united kingdom 217 squadron

Royal Air Force

1918 to 1959    

Originally formed as 17 Squadron, RNAS at Dunkerque in France as a bomber unit, it was renumbered when the RAF was formed in Apr 1918. It disbanded shortly after WWI to be reformed in 1937 as a reconnaisance unit. It moved around southern and central England until it became based at St. Eval in Cornwall as an anti-submarine and maritime strike specialist.
The Squadron was planned for Malaya via the Mediterranean and Ceylon over the next few years retaining its maritime role until it disbanded in Sep 1945 in Ceylon, not having reached Malaya. From 1949 to 1957 it was based in the UK as a maritime reconnaisance squadron. Its life as a rotary wing was short but dramatic. It reformed at RAF St. Mawgan on 1 Feb 1958 with the Whirlwinds from 1360 Flight and then sent a detatchment to Christmas Island in the Pacific in support of Operation Grapple - the British Hydrogen Bomb test. It disbanded in Nov 1959.

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1958/59Newquay Cornwall Airport (RAF St Mawgan)EGHQ


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01-may-5730-sep-58AU Operation Grapple

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