45 Squadron

Providing multi-engine training to pilots and rear crew.

Through difficulties I arise

A winged camel - approved by King Edward VIII in October 1936. The badge commemorates the aircraft used for a large part of World War I, and the Squadron's long association with the Middle East.


  • Stationed at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire as a component of the UK Military Flying Training System
  • Among the few RAF units to see World War Two combat against German, Italian, Vichy French and Japanese forces
  • Aircraft flown include the Sopwith Camel, Bristol Blenheim, Vultee Vengeance, Bristol Brigand Hawker Hunter FGA9, Panavia Tornado and Beechcraft King Air
  • Delivers multi-engine flying training to pilots and rear crew


1916 - Formed at Gosport as a scout unit, flying the Sopwith 1½-Strutter in France, before re-equipping with the Camel in 1917. Subsequently sent to the Austro-Italian front, but returned to France late in 1918 for re-equipment with Sopwith Snipes for bomber escort, although the Armistice precluded operations. Disbanded in 1919

1921 - Re-formed and despatched to Helwan, Egypt as a Vickers Vernon bomber-transport unit. Moved to Iraq in 1922, fulfilling mostly policing and airmail duties. Moved back to Egypt in 1927 and remnants of unit taken over by 47 Squadron

1927 - Re-formed on the Airco DH.9A at Heliopolis. Subsequently flew the Fairey IIIF from 1929, Hawker Hart and Vickers Vincent (1935), Fairey Gordon (1936) and Vickers Wellesley (1937). A detachment served in Kenya from September 1935

1939 - Re-equipped with the Bristol Blenheim at Fuka, Egypt. Flew wartime missions over the Western Desert, Syria and Sudan, before moving to Calcutta and Burma in 1942. Almost wiped out in combat with Japanese forces

1942 - Re-formed in November. Returned to combat in June 1943, as a dive-bombing unit equipped with the Vultee Vengeance. Re-equipped with the de Havilland Mosquito from January 1944, returning to combat in September

1946 - Transferred to Ceylon and re-equipped with the Bristol Beaufighter

1948 - Aircraft despatched to Kuala Lumpur for Operation FIREDOG, the Malayan Emergency, in August. Full squadron deployed in 1949, with detachments in Malaya and Singapore. Re-equipped with the Bristol Brigand from late 1949. Exchanged Brigands for the de Havilland Hornet in 1952

1955 - Relocated to Malaysia for training on the Gloster Meteor and de Havilland Vampire, before re-equipping with the de Havilland Venom

1957 - Returned to Singapore and re-equipped with the English Electric Canberra B2. Disbanded in 1970

1972 - Re-formed at RAF West Raynham, Norfolk as a ground-attack training unit, flying the Hunter FGA9.  Within weeks the Squadron then moved to RAF Wittering

1976 - Squadron disbanded

1984 - Reformed as 45 (Reserve) Squadron, the Tornado Weapons Conversion Unit, at RAF Honington, but renumbered as XV (Reserve) Squadron in 1992

1992 - The Multi-Engine Training Squadron, flying the Handley Page Jetstream T1 at RAF Cranwell, was redesignated as 45 (Reserve) Squadron

2003 - Re-equipped with the Beechcraft King Air

2006 - Removal of reserve status. Re-designated as – 45 Squadron

2018 - Re-equipped with the Embraer Phenom

Battle honours

Western Front 1916-1917*

Somme 1916

Ypres 1917

Italian Front and Adriatic 1917-1918


Independent Force and Germany 1918*

Kurdistan 1922-1924

Iraq 1923-1925

Egypt and Libya 1940-1942*

East Africa 1940*

Syria 1941

Burma 1942*

Arakan 1943-1944*

Burma 1944-1945*.

(Honours marked with an asterisk, may be emblazoned on the Squadron Standard)


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