From Auster to Apache: The History of 656 Squadron RAF/ACC by Guy Warner

By Guy Warner

This can be the seventieth Anniversary 12 months of 656 Squadron, which first shaped on thirty first December 1942. Over the intervening years the Squadron has served with nice contrast in India, Burma, Java, Malaya, Borneo, Hong Kong, the united kingdom, the Falkland Islands, Bosnia, Kosovo and, so much lately, in Afghanistan. this is often 656’s tale, advised in complete and for the 1st time.

656 Squadron’s tale is a various one, characterised via lively deployment in a various variety of wartime theaters. It used to be the single Air remark put up (AOP) squadron to serve with the “Forgotten Army”, 14th military below common Sir invoice slender in Burma and, after the profitable end of this crusade, the Squadron was once published to Malaya, from the place it took half within the little identified yet fierce crusade countering separatists in Java. This used to be by means of the lengthy crusade opposed to chinese language communist terrorists in Malaya (Malayan Emergency). furthermore, many individuals of the Squadron served within the Korean warfare. for that reason there has been significant involvement within the “Confrontation” with Indonesia in Borneo and policing and inner safeguard paintings in Hong Kong. Following its go back to the united kingdom in 1979, there have been deployments on energetic provider to Rhodesia, the Falkland Islands (both in the course of and after the battle) and Bosnia and Kosovo.

In 2001 the Squadron used to be selected to be the Army’s first Apache assault Helicopter Squadron, and has now undertaken 3 operational excursions in Afghanistan. total it has gathered good over 200,000 operational flying hours making it the main operational squadron within the whole heritage of military air war. It was once additionally, after all, such a lot lately on lively provider as a sea-based strike unit over the skies of Libya.

It is a fairly awesome indisputable fact that the Squadron, and certainly the British military, have either come complete circle; directing fireplace from the air in 1944, to being the artillery within the air, directed from the floor in 2011.

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Whereas the pilot of a nimble, but slow, Camel or Nieuport caught at a disadvantage had little option but to fight his way out, an SE 5a pilot enjoyed good Sqn SE 5as at JOSIO 17's airfield as seen on page 63 8544 'E', flown by 2Lt George R. Gray, mortally wounded '8oelcke' on 31 October 1917, and 8566 'J', in which 2Lt A. W. Rush had been brought down and captured three days earlier. (Greg VanWyngarden] odds of escaping in a dive. IF he did so, the pursuing Albatros pilot usually had only seconds to get in a Fatal shot beFore his quarry widened the range - and the jagdflieger would be wise to break oFfhis pur uit as soon as he felt that lower wing starr to buFFet.

They are without over Beaumont when they spotted a German two-seater. came back all the way, without either of his guns in working order. I still think it one of a doubt far superior in their ability to climb than the best D V They are the new English the bravest deeds I have ever heard of, as he had a hard time getting back to me, and then SE 5 single-seater, the 200hp SPAD and the very outstanding Brisrol Fighter two-seater. suspected a trap, so they held also in escaping for a second time. While the A1bau'os D III and D V come near in their ability ro climb with the Sopwith off their attack for a few I, For my parr, was having the time of my life.

P. F. Rhys Davids, whose 25 victories included Werner Voss, was killed by ace Ltn Karl Gallwitz of Jasta 'Boelcke'. Another case of multi-claiming concerned the death ofLtn Max Ritter von Muller, Forest, although the only British loss in the fight was 2Lt E T Baker of No. 65 Sqnin a Camel! victor over 38 Allied aeroplanes and newly appointed acting commander of Jasta 'Boelcke', on 9 January 1918. At 1250 hrs he had closed to within 25 yards of the RE 8 piloted by Capt George F. W. Zimmer of No.

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