|No. 657 Squadron RAF|
|Active||31 Jan 1943 - 1 Nov 1955|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Role||Air Observation Post Squadron|
Latin: Per terras perque caelum|
(Translation: "By land and sky")
|Squadron badge heraldry||A hand couped at the wrist, holding a gun barrel|
VA 1944 - 45 (HQ Flight)|
VB 1944 - 45 ('A' Flight)
VC 1944 - 45 ('B' Flight)
VD 1944 - 45 ('C' Flight)
TS (1945 - Jan 1947)
No. 657 Squadron RAF was a unit of the Royal Air Force in North Africa, Italy and the Netherlands during the Second World War and afterwards in Germany. Numbers 651 to 663 Squadrons of the RAF were Air Observation Post units working closely with Army units in artillery spotting and liaison. A further three of these squadrons, 664-666, were manned with Canadian personnel. Their duties and squadron numbers were transferred to the Army with the formation of the Army Air Corps on 1 September 1957.
No. 657 Squadron was formed at RAF Ouston on 31 January 1943. It went into action in August of that year, in North Africa. It later served in Italy, the Netherlands and Germany. In November 1945, the squadron returned to the UK and continued to support army units in the South of England until disbanded by being renumbered No. 651 Squadron RAF on 1 November 1955. The original squadron is represented today by No. 657 Squadron of the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing.
|Feb 1943||May 1943||Auster||Mk.I|
|May 1943||Oct 1944||Auster||Mk.III|
|Jun 1944||Mar 1945||Auster||Mk.IV|
|Dec 1944||Mar 1945||Auster||Mk.V|
|Apr 1945||Nov 1952||Auster||Mk.V|
|Mar 1946||Dec 1952||Auster||AOP.4|
|Jun 1946||Nov 1955||Auster||AOP.6|
|Apr 1947||Apr 1951||Sikorsky Hoverfly||Mk.II|
|Sep 1951||Nov 1955||Bristol Sycamore||HC.11|
- 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.
- 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 Ltd., 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
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