RAF 3 Sqn 100th Anniversary Commemorative Markings

Royal Air Force 3 (Fighter) Squadron has today released photographs of one of its Typhoon aircraft in a 100th  anniversary commemorative paint scheme.

The scheme has been applied to the aircraft to mark the 100th anniversaryof the formation of the squadron at Larkhill on May 13 1912.

The aircraft will be in day to day use undertaking normal operations, but it is planned for it to also attend several air shows during the summer months to allow aviation enthusiasts to see and photograph the aircraft at close quarters.

Wing Commander Dicky Patounas, Officer Commanding 3 (Fighter) Squadron said, “On behalf of the Squadron I would like to record my appreciation to SERCO at RAF Leuchars who painted the aircraft for us. I’d also like to thank our colleagues on 6 Squadron and all the other people who have helped to bring this project to fruition. It is a stunning piece of work. I hope many people get to see the aircraft in the months ahead, I’m sure they will be as impressed as I am”

The Squadron will celebrate their anniversary on the weekend of 12/13 May with a programme of events, including the presentation of a new standard to the squadron.

The History of 3(F) Squadron:

No. 3 Squadron was one of the three founder squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps Squadrons formed on 13 May, 1912. The Squadron took over the aircraft of No. 2 (Aeroplane) Company at Larkhill. It deployed to France as part of the BEF in August 1914 on reconnaissance duties duties. Late in 1917, Sopwith Camels were received and the Squadron became a fighter/scout unit. After the Armistice in 1918, the Squadron disbanded and through the 1920s spent many short-lived periods at a variety of locations before arriving at Upavon in 1924 with Sopwith Snipes. During their ten-year stay, the Squadron flew Woodcocks, Gamecocks and Bulldogs and also deployed to Sudan during the Abyssinian crisis in 1935. Upon its return, No 3 Squadron introduced the Gladiator into RAF service and just as the Second World War started received Hurricanes at Biggin Hill.

A brief stint as part of the BEF in France was followed by relocation to Scotland on night-patrol duties. During 1943, the Squadron replaced the Hurricanes with Hawker Typhoons and switched to the anti-shipping and intruder roles. A switch to Tempests in 1944 saw No 3 Squadron destroy 288 V1 flying bombs, and move on to the Continent as part of the advance towards Germany. The Squadron remained in Germany, converting to Vampires in 1948, Sabres in 1953 and the Hunter in 1956. A short time with Javelin fighters was followed by a long period of Canberra flying, before the Squadron received Harriers in the early 1970s. In 1977 the unit moved to Gutersloh near the old East German border, before relocating to Laarbruch with Harrier GR7s. Following the decision to close Laarbruch, No. 3 Squadron returned to the UK in the Spring of 1999, arriving at RAF Cottesmore in Rutland. Subsequently, No 3 Squadron – along with its sister RAF Harrier and Royal Navy Sea Harrier units – combined to form Joint Force Harrier and undertook a number of deployments on board aircraft carriers including an operational tour to Sierra Leone as part of Operation Basilica. Elements of No 3 Squadron were also involved in Operation Telic.

On the 31 March 2006 the Squadron moved to RAF Coningsby to become the third RAF and first front-line RAF Squadron to be equipped with the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Photography: SAC Ash Reynolds

3 Squadron 100th anniversary tail scheme.

RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2012.