Number 201 Squadron is a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It currently operates the Boeing Poseidon MRA1 from RAF Lossiemouth, Moray.
|No. 201 Squadron RAF|
|Active||17 October 1914 – 21 June 1915 (RNAS)|
6 December 1916 – 1 April 1918 (RNAS)
1 April 1918 – 31 December 1919 (RAF)
1 January 1929 – 28 February 1957
1 October 1958 – 26 May 2011
7 August 2021 – present
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Role||Anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and maritime patrol aircraft|
|Part of||No. 1 Group|
|Home station||RAF Lossiemouth|
|Nickname(s)||Guernsey's Own Squadron|
|Motto(s)||Latin: Hic et ubique|
("Here and everywhere")
|Wing Commander Adam Smolak|
Robert Marsland Groves
|Squadron Badge heraldry||A seagull, wings elevated and addorsed|
|Squadron codes||VQ (Apr 1939 – Sep 1939)|
ZM (Sep 1939 – Aug 1943)
1 (Nov 1943 – Mar 1944)
NS (Jul 1944 – Apr 1951)
A (Apr 1951 – Feb 1957)
It is the only squadron affiliated with Guernsey, in the Channel Islands. This affiliation started in 1935 and is commemorated in the museum on Castle Cornet. Its history goes even further back than the RAF itself, being formed originally as No. 1 Squadron RNAS on 17 October 1914. It had previously operated the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR2, based at RAF Kinloss, Moray, between January 1982 and March 2010.
Despite its high squadron number, 201 Squadron is one of the oldest squadrons in the RAF. It was formed as No. 1 Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) on 17 October 1914, and reformed under that designation on 6 December 1916, only being renumbered to 201 Squadron on the formation of the RAF on 1 April 1918 – all the RNAS squadrons getting new numbers by adding 200 to their original number.
A Victoria Cross was won by a member of No. 1 Squadron RNAS when on 7 June 1915 Sub-Lieutenant R.A.J. Warneford shot down Zeppelin LZ.37.
After the war the squadron was disbanded at RAF Eastleigh on 31 December 1919. Eighteen flying aces served in the squadron during the course of the war, including such notables as Samuel Kinkead, Stanley Wallace Rosevear, Richard Minifie, Roderic Dallas, George Gates, Reginald Brading, Maxwell Findlay, Cyril Ridley, Thomas Gerrard, John Jones, James Henry Forman, Charles Dawson Booker, Thomas Culling, future Air Vice-Marshal F. H. Maynard, Robert McLaughlin, and Hazel Wallace.
The squadron was reformed at RAF Calshot on 1 January 1929 by expanding no. 480 Flight, a Supermarine Southampton flying boat unit. In April 1936 the Southamptons gave way to the Saro London, which the squadron still had on strength when World War II broke out. Supermarine Stranraers flew shortly with the squadron in 1939, but by April 1940 the squadron was operational on the Short Sunderland, which would remain the squadron equipment for almost seventeen years up till 28 February 1957, when the squadron was disbanded at RAF Pembroke Dock.
The squadron was reformed at RAF St. Mawgan, when No. 220 Squadron RAF was renumbered to 201 Squadron. The squadron flew the next twelve years with the Avro Shackleton MR.3, a version that used a tricycle undercarriage as opposed to the earlier tailwheel variants. Following the Shackleton's retirement, the squadron converted to Nimrods in October 1970.
The squadron was active for over a decade in the Gulf region, in support of both Gulf War 1 and 2 and more recently the conflict in Afghanistan. Until March 2010, the squadron was also on active duty in the UK and maintained continuous 24-hour/365-day search and rescue standby, shared with the sister 120 Squadron, both flying from RAF Kinloss. The Nimrod MR2 was withdrawn in March 2010, and the squadron was formally disbanded on 26 May 2011. It had been preparing to operate the Nimrod MRA4 but this aircraft was cancelled under the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
In July 2017, it was announced that No. 201 Squadron would be one of two RAF squadrons to fly the P-8A Poseidon, based at RAF Lossiemouth. It was later confirmed the squadron would stand up in the 'Summer of 2021' operating in the role and at location as previously stated. No. 201 Squadron reformed on 7 August 2021, reclaiming their Squadron Standard from Government House in Guernsey on 22 October.
The squadron has operated the following aircraft types.
|6 Dec 1916||15 Feb 1917||Furnes, Belgium|
|15 Feb 1917||11 Apr 1917||Chipilly, France|
|11 Apr 1917||1 Jun 1917||La Belle-vue, France|
|1 Jun 1917||2 Nov 1917||Bailleul, France|
|2 Nov 1917||10 Dec 1917||Middle Aerodrome|
|10 Dec 1917||16 Feb 1918||Dover, Kent|
|16 Feb 1918||27 Mar 1918||Téteghem, France|
|27 Mar 1918||28 Mar 1918||Sainte-Marie-Cappel, France|
|28 Mar 1918||12 Apr 1918||Fienvillers, France|
|12 Apr 1918||20 Jul 1918||Nœux-lès-Auxi, France|
|20 Jul 1918||6 Aug 1918||Sainte-Marie-Cappel, France|
|6 Aug 1918||14 Aug 1918||Poulainville, France|
|14 Aug 1918||19 Sep 1918||Nœux-lès-Auxi, France|
|19 Sep 1918||14 Oct 1918||Baizieux, France|
|14 Oct 1918||27 Oct 1918||Beugnâtre, France|
|27 Oct 1918||22 Nov 1918||La Targette, France|
|22 Nov 1918||5 Feb 1919||Béthencourt, France|
|15 Feb 1919||2 Sep 1919||RAF Lake Down, Wiltshire|
|2 Sep 1919||31 Dec 1919||RAF Eastleigh, Hampshire|
|1 Jan 1929||29 Sep 1938||RAF Calshot, Hampshire|
|29 Sep 1938||7 Oct 1938||RAF Invergordon, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland|
|7 Oct 1938||9 Aug 1939||RAF Calshot, Hampshire|
|9 Aug 1939||6 Nov 1939||RAF Sullom Voe, Shetland, Scotland|
|6 Nov 1939||26 May 1940||RAF Invergordon, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland|
|26 May 1940||9 Oct 1941||RAF Sullom Voe, Shetland, Scotland|
|9 Oct 1941||8 Apr 1944||Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland|
|8 Apr 1944||3 Nov 1944||RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|3 Nov 1944||2 Aug 1945||RAF Castle Archdale, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland|
|2 Aug 1945||1 Apr 1946||RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|1 Apr 1946||18 Jan 1949||RAF Calshot, Hampshire (Det. at Finkenwerder, West-Germany)|
|18 Jan 1949||28 Feb 1957||RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|1 Oct 1958||1 Jul 1965||RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall|
|1 Jul 1965||26 May 2011||RAF Kinloss, Moray, Scotland|
|7 Aug 2021||present||RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland|
No. 201 Squadron has received the following battle honours. Those marked with an asterisk (*) may be emblazoned on the squadron standard.