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No. 194 Squadron RAF

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Title: No. 194 Squadron RAF  
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Subject: Far East Air Force (Royal Air Force), 1953 in aviation, Lockheed Hudson, Bristol Sycamore, Westland Dragonfly, Stinson L-5 Sentinel, No. 110 Squadron RAF
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No. 194 Squadron RAF

No. 194 Squadron RAF
Active 9 Aug 1917 – 21 Jul 1918
14 Oct 1942 – 15 Feb 1946
1 Feb 1953 – 3 Jun 1959
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Role Transport
Part of No. 20th (Training) Wing, RAF Middle East Area
No. 221 Group RAF, India Command
No. 229 Group RAF, Eastern Air Command, South East Asia Command
RAF AHQ Malaya, Far East Air Force
Nickname "The Friendly Firm"
Motto Latin: Surrigere colligere
Translation: "To arise and pick up"
Squadron Badge heraldry A Malayan kris with a dragonfly superimposed[5]
Unofficial Squadron Badge A Flying Elephant[6][7][8]

194 Squadron RAF, though formed as a training unit in Egypt and ended as a casualty evacuation unit in Malaya, was for most of its active service life a RAF transport squadron that flew in South East Asia.


Formation and World War I

Formed as a training squadron in No. 20 Group[1] (or No. 32 Group[9]) at RAF El Amiriya in Egypt on 9 August 1917, it disbanded on 21 July 1918 into No. 16 Training Depot Station.[9][10]

World War II

No. 194 Squadron was reformed at RAF Lahore, Punjab on 13 October 1942[11] as a transport unit equipped with Hudsons. It maintained mail and passenger routes in India until it became an airborne forces squadron in September 1943. Douglas Dakotas had started to arrive in May and, with the departure of the last Hudsons in September, No. 194 began paratroop training. In February 1944, supply-dropping flights to Chindit army units in Burma began and continued for the rest of the war. In January 1945 a casualty evacuation flight was attached to the squadron and Stinson Sentinels were used to pick up casualties form small jungle strips. After the end of the war, the squadron was engaged in general transport duties until disbanding at Mingladon on 15 February 1946. The squadron badge commonly used by the squadron depicted a flying elephant and the Squadron had adopted the motto ‘The Friendly Firm’ and although their entire fleet of aircraft carried this crest throughout the Burma campaign, Royal Charter never officially recognized it[12] (That same crest can be seen on all three books about the squadron).


On 1 February 1953, No. 194 reformed for a second time at Sembawang in Malaya from the Casualty Evacuation Flight with Westland Dragonfly HC.2 helicopters for co-operation with security forces in Malaya. Bristol Sycamore HC.14s were received in October 1954, but it was June 1956 before the last Dragonfly left. On 3 June 1959, the squadron merged with No. 155 Squadron RAF to become No. 110 Squadron RAF.

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by no. 194 Squadron RAF, data from[5][13][14][15]
From To Aircraft Version
August 1917 July 1918 Airco DH.6, Avro 504 and Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2
October 1942 September 1943 Lockheed Hudson Mk.VI
May 1943 February 1946 Douglas Dakota Mks.I, III
Dec 1944 February 1946 Douglas Dakota Mk.IV
January 1945 September 1945 Stinson Sentinel Mk.I
February 1953 June 1956 Westland Dragonfly HC.2
October 1954 June 1959 Bristol Sycamore HC.14

Squadron bases

Bases and airfields used by no. 194 Squadron RAF, data from[5][13][14]
From To Base Remark
9 August 1917 21 July 1918 RAF El Amiriya, Egypt
13 October 1942 18 February 1943 RAF Lahore, Punjab Dets. at RAF Tezpur, Assam and RAF Dum Dum, West Bengal
18 February 1943 18 September 1943 RAF Palam, Delhi
18 September 1943 8 February 1944 RAF Basal, Punjab Det. at RAF Chaklala, Rawalpindi, Punjab
8 February 1944 9 February 1944 RAF Comilla, Bengal
9 February 1944 1 September 1944 RAF Agartala, Tripura Det. at RAF Imphal, Manipur
1 September 1944 2 November 1944 RAF Imphal, Manipur
2 November 1944 10 December 1944 RAF Basal, Punjab
10 December 1944 19 March 1945 RAF Agartala, Tripura Det. at RAF Imphal, Manipur and from January 1945 to September 1945
at RAF Kangla, Manipur and Monywa, Sagaing Division, Burma
19 March 1945 21 August 1945 Akyab, Arakan, Burma Dets. at Monywa, Sagaing Division, Burma; Wangjing, Manipur and Meiktila, Mandalay, Burma
21 August 1945 15 February 1946 RAF Mingaladon, Burma
2 February 1953 1 May 1953 RAF Sembawang, Singapore Det. at RAF Kuala Lumpur, Malaya
1 May 1953 3 June 1959 RAF Kuala Lumpur, Malaya Merged here with 155 Sqn to form 110 Sqn

Commanding officers

Officers commanding no. 194 Squadron RAF, data from[13]
From To Name
October 1942 June 1944 W/Cdr. A.C. Pearson
June 1944 December 1944 W/Cdr. R.T. Chisholm
December 1944 June 1945 W/Cdr. R.C. Crawford
June 1945 August 1945 S/Ldr. P.M. Bristow
August 1945 February 1946 W/Cdr. D. Penman, DSO, DFC
February 1953 1955 S/Ldr. G.R.G. Henderson, AFC
1955 1957 S/Ldr. C.R. Turner
1957 June 1959 S/Ldr. F. Barnes


  • Briscoe, Deryk A. (ed.) The Friendly Firm Remembers: Stories by the members of the 194 Squadron in South East Asia. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: Windrush Marketing, 2000. ISBN 0-9686189-0-1.
  • Delve, Ken. The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
  • 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 CommanderC.G. RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • 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.
  • Russell, Wilfrid. The Friendly Firm – A history of 194 Squadron, Royal AIr Force. London, 194 Squadron RAF Association, 1972.
  • Sturtivant, Ray with John Hamlin. RAF Flying Training and Support Units since 1912. Staplefield, West Sussex, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 2007. ISBN 0-85130-365-X.
  • Williams, Flight Lieutenant Douglas. 194 Squadron Royal AIr Force – 'The Friendly Firm' (Burma Campaign). Braunton, Devon, UK: Merlin Books Ltd., 1987. ISBN 0-86303-326-1.

External links

  • The History of the Burma Star Association
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