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No. 683 Squadron RAF
Active 8 Feb 1943 – 21 Sep 1945
1 Aug 1950 – 30 Nov 1953
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role photo-reconnaissance squadron
Part of AHQ Malta, Mediterranean Air Command[1]
No. 214 Group RAF, Mediterranean Air Command[2]
RAF Middle East Air Force[3]
Motto(s) Latin: Nihil Nos Latet
(Translation: "Nothing remains concealed")[4][5]
Squadron Badge heraldry In front of a mullet of six points, a telescope in bend[4][5]
Squadron Codes No code(s) are known to have been carried by this squadron[4][6][7]

No. 683 Squadron RAF was a photo-reconnaissance squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.


Formation and World War II

683 squadron was formed out of 'B' Flight of No. 69 Squadron on 8 February 1943[4][5][8] at RAF Luqa on Malta, as a photo-reconnaissance squadron operating the Spitfire fighter in the photo-reconnaissance role. The squadron added the Mosquito Mk.VI to its strength in May 1943, but they were only operated for a month. The squadron was involved in photo-reconnaissance mission over Sicily and Italy and later over Yugoslavia. The squadron moved to San Severo in Italy and continued in support of the US 5th Army. As the war continued it was involved in both tactical and strategic reconnaissance, and was involved survey flight across southern Europe. In September 1944, the squadron re-equipped with Spitfire PR.XIX photo-reconnaissance aircraft. Detachments from the squadron were based at a wide range of bases all across the Italian theatre of operations, with the squadron finally disbanding on 22 September 1945 at San Severo, Italy.[4][5][8]

Post war

The squadron was re-formed on 1 November 1950 at RAF Fayid, Egypt with the Avro Lancaster PR.1 and the Vickers Valetta C.1. It was tasked with the survey and mapping of Arabia and East Africa. In January 1952 the squadron moved to RAF Khormaksar, Aden to cover both Aden and Somaliland. Another move to RAF Habbaniya, Iraq allowed the squadron to survey and map the Persian Gulf. With the survey and mapping role completed the squadron was disbanded at Habbaniya on 30 November 1953.[4][5][8]

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by no. 683 Squadron RAF, data from[4][5][8]
From To Aircraft Variant
February 1943 July 1943 Supermarine Spitfire PR.Mk.IV
February 1943 March 1943 Supermarine Spitfire PR.Mk.IX
April 1943 September 1945 Supermarine Spitfire PR.XI
May 1943 June 1943 de Havilland Mosquito PR.Mks.IV & VI
September 1944 September 1945 Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX
November 1950 November 1953 Avro Lancaster PR.1
November 1950 November 1953 Vickers Valetta C.1

Squadron bases

Bases and airfields used by no. 683 Squadron RAF, data from[4][5][8]
From To Base Remark
8 February 1943 22 November 1943 RAF Luqa, Malta
22 November 1943 20 December 1943 RAF El Aouina, Tunisia
20 December 1943 21 September 1945 RAF San Severo, Italy Dets. all over Italy
1 August 1950 26 February 1951 RAF Fayid, Egypt
26 February 1951 23 April 1951 RAF Kabrit, Egypt
23 April 1951 24 September 1951 RAF Eastleigh, Kenia Dets. at Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanganyika
24 September 1951 12 December 1951 RAF Kabrit, Egypt Det. at RAF Shaibah, Iraq
12 December 1951 22 May 1952 RAF Khormaksar, Aden Det. at RAF Habbaniya, Iraq
22 May 1952 30 November 1953 RAF Habbaniya, Iraq Det. at RAF Sharjah, Trucial States

Commanding officers

Officers commanding no. 683 squadron RAF, data from[4]
From To Name
February 1943 October 1943 W/Cdr. A. Warburton, DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar
October 1943 August 1944 S/Ldr. H.S. Smith, DFC
August 1944 April 1945 S/Ldr. R.T. Turton, DFC
April 1945 September 1945 S/Ldr. E.R. Pearson, DFC
November 1950 1952 S/Ldr. I.D.N. Lawson
1952 November 1953 S/Ldr. N.N. Ezekiel

See also




  • Bowman, Martin. Mosquito Photo-Reconnaissance Units of World War 2. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-85532-891-7.
  • Bowyer, Chaz. Mosquito Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. London: Ian Allan Ltd., 1984. ISBN 0-7110-1425-6.
  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Delve, Ken. The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
  • 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, 1918–88. 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, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • 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.

External links

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