111(F) Sqn

RAF Leuchars
31 Oct 1974 - 30 Jan 1990

111(F) Sqn

Formed at Dier-el-Belah, Palestine on 1 August 1917 as the first dedicated fighter squadron in the region, its two main tasks were to restrict enemy reconnaissance flights and counter the increasing German fighter threat over the Suez. The Squadron flew a variety of types available including Bristol Scouts, Monoplanes and Fighters, DH2s and SE5s until standardising on the latter type in 1918. As the tide of the War turned, the unit started ground-attack patrols and such was the pilot's skill, that the Squadron was able to turn the Turkish retreat into a rout. 'Treble One' withdrew to Egypt after the end of the War and was renumbered No 14 Squadron in February 1920. 1 October 1923, saw 111 Squadron reform, this time at Duxford, but again with a variety of types namely Grebes, Snipes and Siskins, the latter eventually equipping the whole Squadron until the arrival of Bulldogs in 1931.

Five years later, No 111 received Gladiators, and in January 1938 the unit had the distinction of becoming the first Hurricane squadron. The Squadron flew as part of both Nos 11 and 12 Groups during the Battle of Britain and replaced its Hurricanes with Spitfires in April 1942. In November the unit moved to Gibraltar in preparation for Operation Torch - the invasion of North Africa - where it supported the 1st Army through Algeria and Tunisia before moving to Malta in June 1943 to cover the invasion of Sicily. With the Allies advancing through Italy, No 111 moved with them, remaining there until after the cessation of hostilities when it moved to Austria. It was disbanded May 1947 and did not rejoin the RAF's order of battle until December 1953 when it was reformed with Meteors at North Weald.

In 1955 the first Hunters had arrived, and two years later No 111 Squadron was nominated as the official RAF aerobatic team. At first the team, known as the 'Black Arrows', flew five and then nine aircraft until, at the 1958 Farnborough airshow, the Squadron, aided by No 56 Squadron, entered the record books when it successfully looped twenty-two aircraft! In 1961, the unit converted to Lightnings, successive marks staying until 1974 when Phantoms arrived. Following a move from Coningsby to Leuchars, the Squadron re-equipped with ex-Royal Navy Phantoms and these survived until the early 1990s when Tornado F3s became the Squadron mount until March 2011, when the squadron was disbanded, at the same time ending the Tornado F3 service in the RAF.

  • 111(F) Sqn Crest

  • 111(F) Sqn Aircrew Ops Patch

    Supplied by Jan-Toine van Hooft
  • 111(F) Sqn Montage

  • 111(F) Sqn Groundcrew Patch

    Supplied by Daz Talbot
  • .....and the Zap

    Supplied by Chris Turner
  • A later version of the 111 Sqn zap.

    Supplied by Chris Turner
  • 111(F) Sqn Spook

    Supplied by Bob Gaff
  • 111(F) Sqn Phantom Patch

    Supplied by Mick Slorance
  • 111(F) Sqn Dacre Trophy Winners Patch from 1982

    Supplied by Mark Jones
    (Phantom Preservation Group)
  • The 111(F) Sqn 70th Anniversary patch

    Supplied by Bob Gaff
  • The Cover from the menu at the Sqn's 60th Anniversary celebrations.

  • Inside of the 60th Anniversary programme.

  • 111 Sqn Malta 1978 where they flew 111 sorties in 2 days ending with the obligitory diamond 9.

    Supplied by Mick Slorance
  • 111(F) Sqn on APC in 1979. Good visibility of faces on the large image.

    Supplied by Mick Slorance
  • 111 Sqn SNCO's Blue Grotto Malta 1978 .

    Supplied by Mick Slorance
  • 111 Snecs relaxing in typical Cyprus Sunday afternoon style

    Anyone admit to sending this one in?
  • A couple of likely lads, proud to serve doing their stint on Q at Leuchars. The jet looks like XT870/S of 111(F) Sqn and the linies are, allegedly, Stuart Robertson and Jeff Ashmore.

    Supplied by Davey Ross via Dickie Brew
  • A shot of a fairly well known mishap in Jun 1980, (Thanks Charlie!!) 111's XV589 "Papa" after it's radome "popped" open. I have it on good authority that Aggie Oates was the last person to close the radome. He is now a cabbie around Forres area, so watch out!!!

    Supplied by Frank Kerr
  • XV485 taken during an APC in Malta 1978 and it looks like 228 OCU must have got their hands on it at some point....!

  • 111(F) Sqns "Black Mike" XV582 coming in to Leuchars over Tentsmuir.

    Supplied by Daz Talbot
  • Here is a nice shot of XV574 during it's Air Test on leaving St Athens for the last time in May 1989.

    Supplied by Colin Rimmer
  • XV574 - "Z" of 111(F) Sqn on Golf Dispersal, RAF Akrotiri, 1986.

    Supplied by Mick Slorance