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No. 612 (County of Aberdeen) Squadron RAF
Active 1 June 1937 – 9 July 1945
10 May 1946 – 10 March 1957
1997 – present
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role field surgical support
Part of Royal Auxiliary Air Force
Motto(s) Latin: Vigilando Custodimus
(Translation: "We stand guard by vigilance")[1][2]
Honorary Air Commodore Sir Ian Forbes-Leith (48–57)
Finlay Crerar (57-present)
Squadron Badge heraldry In front of a trident and a harpoon in saltire a thistle dipped and leaved
The trident and harpoon point to the squadrons anti-submarine role, while the thistle signifies its ties with Aberdeen[1][2]
Squadron Codes DJ (Jul 1939 – Sep 1939)[3]
WL (Sep 1939 – Aug 1943)[4]
8W (Jul 1944 – Jul 1945,
1949 – Apr 1951)[5]
RAS (May 1946 – 1949)[6]

No. 612 Squadron RAF was originally formed in 1937 as an Army Co-operation unit, and flew during World War II in the General Reconnaissance role. After the war the squadron was reformed and flew in the Day Fighter role until disbanded in 1957. At present the squadron has a non-flying role as a Field Surgical Support unit.


Formation and early years

An Avro Anson

No. 612 Squadron RAF was formed on 1 June 1937 at RAF Dyce as an army co-operation unit of the Auxiliary Air Force and was initially equipped with two-seat Avro Tutor training aircraft. In December 1937 it had received two-seat Hawker Hector Army co-operation aircraft, which were retained when the squadron converted from the Army Co-operation to the General Reconnaissance role. In July 1939 the squadron received Avro Ansons which had room for four crew members and had a much better range, making them better suited for the reconnaissance role.

World War II: on Whitleys and Wellingtons

No. 612 squadron so entered World War II as a General Reconnaissance unit within RAF Coastal Command, flying with the Avro Ansons. These were replaced from November 1940 with Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys, and from November 1942 on these made again gradually (April 1943 saw the last Whitley leave the squadron) way for various marks of specially adapted General Reconnaissance (GR) versions of the Vickers Wellington, which the squadron continued to fly until the end of the war. The squadron disbanded on 9 July 1945 at RAF Langham.

A 612 Sqn crew with a Whitley VII in Iceland, November 1942.

Post-war: on Spitfires and Vampires

No. 612 squadron was reformed on 10 May 1946 at RAF Dyce as a fighter squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. Initially the squadron was equipped with Griffon-engined Spitfire F.14s and in November 1948 it got additional Merlin-engined Spitfire LF.16e fighters.[2][7] It converted to de Havilland Vampire FB.5s in June 1951, flying these first from RAF Leuchars and later from RAF Edzell and, when the runway was extended, again from RAF Dyce until disbandment on 10 March 1957, on the same day as all other flying units of the RAuxAF.

Present: field surgical support

The squadron was reformed in 1997 at RAF Leuchars from The Air Transportable Surgical Squadron, and maintained that units role of field surgical support. In 2001 the squadron had its first operational role in support of Operation Saif Sareea II, an exercise in Oman. Over a hundred military personnel were treated, mainly for heat-related injuries. In 2003 the squadron was first mobilised for support in a combat zone, in support of Operation Telic. Squadron members were deployed to Kuwait and Cyprus and finally worked at field hospitals in Basra and Al Ahmara in Iraq. In 2006 no. 612 squadron was again mobilised to support operations in Iraq and was deployed to the field hospital at Shaibah Logistic Base (SLB).

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by no. 612 Squadron RAF, data from[2][7][8][9]
From To Aircraft Version
June 1937 December 1937 Avro Tutor
December 1937 November 1939 Hawker Hector Mk.I
July 1939 November 1941 Avro Anson Mk.I
November 1940 December 1941 Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V
May 1941 June 1943 Armstrong Whitworth Whitley GR.Mk.VII
November 1942 February 1943 Vickers Wellington GR.Mk.VIII
May 1943 June 1943 Vickers Wellington GR.Mk.XII
June 1943 July 1945 Vickers Wellington GR.Mk.XIV
November 1946 October 1949 Supermarine Spitfire F.14
November 1948 July 1951 Supermarine Spitfire LF.16e
June 1951 March 1957 de Havilland Vampire FB.5

Squadron bases

data from[2][7][8][9]
From To Base Remark
1 June 1937 1 April 1941 RAF Dyce, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (Dets. at RAF Bircham Newton, RAF Stornoway, RAF Wick)
1 April 1941 15 December 1941 RAF Wick, Caithness, Scotland (Dets. at RAF Limavady, RAF St Eval, RAF Reykjavik)
15 December 1941 18 August 1942 RAF Reykjavik, Iceland (Det. at RAF St Eval)
18 August 1942 23 September 1942 RAF Thorney Island, West Sussex (Dets. at RAF Wick, RAf St Eval)
23 September 1942 18 April 1943 RAF Wick, Caithness, Scotland (Dets. at RAF St Eval, RAF Skitten)
18 April 1943 25 May 1943 RAF Davidstow Moor, Cornwall
25 May 1943 1 November 1943 RAF Chivenor, Devon (Det. at RAF Davidstow Moor)
1 November 1943 3 December 1943 RAF St Eval, Cornwall
3 December 1943 26 January 1944 RAF Chivenor, Devon
26 January 1944 1 March 1944 RAF Limavady, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
1 March 1944 9 September 1944 RAF Chivenor, Devon (Det. at RAF Limavady)
9 September 1944 19 December 1944 RAF Limavady, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
19 December 1944 9 July 1945 RAF Langham, Norfolk
10 MAy 1946 14 July 1951 RAF Dyce, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
14 July 1951 14 October 1951 RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland
14 October 1951 12 November 1952 RAF Edzell, Angus, Scotland
12 November 1952 10 March 1957 RAF Dyce, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Commanding officers

– 1953 Flt. Lt. Nigel Maclean
Officers commanding no. 612 Squadron RAF, data from[8][10]
From To Name
June 1937 June 1940 W/Cdr. F. Crerar
June 1940 July 1941 W/Cdr. J.B.M. Wallis
July 1941 January 1942 W/cdr. D.R. Shore
January 1942 July 1942 W/Cdr. R.T. Corry
July 1942 April 1943 W/Cdr. R.M. Longmore, CBE
April 1943 June 1943 W/Cdr. J.S. Kendrick
June 1943 January 1944 W/Cdr. J.B. Russell, DSO
January 1944 February 1945 W/Cdr. D./M. Brass, DSO
February 1945 May 1945 W/Cdr. A.M. Taylor
May 1945 July 1945 W/Cdr. G. Henderson
November 1946 August 1948 S/Ldr. R.R. Russell
August 1948 September 1948 S/Ldr. Child October 1948 S/Ldr. Webb
1955 S/Ldr. T.E. Johnston, DFC
February 1957 March 1957 F/Lt. Robertson



  1. 1.0 1.1 Rawlings 1982, p. 237.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Halley 1988, p. 429.
  3. Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 14.
  4. Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 109.
  5. Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 113.
  6. Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 138.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Rawlings 1978, p. 501.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Rawlings 1982, p. 238.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Jefford 2001, p. 101.
  10. Hunt 1972, pp. 339–340.


  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Hunt, Leslie. Twenty-One Squadrons: The History of the Royal Auxiliairy Air Force, 1925–1957. London: Garnstone Press, 1972. ISBN 0-85511-110-0.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF(Retd.). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald & Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (2nd edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.

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