Squadron Cloth Badges

Squadron Cloth Badges / Patches were attached to the breast or shoulders of overalls worn by Aircrew, Crew Chiefs and Ground Personnel.

The following designs are known to have been in use:

The “Arabic” 35 badge was believed to have been used on Lone Rangers to the Middle East, possibly between 1973 and 1979 (more research required)

Others

Other badges / patches were used for specific events, such as the Giant Voice Bombing Competitions.

Aircraft Markings

Each aircraft carried a number of markings, firstly to identify it as being on charge of the RAF and secondly to indicate the squadron (or station) that was utilising it at that particular time.

RAF markings consisted of various forms of the RAF Roundel, Fin Flashes and Serial Numbers, with squadron markings ranging from letters, numbers or symbols.

The following summarises the types of markings utilised on No. 35 Squadron aircraft.


World War One

The RFC / RAF markings during WWI consisted of:

  • a Fin Flash
  • a Serial Number
  • a RAF Roundel (after April 1918)

No. 35 Squadron markings during WWI were as follows:

  • 03/02/1917 to 22/03/1918 (*)
    • a squadron aircraft number (1 – 18 for its FK8s, 19 upwards for its Bristol Fighters
    • a white band along the centre of the fuselage
  • From 22/03/1918
    • Squadron Markings not carried (for security reasons)

(*) Source: ‘British Aviation Squadron Markings of World War 1’ by Les Rogers. It is worth noting that No 13 and No 66 Squadrons also used these markings)

AW FK8 [Source White Family].jpg

The fin flash, serial number, RAF roundel and squadron marking (aircraft number 8 and white line) on Armstrong-Whitworth FK8 C3549

In addition to the standard markings, some aircraft, known as “presentation aircraft” carried the name of the community that had contributed to the purchase of the aircraft – read more –

It is worth adding that markings and/or streamers were also used to identify when an aircraft was on a Contact Patrol.


Inter War Years

The RAF markings during the inter war years consisted of:

  • a Fin Flash
  • a Serial Number
  • a RAF Roundel

No. 35 Squadron markings during the inter war years were as follows:

  • Up to April 1939
    • The number “35”, plus a squadron aircraft number
  • April 1939 to September 1939
    • The letters “WT”, plus a squadron aircraft letter
gordonk1776400

The fin flash, serial number, RAF roundel and squadron marking (“35” and aircraft number 3) on Fairey Gordon K1776


World War Two

The RAF markings during WWII consisted of:

  • a Fin Flash
  • a Serial Number
  • a RAF Roundel

No. 35 Squadron markings during WWII consisted were as follows:

  • From November 1940
    • The letters “TL”, plus a squadron aircraft letter (initially in grey paint then in dull red)
halifax-w7699-iwm

The fin flash, serial number, RAF roundel and squadron marking (TL-F) on Handley Page Halifax W7699

In addition to the standard markings, some aircraft, known as “presentation aircraft” carried the name of the community that had contributed to the purchase of the aircraft – read more –


Post War Era

The RAF markings during the post war years consisted of:

  • Varying Fin Flashes
  • a Serial Number
  • Varying RAF Roundels

No. 35 Squadron markings during the post war years were as follows:

  • Up until February 1950
    • The letters “TL”, plus a squadron aircraft letter
  • From February 1950 to March 1954?
    • The letters “FB”, plus a squadron aircraft letter [Used on Washington Conversion Unit Aircraft]
  • From April 1954 to October 1956
    • a Winged Horse’s Head

WH920 with the roundel, serial number, fin flash and winged horse’s head on the tailplane
[With kind permission of George Trussell]

  • From October 1956 to 1958
    • No markings shown on the tailplane as the aircraft came from a station pool
  • From 1958 to 1961
    • a Winged Horse’s Head

WH916 with the winged horse’s head shown on the tailplane and tip tanks [Courtesy of John Sheehan]

  • From 1962 to March 1964
    • a Winged Horse’s Head and the squadron badge on the nose

XM607 RAF Luqa 1964 with the winged horse’s head on the tailpane and squadron badge on the nose
[With kind permission of Jim Simpson]

  • March 1964 to 1968
    • No markings shown on the tailplane as the aircraft came from a station pool
  • 1969 to 1975
    • No markings shown on the tailplane as the aircraft came from the station pool at RAF Akrotiri.

The squadron badge was shown on the entrance door, along with the station badge and the badges of the other squadrons that were stationed there

1975 to 1982

  • “Sky Hook” (a conjoined 35, designed by KI Watson) was shown on the aircraft tailplane

Conjoined 35 (Skyhook)

The first aircraft (XL446) to carry the conjoined 35 (Skyhook) on is tailplane arriving at RAF Scampton from Akrotiri 16th January 1975)

The story behind the Conjoined 35

None of the planes in Cyprus had squadron markings on their tail fins (as they were all allocated from the Akrotiri Station Pool) and Ken Watson (Officer Commanding) decided that they should have them for their return to the UK in 1975. With his knowledge of insignia, he knew that it had to be a simple design and he came up with the idea of the conjoined 35 (which later became referred to as the “Skyhook”). A sample was made up and it was placed on the side of a NAAFI wagon for everyone to pass comment on. Having gained approval, it was painted onto his Vulcan (XL446), which he flew back to Scampton on 16th January 1975. On arrival at Scampton, he was met by the Station Commander who obviously noticed the new insignia…and heartily approved.

The fin flash, serial number and squadron marking (conjoined 35) on the tail of Avro Vulcan XL446 [With kind permission of Russ Smith]

Squadron Badge

Original Design

The original design of No. 35 Squadron’s badge incorporated:

  • the Tudor Crown
  • “a horse’s head, winged”, to commemorate the squadron’s involvement with the Cavalry Corp. during WWI (which ended on 9th March 1918)
  • the words “XXXV, Bomber Squadron, Royal Air Force”
  • the motto “Uno Animo Agimus”, which translates to “We act with one accord”.

It was approved by King Edward VIII in October 1936 and formally presented to the squadron by Air Chief Marshall Sir John M Steel at a parade at Worthy Down on 18th December 1936.

Note: The Tudor Crown was used on badges that were authorised prior to the Accession of the present sovereign in February 1952. After the Accession, the St. Edward’s Crown was utilised.

The original words “Bomber Squadron” were subsequently replaced by “Squadron” (date of change unknown)

cut badge.jpg

It is worth noting that the badge on the squadron’s standard incorporates the St. Edward’s Crown, rather than the Tudor Crown, as it was not authorised until 1955 (ie after the Accession of the Queen (1952))

Variations

During WWII, the squadron received substantial donations from the people of Madras and as a result the words “Bomber Squadron” above the horse’s head were adapted to read “Madras Presidency Bomber Squadron”. It is understood that this  arrangement remained in place until 1952.

Badge.jpg

Squadron Standard

Squadron Standards were introduced in 1943 to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force.

To qualify, a squadron had “to have been of 25 years standing or to have earned the Monarch’s appreciation through exceptionally outstanding operations” (AMO A.866).

The design, which was approved by the King in June 1950, required it:

  • to consist of a rectangular silk flag with the appropriate squadron badge centred on a light blue background
  • to be fringed and tasselled, with scrolls added as necessary, for recording a maximum of eight battle honours”.

Notes:

1. The roses, thistles, shamrocks and leeks which edge the standard are based on the “Union Wreath” which was traditionally displayed on Army Regimental Colours.

Approval and Presentation of No. 35 Squadron Standard

On 11th October 1955, the Air Ministry announced that the Queen had approved the award of the standard to No. 35 Squadron in recognition of its completion on 1st April 1955, of 25 or more years of existence in the Royal Air Force / Royal Flying Corps.

The standard was presented by HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent at a drumhead service of dedication at RAF Upwood on 16th June 1959.

[Photographs courtesy of Marham Aviation Heritage Centre]

The No. 35 Squadron Standard

The standard shows the squadron badge (with the St. Edward’s Crown), along with the following eight battle honours:

  • Western Front, 1917-18
  • Ypres, 1917
  • Cambrai, 1917
  • Somme, 1918
  • Fortress Europe, 1941-44
  • Ruhr, 1943-45
  • Normandy, 1944
  • France & Germany, 1944-45

Disbandment Parade

On 26th February 1982, the squadron was disbanded and the standard was paraded for the last time at RAF Scampton, before being taken to RAF Cranwell for safe keeping.

Laying Up Ceremony

In 1999, the 35 / 635 Squadron Association (which disbanded in 2003) obtained permission for the standard to be removed from RAF Cranwell so that it could be held “in perpetuity” at All Saints Church, Offord Cluny, Cambridgeshire (close to the squadron’s wartime airfield at RAF Graveley).

A formal laying up ceremony was held on 26th June 1999 and the standard has hung proudly at the church ever since.

Battle Honours

Battle Honours are awarded to commemorate a squadron’s role in a particular operation. A maximum of 8 of these honours can be emblazoned on a squadron’s standard.

The following provides a list of No. 35 Squadron’s Battle Honours; those shown in bold are the ones included on its standard.

  • Western Front, 1917-18 (Operations in support of Allied Armies in Belgium and France)
  •  Arras
  •  Lys
  • Ypres, 1917
  • Cambrai, 1917
  • Somme, 1918
  • Amiens
  • Biscay Ports, 1941-43 (Operations over the Bay of Biscay ports from the fall of France to VE Day)
  • Fortress Europe, 1941-44 (Operations by aircraft based in the British Isles against targets in Germany, Italy and enemy-occupied Europe, from the fall of France to the invasion of Normandy)
  • German Ports, 1943 (Bombardment of the German ports by aircraft of Bomber and Coastal Commands)
  • Ruhr, 1943-45 (Bombardment of the Ruhr Area by aircraft of Bomber Command)
  • Normandy, 1944 (Operations supporting the Allied landings in Normandy, the establishment of the lodgement area and the subsequent breakthrough (June to August 1944))
  • Baltic, 1944 (Operations over the Baltic and its approach by squadrons of Bomber and Coastal Commands from the outbreak of war to VE Day)
  • France & Germany, 1944-45 (Operations over France, Belgium, Holland and Germany during the liberation of north-west Europe and the advance into the enemy’s homeland, from the initiation of air action preparatory to the invasion of France to VE Day (April 1944 to 8th May 1945))
  • Walcheren (Operations in support of the capture of the island of Walcheren (3rd October to 9th November 1944))

Standard (Rotated for website)

Presentation Aircraft (WWII)

RESEARCH NOTES

Both public and private money was utilised to fund the war effort and appeals for private funding were made in the UK and in the British Commonwealth.

A “price list” for the various aircraft types was drawn up which showed that donations of a particular sum would entitle the donor to have their name inscribed on a randomly selected production aircraft of that type.

During WWII, this concept was taken one step further, with larger gifts resulting in an entire squadron being linked to the relevant donor.

No. 35 Squadron benefited from donations from the Madras Presidency (an administrative subdivision of British India) and was formally named “No. 35 (Madras Presidency) Squadron” on 5th January 1942

It is understood that No. 35 Squadron was presented with at least three Handley Page Halifax by the Madras Presidency and the following markings were shown on the side of these aircraft (serial numbers unknown):

  • Madras Presidency Coimbatore
  • Madras Presidency Kistna
  • Madras Presidency West Godavari

JH Marks with one of the Madras Presidency marked aircraft 1942 [IMW CH6759]

PH Cribb with one of the Madras Presidency marked aircraft [IMW CH6477]

Writing Table Set

A writing table set that had been gifted by the Madras Presidency War Committee was presented to the squadron at a ceremony at RAF Stradishall in March 1948 -read more –

Notes:

  1. It is understood that the term “Madras Presidency” was formally dropped from the squadron’s title in June 1952.
  2. Madras Presidency included the districts of Coimbatore, West Godavari and Kistna (now Krishna) in the present day states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The latter two districts were named after the rivers that flow through them.

Presentation Aircraft (WWI)

RESEARCH NOTES

Both public and private money was utilised to fund the war effort and appeals for private funding were made in the UK and in the British Commonwealth.

A “price list” for the various aircraft types was drawn up which showed that donations of a particular sum would entitle the donor to have their name inscribed on a randomly selected production aircraft of that type.

Aircraft utilised by No. 35 Squadron which carried donor markings included:

  • Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c 2661 [Baroda No.3]
  • Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c 2531 [‘Punjab No.23 Kamal’]
  • Armstrong-Whitworth FK8 B5767 [Punjab 36 Derajat]
  • Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c 2664 [Raghunath Aeroplane Goldinganj]
  • Armstrong-Whitworth FK8 B255 [Malaya No. 3 “The Alma Baker’]
  • Royal Aircraft Factory FE2b 5229 [Punjab 9 Kalsia]
presentation-aircraft

Royal Aircraft Factory FE2b 5229 (Punjab 9 Kalsia)
[Source: Narborough History Society]