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  • united kingdom 78 Squadron

    Royal Air Force

    Part of BFSAI British Forces South Atlantic Islands

    1916 to 2014    


    78 Squadron
    Formed on 1 Nov 1916, 78 Squadron began its rotary wing career on 7 Jun 1965 at Khormaksar in Aden with nine Wessex HC.2 (delivered by RFA Sir Lancelot). It operated in support of British and South Arabian troops in Aden, developing new capabilities including the fitting of bomb racks and grew to operate 14 Wessex (including a SAR flight) by Jul 1967. As the situation deteriorated in Aden, it eventually withdrew in two waves to Sharjah in the UAE; the first 8 Wessex via HMS Fearless between 17 and 23 Oct 1967 and the second by 6 Wessex, on HMS Intrepid on 29 Nov 1967. On arrival, the SAR Flight detached and moved to RAF Muharraq (eventually to become COMSAR Bahrein) and 78 Squadron continued to operate in hot and sandy conditions. These eventually led to the units Wessex being temporarily repatriated singly to the UK by RAF Belfast freighters from Nov 1968 for a full strip down, clean out and re-assembly. Wessex strength had fallen to six airframes by Mar 1971 and the unit disbanded at RAF Sharjah on 21 Dec 1971 as part of Britains withdrawal from the Gulf.
    When 78 Squadron reformed as part of the Falkland Islands Garrison, it amalgamated the Chinook HC.1s from 1310 Flight and the Sea King HAR.3s from 1564 Flight into the new unit.
    It reformed at RAF Stanley in the Falkland Islands on 2 May 1986. 78 Squadron operated Chinook HC.2 and Sea King HAR.3As. Until 2004, the Sea Kings wore an overall grey for Combat SAR and utility missions, since then they reverted to the more usual high visibility yellow paint scheme.
    From Nov 2007, the Squadron was reformed at RAF Benson as part of the Merlin force to fly the Merlin HC3a.
    78 Squadron was reformed at RAF Benson on 3 Dec 2007, from a flight of 28 Squadron (then on detatchment in Iraq) and with the Merlin HC3, which will be supplemented with ex RDAF Merlins from 2008, into a Merlin pool; airframes are to be shared with 28 Squadron. 78 Sq was disbanded on 30 Sep 2014, and its Merlins were handed over to a newly reformed 846 NAS.

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    2007/14RAF BensonEGUB
    1986/07 RAF Mount PleasantEGYP
    1986 Port StanleySFAL
    1967/71AE RAF Sharjah
    1956/67YE Khormaksar / Aden InternationalOYAA


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    2008/14EH101 Mk.512
    2007/14Merlin HC.3
    1995/06414 - H-47D Chinook
    1986/95CH-47C Chinook
    1986/07Sea King

    78 Squadron List of helicopters

    Help Us

    C/NVersionBuiltIn this OrgIn other Org
    wa125 hc.2 1963 XR500 : 9 Oct 1967, visited newly commissioned RFA Stromness, off Aden while opera+
    wa144 hc.2 1964 XR522 : ff 22 Apr 1964, dd 1 May 1964 . 78 Sq/O by 1965, HOCF/BW by Sep 1970, 84 S+
    Uruguayan Air Force 071 : FAU d/d jun97; ex RAF XR522; Gate Guardian Grupo 1 FAU at Carrasco air bas+
    wa150 hc.2 1964 XR528 : RAF Wessex HC2 ff 04nov64, dd 10dec64; 78 Sq/F, /BZ by Sep 1971
    - XR528 : preserved at Moravia, Kinloss, museum by Aug17
    : 28aug17 at Morayvia, Kinloss, Scotland for display after renovation
    wa285 hu.5 1965 XT463 : RAF; 30 pictured as HC type with 78 Sqn on the ramp at RAF Akrotiri, Cypru+
    : 1990-1993, worked on her, was not 78 Sqn but 84 Sqn
    Royal Navy XT463 : Royal Navy Wessex HU.5 d/d 07sep65; to AEES Gosport for G/I as A2624, 28s+
    : dd 7 Sep 1965, 845 Sq/R-B by May 1966; 848 Sq/VS-B by Sep 1974; 707Sq /WZ+
    : Originally selected from 707 NAS as a candidate for 848 NAS D Flt (mv Atl+
    : Following repairs, allocated to 707 NAS as /ZB and reallocated to 848 NAS +
    : to Fleetlands by Nov 1982, for conv to HU.5C for RAF
    : to AESS Gosport by Oct 1996; to Predannack as /D on 19 Jul 1999, still the+
    - XT463 : to Air and Ground aviation, Hixon autumn 2000
    wa531 hc.2 1966 XT604 : ff 7 Jul 1966, dd 2 Aug 1966 to RAF. Wessex HAR.2; Khormaksar SAR Flt Nov +
    - XT604 : To Air & Ground Aviation (Staffordshire). Acquired by M Lindsey 2002 a+
    : preserved at East Midlands Aeropark
    wa 865 har.3 1978 XZ599 : pictured (pic2) as /S in grey cammo at Lydd Airport. One of a number of +
    Vector Aerospace XZ599 : Vector Aerospace at Fleetlands, noted ; Stripped of all usable parts and+
    : pictured (pic4) seeing out her last days
    M.7007 ch-47d 1980 ZA671 : 78 Sq / J by Aug 1999
    M.7013 ch-47d 1981 ZA713 : 78 Sq / EM by Aug 1999
    b-848 ch-47c 1982 ZA717 ET : w/o following gearbox failure in Falklands as 78 Sq /ET; to 9238M Cranwel+
    Boeing Helicopters N37056 : Boeing Vertol toward ZA717
    - ZA717 : fuselage acquired by the Newark Air Museum
    b-852 ch-47c 1982 ZA721 : RAF Chinook HC1; MA033 dd 08jun82 last Chinook RAF first batch, test seria+
    EP : w/o RAF Mount Pleasant, Falklands crashed during post servicing air tes+
    Boeing Helicopters N37061 : Boeing Vertol toward ZA721
    50083 hc.3 2000 ZJ120 : 28/78 Sq/D by Oct09. Part of 1st detachment of RAF Merlin to Afghanistan; +
    Royal Navy ZJ120 : RN /D HC.4 type asg 845Sq by Jul18, pictured (pic2)
    : visited Plymouth Citadel
    50141 hc.3 2000 ZJ126 : pictured (pic2) with 78 Sq/K markings on std side in the static display a+
    Royal Navy ZJ126 : Apr15 HC.3i type asg 846Sqn
    : pictured under heavy rain on ferry stop at San Sebastian, Spain in route+
    : 22mar18 23:45hs callsign REN5 flying round Braintree Essex at 500 foot
    : Visited Bournemouth as 846 NAS / K on 18 Oct 2018
    : Visited Keevil as 846 NAS / K on 30 Oct 2018
    : , in the static display at RNAS Yeovilton 2019
    50169 hc.3 2001 ZJ130 : 28/78 Sq/O by Oct 2009. Part of 1st detachment of RAF Merlin to Afghanista+
    Royal Navy ZJ130 : pictured (pic2) as 846Sq /O at RNAS Yeovilton during Air Day 2016
    : as /O in the Commando Assault finale at RNAS Yeovilton 2019
    50089 mk512 2003 ZJ990 : HC.3A type pictured (pic2) as 78 Sqn /AA at RIAT air show
    AgustaWestland UK ZJ990 : AW pre-delivery serial for military class tests
    : Farnborough - International Air Show - 2004
    Royal Danish Air Force M-501 : 50089/DEN01 return to UK as ZJ990
    : Queen of Denmark on board
    Royal Navy ZJ990 : RN from Sep16; Sep17 pictured (pic3) asg 845Sq training mountain flying w+


    aug-13 Cougar 13
    25-oct-6627-oct-66 Operation Fate

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