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No. XXXV (Madras Presidency) Squadron RAF
XXXV Squadron crest.
Active 1 February 1916 – 26 June 1919
1 March 1929 – 8 April 1940
5 November 1940 – 23 February 1950
1 September 1951 – 11 September 1961
1 December 1962 – 1 March 1982
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Station Thetford
RAF Netheravon
RAF Bircham Newton
RAF Worthy Down
RAF Upwood
RAF Linton-on-Ouse
RAF Graveley
RAF Stradishall
RAF Marham
RAF Coningsby
RAF Cottesmore
RAF Akrotiri
RAF Scampton[1]
Motto(s) Uno animo agimus
Latin: "We act with one accord"
Equipment Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8
Bristol F.2 Fighter
Airco DH.9A
Fairey IIIF
Vickers Wellesley
Fairey Battle
Avro Anson
Bristol Blenheim
Handley Page Halifax
Avro Lincoln
Boeing Washington
English Electric Canberra
Avro Vulcan[1]

No. 35 Squadron (also known as No. XXXV (Madras Presidency) Squadron) is a squadron of the Royal Air Force.


World War I

No. 35 Squadron was formed on 1 February 1916 at Thetford, training as a Corps reconnaissance squadron. In January 1917 the squadron moved to France, equipped with the Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8, beginning operations during the Battle of Arras, working alongside the Cavalry Corps, throughout 1917 (which later resulted in the Pegasus winged horses head in the Squadrons crest).[2] It re-equipped with Bristol Fighters in the later part of 1918,[3] before returning to RAF Netheravon in March 1919 and then disbanding on 26 June 1919.[4]

Between the Wars

On 1 March 1929 the squadron reformed at Bircham Newton, and was initially equipped with Airco DH.9As, re-equipping with the Fairey IIIF in November that year. In 1932, its IIIFs were replaced by an improved development, the Fairey Gordon. As a response to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, the squadron was posted to the Sudan in late 1935, returning to Worthy Down in August 1936, and re-equipping with the Vickers Wellesley. On 12 April 1938 the squadron converted to the Fairey Battle.[5]

World War II

Halifax pilot of 35 Squadron prior to take-off at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, England

35 Squadron Halifaxes attackicking German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in drydock at Brest, France, December 1941

On the outbreak of World War II, No. 35 Squadron was designated a training unit, supplementing its Battles with Avro Ansons and Bristol Blenheims late in 1939.[6] The squadron disbanded after being absorbed into No. 17 OTU along with No. 90 Squadron at Upwood, on 8 April 1940. It reformed on 5 November 1940 at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in Yorkshire as the first Handley Page Halifax squadron. In August 1942 it became a pathfinder unit, forming part of No. 8 Group at Graveley. In March 1944 the squadron re-equipped with the Avro Lancaster.


During 1946 the squadron participated in a goodwill tour of the United States, later returning to RAF Stradishall, due to Graveley's closure. The Lancasters were replaced by Avro Lincolns in September 1949, and the squadron later disbanded on 23 February 1950. On 1 September 1951 the squadron reformed at Marham equipped with the Boeing Washington, and in April 1954 the squadron re-equipped with the English Electric Canberra. The squadron disbanded on 11 September 1961.

No. 35 Squadron reformed for the last time on 1 December 1962 at RAF Coningsby as part of RAF Bomber Command's V-bomber force, equipped with eight Vulcan B2 aircraft and Yellow Sun free-falling bombs in a high-altitude strategic bombing role, moving to RAF Cottesmore on 7 November 1964. When the WE.177B strategic bomb became available from mid-1966, eight were issued to No. 35 Squadron at Cottesmore.[7] These laydown bombs were specifically designed for the low-level penetration role, did not require a pre-release 'pop-up' manoeuvre, and improved the survivability of the squadron's Vulcans.

Following the transfer of responsibility for the nuclear deterrent to the Royal Navy the squadron joined the Near East Strike Force at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, still equipped with eight Vulcan B2s and eight WE.177 nuclear weapons and a variety of conventional weapons.[8] The squadron remained at Akrotiri with 9 Squadron's similarly equipped Vulcans assigned as part of the UK contribution to CENTO the Central Treaty Organisation, for use in the low-level penetration role until the end of 1974,[9][10] returning to RAF Scampton in January 1975 where the squadron disbanded for the last time on 1 March 1982.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lake, Alan (1999). Flying units of the RAF. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-84037-086-6. 
  2. Brookes 1979, pp.229–230.
  3. "No 31 – 35 Squadron Histories" Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  4. Brookes 1979,p.230.
  5. Brookes 1979, pp.230–231.
  6. Halley 1980, p. 67.
  7. RAF nuclear front line Order-of-Battle 1966–67
  8. RAF nuclear front line Order-of-Battle 1969
  9. RAF nuclear front line Order-of-Battle 1973–74
  10. Weapon overview @ Carriage


  • Lake, Alan (1999). Flying units of the RAF. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-84037-086-6. 
  • Brookes, Andrew J. "Flying the Winged Horse – the history of No 35 Squadron RAF". Aircraft Illustrated, May 1979, Vol 12, No.5. pp. 229–233.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians), 1980. ISBN 0-85130-083-9.
  • Stocker, Flt Lt Ted, DSO, DFC A Pathfinders war: An extraordinary tale of surviving over 100 bomber operations against all odds''. London: Grubb Street, 2009. ISBN 978-1-906502-52-2.
  • Humphrey Wynn. RAF Strategic Nuclear Deterrent Forces: their origins, roles and deployment 1946–1969. pps 128, 449–463. Pub MoD & HMSO. ISBN 0-11-772833-0

External links

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