616 Squadron, RAuxAF, provide an expansion of ISTAR and Combat Air Support at RAF Waddington and the wider RAF. The Squadron is fundamentally different to the General Service Squadron model in that it only recruits ex-Regular personnel to provide immediate employment in capability areas of high demand and short supply. Recruitment covers a wide range of capability areas including aircrew. In all cases, suitably qualified and experienced personnel are recruited to gain the maximum benefit from their knowledge, skills and experience.

No rose without a thorn



1938   616 Squadron was formed at Doncaster as the last Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force.

1940   Joined the Battle of Britain in the south of England with 73 Squadron as part of 11 Group flying from Kenley.

1941   The Squadron returned to the front line as part of the Tangmere Wing (led by Wing Commander Douglas Bader) receiving the improved Spitfire Mk II, conducting sweeps over occupied France from April until October 1941.

1944   616 Squadron became the first Allied unit to be declared operational with Jet aircraft.

1945   The Squadron was disbanded although the effect was not felt for a while as they were simply renumbered as 263 Squadron.

1946   616 Squadron was reformed at RAF Finningley near Doncaster on as part of the Auxiliary Air Force.  They were designated as a night fighter squadron and received Mosquito NF 30's only for it to be re-designated a day fighter unit in 1948 with a further change of platform to the newer Meteor F3 with Rolls Royce Derwent Engines.

1957   616 Squadron was disbanded together with all the flying Squadrons of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

2019   The Squadron has reformed at RAF Waddington and is made up entirely of Part-Time Volunteer Reservists recruited to support high demand employment fields.