from Cottesmore to Akrotiri in
Cyprus during 1960 along with No9 squadron. After a six year tour of
duty the unit returned to Scampton, where it stayed until February
1982 when it was disbanded.
regis iusta" ("The King's thunderbolts are righteous").
Badge: On a mount an elephant. The badge is
based upon the seal of Lo Bengula, the chief of the
Matabeles on conquest. The seal shows an elephant which, in
the case of this unit, is intended to indicate heavy
Authority: King George VI, October 1941.
squadron was the first to fly the Avro Lancaster, followed by the
Lincoln and Canberra before disbanding in 1957. It reformed 3 years
later and was equipped with B1 Vulcans formerly owned by 83
squadron. 1964 saw 44 squadron become the first Vulcan squadron to
convert to low-level bombing duties after the responsibility for
Britain's nuclear deterrent past to the Navy. In 1967 the Vulcan B2
was introduced to the unit. The squadron was wound up in 1982.
Motto: "Sic fidem servamus"
("Thus we keep faith").
Badge: A sword in bend severing a mantle
palewise. This unit formed at Dover and adopted a mantle
being severed by a sword to show its connection with that
town, the arms of which include St. Martin and the beggar
with whom he divided his cloak. The mantle is also
indicative of the protection given to this country by the
Royal Air Force.
Authority: King George VI, March 1940.
flying Canberras, Lincolns and Lancasters 50 squadron disbanded in
1959. It reformed in 1961 and was equipped with the earlier Vulcan
B1 specification aircraft. It was the first Waddington wing to
receive the Vulcan B2 during the Autumn of 1965. The Falklands
Conflict extended the operating life of the Vulcan, but sadly the
last Vulcan was flown by the RAF on the 31st of March 1984. 50
squadron had the honour of being the last Vulcan operational unit
in the Royal Air Force.
Motto: "Strike to defend".
Badge: An attire. The red deer's antler is
in reference to the squadron's association with Scotland.
The attire has six points commemorating an outstanding
occasion in the First World War when six DFCs were awarded
for one operation - an extremely valuable
reconnaissance-successfully completed by six individuals in
three aircraft during 14/15th June 1918.) They were the only
Allied aircraft in the air in weather which had grounded all
others. The antler in black affords reference to night
flying and the three top points stand for the crown of
success met with by the squadron.
Authority: King George VI, April 1938.
this squadron was the first to be equipped with the then, new Vulcan
aircraft many of the operational procedures used by the subsequent
Vulcan squadrons were developed by its crews. In the Winter of 1960
the squadron had been stationed at Scampton where it operated Vulcan
B2 aircraft capable of delivering free-fall nuclear weapons. These
were later upgraded to the Blue Steel missile. The squadron was
disbanded in August 1969.
Motto: "Mens agitat molem"
("Mind over matter").
Badge: Issuant from the battlements of a
tower, a demi-lion rampant guardant. The squadron adopted
the battlements of a round tower as symbolic of its claim to
be the first squadron equipped with an aircraft fitted with
a power-operated rotating turret (the Boulton Paul
Overstrand). A lion being a fierce fighter is symbolic of
the unit's fighting spirit by its position in the tower
Authority: King George VI, February 1938.
squadron was the first to be given the Canberra jet, which it used
successfully in combat over Malaya and Suez. After being disbanded
in 1957 it was reformed and presented with Vulcan B1s which it flew
from Scampton. It was the last unit to convert to the Vulcan B2.
This squadron saw action over the Falklands, and were the
penultimate squadron to fly the Vulcan. It was disbanded in August
1982 before reforming at Brize Norton with VC-10 refuelling tankers.
Motto: "Aprés moi, le
deluge" ("After me, the flood").
Badge: On a roundel, a wall in fesse,
fracted by three flashes of lightning in pile and issuant
from the breach, water proper.
Authority: King George VI, March 1944.
This is perhaps the most well known RAF bomber squadron due to its
exploits during WWII when it destroyed the hydro-electric dams used
by the German war-machine. It was disbanded shortly before 1956, but
reformed in May 1958 to fly Vulcan B1s from Scampton. By September
1961 it was equipped with the B2 variant which was armed with the
Blue Steel missile. The squadron was disbanded in 1981, but has
since reformed and now flies the Tornado.
|1/7/56 - 1/6/61
1/6/61 - 1/12/69
1/12/69 - 1/8/81
|B1 until 6/60
|1/3/62 - 9/11/64
10/11/64 - 25/2/69
26/2/69 - 31/12/74
1/1/75 - 9/4/82
|1/7/62 - 16/11/64
17/11/64 - 31/12/67
|1/4/61 - 29/3/72
1/11/73 - 31/3/82
|1/12/62 - 6/11/64
7/11/64 - 14/1/69
15/1/69 - 15/1/75
16/1/75 - 28/2/82
||10/8/60 - 21/12/82
||B1 until 11/67
||1/8/61 - 31/3/84
||B1 until 11/66
K2 from '82
|21/5/57 - 9/10/60
||B1 until 8/60
|15/10/57 - 25/6/61
26/6/61 - 4/8/82
B1 until 1/68
||1/5/58 - 1/1/82
||B1 until 7/61
This badge represents No 1
Badge: A black panther's head. The badge commemorates the
code-name Panther which the Group had in 1939 at the time of its
mobilisation for service in France as the Advanced Air Striking
Motto : Swift to attack
Authority: King George VI, June 1941.
No. 1 (Bomber) Group came into being at Abingdon on 1st May 1936,
when its nameplate was given to the Central Area of the Air Defence
of Great Britain. The Group began life with three stations and ten
squadrons: Abingdon, Nos. 15, 40, 98 and 104 Squadrons; Bircham
Newton, Nos. 18, 21, 34 and 39 Squadrons; and Upper Heyford, Nos. 57
and 218 Squadrons.
This symbol was used when
the Vulcan was taking part in military bombing exercises, or when a
Vulcan was being used for public air displays
to prevent "squabbling" between
the different RAF squadrons!