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No. 659 Squadron RAF

No. 659 Squadron RAF
Active 30 April 1943 – 14 August 1947
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Role Air Observation Post squadron
Motto Latin: Quovis per ardua
(Translation: "Everywhere through difficulties")[1]
Squadron Badge heraldry A hawk volant affrontée the head to the dexter[1]
Squadron Codes No code(s) known [2]
Aircraft flown
Reconnaissance Auster Single-engined Army liaison monoplane

No. 659 Squadron was a Royal Air Force Air Observation Post squadron associated with the 21st Army Group during World War II. Numbers 651 to 663 Squadrons of the RAF were Air Observation Post units working closely with Army units in artillery spotting and liaison. A further three of these squadrons, 664–666, were manned with Canadian personnel. Their duties and squadron numbers were transferred to the Army with the formation of the Army Air Corps on 1 September 1957.[3][4]


  • History 1
    • Formation and World War II 1.1
  • Present 2
  • Aircraft operated 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
    • Notes 5.1
    • Bibliography 5.2
  • External links 6


Formation and World War II

No. 659 Squadron was formed at RAF Firbeck on 30 April 1943[1] with the Auster III and from March 1944 the Auster IV. The squadron role was to support the Army and in June 1944 it moved to France. Fighting in the break-out from Normandy it followed the army across the low countries and into Germany. In October 1945 the squadron left for India, where it was eventually disbanded at Lahore on 14 August 1947.[5]


The squadron today is represented by 659 Squadron of 9 Regiment, Army Air Corps.

Aircraft operated

A postwar Auster Mk.V, restored in wartime colours.
Aircraft operated by no. 659 Squadron RAF, data from[1][5]
From To Aircraft Variant
May 1943 March 1944 Auster Mk.III
March 1944 July 1945 Auster Mk.IV
July 1944 August 1947 Auster Mk.V
May 1946 August 1947 Auster AOP.6

See also



  1. ^ a b c d Halley 1988, p. 448.
  2. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 233.
  3. ^ Halley 1988, pp. 444–451.
  4. ^ Jefford 2001, pp. 102–104.
  5. ^ a b Jefford 2001, p. 104.


  • 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 1918–1988. 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 Ltd., 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.

External links

  • Squadron history for nos. 651–670 sqn. at RAF Web
  • 659 sqn. page of RAF website
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