UK to Sudan

On 23rd September 1935, the squadron’s aircraft (Fairey Gordon) were flown to RAF Sealand, Flintshire where they were dismantled and packed, ready for shipment.

All ranks were given four days embarkation leave before travelling to Liverpool where they embarked the SS Cameronia (see photograph) which sailed for Port Sudan on 4th October 1935 [arriving 17th October].


Having arrived in the Middle East, personnel travelled by rail to the tented camp at Ed Damer [arriving 18th October].

Ed Damer [Courtesy of Marham Aviation Heritage Centre]

The aircraft, which had to be reassembled at Port Sudan, were flown to Ed Damer on 26th October 1935.

Operational sorties, which included border patrols, the provision of a mail service and reconnaissance / survey work commenced on 7th November 1935.

Sudan to the UK


In August 1936, the squadron’s detachment to the Sudan ended and its aircraft were flown back to Port Sudan where they were dismantled and packaged in readiness for return to the UK.

Aerial view of RAF Station Port Sudan, 1936 [RAF Museum]

Aerial view of RAF Station Port Sudan, 1936 [RAF Museum]

Squadron personnel embarked the HMT Somersetshire which sailed to Southampton on 14th August 1936 [arriving 29th August].


HMT Somersetshire

The packaged aircraft were loaded onto SS Antilochus which sailed for Liverpool on 18th August 1936 [arriving 12th September]. They were placed in storage at RAF Sealand.


SS Antilochus

Command Structure (Inter War Years)


1st March 1929 to October 1933


When No. 35 Squadron reformed on 1st March 1929 it came under the command of Wessex Bombing Area, Air Defence of Great Britain (ADGB), which was one of the Home Commands (along with Inland Area and Coastal Area).

October 1933 to September 1935

As part of the reorganisation of the Home Commands in October 1933, the Wessex Bombing Area was split into Central Area and Western Area.

No. 35 Squadron was placed under the command of Central Area, ADGB.


September 1935 to August 1936

The squadron was deployed to Sudan between September 1935 and August 1936 and came under the command of No. 5 Wing, Middle East Command.

It is worth noting that whilst the squadron was in Sudan the following changes were made to the structure of the Home Commands:

  • in May 1936 there was a further reorganisation of the Home Commands which resulted in the Central Area being split and renamed No. 1 (Bomber) Group and No. 2 (Bomber) Group, the Western Area being renamed No. 3 (Bomber) Group and No. 1 Air Defence Group being renamed No. 6 (Auxiliary) Group
  • in July 1936 the Air Defence of Great Britain was disbanded; No. 1 (Bomber) Group, No. 2 (Bomber) Group, No. 3 (Bomber) Group and No. 6 (Auxiliary) Group were transferred to the newly formed Bomber Command, with the Fighting Area being transferred to Fighter Command.

August 1936 to September 1939

On its return from the Sudan, the squadron came under the command of No. 2 (Bomber) Group, Bomber Command.


Note: No. 4 (Bomber) Group was formed in April 1937, No.5 (Bomber) Group was formed in September 1937 and No. 6 (Auxiliary) Group was renamed No. 6 (Bomber) Group in January 1939

No 2 Group Structure

No. 2 (Bomber) Group [Source: Extract from Air Force List January 1938]

No. 35 Squadron remained under the command of No. 2 (Bomber) Group until 2nd September 1939 when it transferred, as a non-mobilising squadron, to No. 6 (Bomber) Group, Bomber Command