A Royal Air Force squadron with a long and proud history has re-formed at RAF Lossiemouth as a combined Operational Conversion Unit to train all aircrew and engineers to operate the Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and Wedgetail airborne early warning and surveillance aircraft.
The reformation on 21st September of No 42 Torpedo Bomber Squadron, whose motto of 'Fortiter in re' translates as ‘Bravely in action’, marks a further milestone in the growth of the Poseidon capability on its journey to full operating capability as well as the ongoing programme to introduce Wedgetail into service.
“It is a privilege to be joining 42 Torpedo Bomber Squadron with so many talented individuals, at the start of the Squadron’s next chapter.”
Wing Commander Bostrom
Officer Commanding No 42(TB) Squadron
The squadron flew its first sortie on 26 September and fittingly the aircraft commander for the flight was Squadron Leader Roxburgh who was also the aircraft commander of the final Nimrod MR2 flight on 26 May 2010. He said:
“As the aircraft commander of the final Nimrod MR2 sortie – crewed by members of STANEVAL [Standards and Evaluation] and No 42 Squadron – it was an honour and a privilege to be the aircraft commander of the first Poseidon sortie for a newly resurrected No 42 Sqn.
The crew performed a mixed bag of training over the North Sea including Surface Surveillance, Acoustic training – tracking a simulated submarine - and Search and Rescue procedures.”
The squadron has a rich history having formed in 1916 and saw service on the western front and Italy. It returned in 1936 when reformed as a torpedo-bomber unit in the Second World War undertook a series of intensive anti-shipping operations including attacks on the German warships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Lützow. In 1942 the squadron transferred to the Pacific theatre where it operated Blenheims, Hurricanes and Thunderbolts.
Post-war 42 Squadron returned in 1952 in the maritime role, operating Shackletons until 1971 when it re-equipped with Nimrods. A number of those who served on 42 during its time as the Nimrod Operational Conversion Unit at RAF St Mawgan operate the Poseidon today allowing the revival of the unique culture which every squadron possesses.