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No.56 Squadron (GBR) History


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#1 Han

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 17:36

Hello friends. Please assist in writing ENGLISH text of history of the squadron which will be available to player in the first release of the New Career.
It should contains more than 2500 symbols (no upper limit), and it should describe WHOLE history of the squadron - from fundation till it's history end (amy be even till modern days, like for USAF 94th Aero Squadron for example).
Any additional facts and remarks are appreciated.

So please discuss and post your texts here for No.56 Squadron Britain squadron

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#2 hq_Reflected

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 17:59

I would love to do this one, can I? I have every book related to 56. I'll try to find some time for it next week.
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#3 Han

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 18:01

Offcourse! Everyone to join up, everyone free to help everyone.
Our objective - to have a good common result for eact squad in the end.

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#4 EricForster

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 18:56

Among other things, I am a copy editor for a university press. I would be happy to work with anyone producing content for the sim.

Cheers,
Eric
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#5 Jason_Williams

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 19:04

Just remember guys, no copyright infringement allowed.

Feel free to help coordinate the entries Eric. You're help is appreciated.

Jason
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#6 EricForster

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 19:21

Hi Jason,

I am very familiar with copyright law here in the US; I'll endeavor to ensure the content produced is in accordance with international standards.

Many of you know this already, but there are a lot of people on these boards so it bears repeating: please indicate when you are quoting or paraphrasing a published source via citation (author, publisher, year, place, title, page number, etc.).

Most original documents from the period concerned (1914-1918) are not subject to copyright; government documents in the US are not subject to copyright. Nonetheless, always indicate your sources: it is better to be too explicit and edit a citation out as unnecessary later than it is to be sloppy.

Please consider this when producing content: mark your tracks; keep accurate notes; I will help you, so PM me if you have questions.

Cheers,
Eric
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#7 ImPeRaToR

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 19:28

I think Greg will be just the guy for this :)


it is better to be too explicit and edit a citation out as unnecessary later than it is to be sloppy.

This guy should have listened to you :lol:

http://www.bbc.co.uk...europe-12566502" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.bbc.co.uk...europe-12566502
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#8 hq_Reflected

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 19:41

OK how about this:

I'll write the article with careful attention to copyright laws, and then I'll send it to Eric who can re-word it to make it sound more professional. Deal? :)
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#9 Jason_Williams

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 19:59

Hi Jason,

I am very familiar with copyright law here in the US; I'll endeavor to ensure the content produced is in accordance with international standards.

Many of you know this already, but there are a lot of people on these boards so it bears repeating: please indicate when you are quoting or paraphrasing a published source via citation (author, publisher, year, place, title, page number, etc.).

Most original documents from the period concerned (1914-1918) are not subject to copyright; government documents in the US are not subject to copyright. Nonetheless, always indicate your sources: it is better to be too explicit and edit a citation out as unnecessary later than it is to be sloppy.

Please consider this when producing content: mark your tracks; keep accurate notes; I will help you, so PM me if you have questions.

Cheers,
Eric

Sounds good Eric. Appreciate your help. I just didn't want people lifting stuff from magazines or online articles etc. As Eric said, if you need to lift, say where you got it.

Jason
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#10 EricForster

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 20:09

hq_Reflected,

That's fine with me, but you may want to post your content so others can get involved too. If you post a Word document of whatever you're working on, I can edit it using "track changes." Then you can decide if you like the new version, or if you'd rather change some things.

In other words, editing is a collaboration: it's not a situation in which you submit something and I give you a "grade" or take content control out of your hands. :) I make suggestions on how the piece may be improved to suit the context and audience.

Also, I think it is important to make versions public, so that others can see progress, have suggestions, or even do sections of the project. It's a good way to vet the content, without having Wikipedia-like chaos.

Further, this is not the sort of thing that spawns endless debates (like, say, flight models…); when there is irresolvable ambiguity in certain areas (as there often are with any historical topic), there are always ways forward: this isn't a dissertation, and contentiousness on the topic should be minimal.

That being said, I'd like to appeal to everyone to keep it civil. Disagreement is the spice of life, but let's all check our egos at the door and have a go at producing something special, something that really helps the 777 team make RoF even more fantastic than it already is. We have a chance to add something to the historical context of the sim.

Cheers,
Eric
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#11 Jason_Williams

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 21:03

Very well put Eric.

Go for it guys.

Jason
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#12 WWBrian

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 12:15

From – http://en.wikipedia....56_Squadron_RAF" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia....56_Squadron_RAF

No.56 Squadron

Number 56 Squadron is one of the oldest and most successful squadrons of the Royal Air Force, with battle honors from many of the significant air campaigns of both World War I and World War II.

As 56 (Reserve) Squadron it is now an operational evaluation unit.

The squadron was formed on 8 June 1916 and was posted to France in April 1917 as part of the Royal Flying Corps. The squadron was equipped with the then brand new SE5 fighter. Its arrival at the front with the latest fighter, combined with the unusually high proportion of experienced pilots in its ranks, led to rumors among its German opponents the squadron was specifically the 'Anti-Richthofen Squadron', dedicated to the removal of the Red Baron. Although there was no truth in these rumors, the squadron did shoot down and kill Richthofen's nearest 1917 rival Lieutenant Werner Voss in an epic dogfight.

By the end of the war 56 Squadron had scored 402 victories.

No. 56 Squadron was home to many famous fighter aces such as James McCudden, Reginald Hoidge, Gerald J. C. Maxwell, Arthur Rhys Davids, Geoffrey Hilton Bowman, Richard Maybery, Leonard Monteagle Barlow, Henry Burden, Cyril Crowe, Maurice Mealing, Albert Ball, William Roy Irwin, Edric Broadberry, Kenneth William Junor, Cecil Lewis, Keith Muspratt, Harold Walkerdine, William Spurrett Fielding-Johnson, William Otway Boger, Charles Jeffs, Harold Molyneux, and Duncan Grinnell-Milne, the latter of whom became the unit's last Officer Commanding before inactivation.

During the course of the war, forty of the squadron's pilots were killed in action, twenty wounded and thirty-one were taken prisoner.

The squadron disbanded and was reformed several times between world wars I and II.

No 56 Squadron's introduction to World War II came on 6 September 1939. The squadron, then based at RAF North Weald, became the unwitting victims of a friendly fire incident now known as the Battle of Barking Creek. Two pilots of the squadron were shot down and one, Montague Hulton-Harrop, was killed, becoming the RAF's first casualty in the defence of the UK.

The squadron entered the Second World War equipped with Hawker Hurricanes which they operated first during the Battle of France, and then as part of No. 11 Group RAF from North Weald throughout the Battle of Britain. Higginson was sent to Dunkirk with "B" Flight, and recorded 4 victories. After returning to England, he shot down his fifth to become an ace, awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal on July 27 1940, 16 days after the Battle of Britain began. At the close of the battle they were posted to RAF Boscombe Down to recuperate.

During 1940 the squadron claimed just over a hundred aircraft shot down.

In 1944 the squadron moved to RAF Newchurch and converted to Hawker Tempest Vs. Higginson left the squadron at this time for operational reasons, due to his knowledge of the pilot escape routes in France; his total war time victory count, all with No.56, was 15 enemy aircraft. As a unit of No. 150 Wing RAF, under the command of Wing Commander Roland Beamont 56 Squadron was an air defence squadron, involved in defending Britain from V1 flying bombs. Between 70 and 77½ of these were shot down before another move, on 28 September of that year, to B.60 Grimbergen Belgium as part of 122 Wing, Second Tactical Air Force. During the tough operations that followed, 56 Squadron was to become equal highest scoring Tempest unit, along with 486(NZ) Sqn, with 59 confirmed victories.

During the Second World War the squadron claimed a total of 149 aircraft shot down.

The squadron converted to the RAF's first jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor F. Mark III, in April 1946 at RAF Bentwaters where they also flew the Gloster Meteor F. Mk 8 and the unsuccessful Supermarine Swift.In 1952 and 1953 56 sqd flew Meteor 8 from RAF Waterbeach receiving the Swift for evaluation in 1953 till 1955. In September 1957 the squadron moved to RAF Wattisham with the Hawker Hunter F5/F6 where they would spend most of the next 35 years defending Britain's airspace, frequently intercepting probing Tupolev Tu-95 Bear aircraft. They converted to the English Electric Lightning F1A in 1960 and showed the aircraft in a display team called The Firebirds. The squadron left Wattisham for 8 years in 1967 deploying to the RAF base in Cyprus before returning in 1975 with the Lightning F6.

In 1976 56 Squadron exchanged their Lightnings for McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2s and shared their base of RAF Wattisham initially with 23 Squadron and subsequently, on their departure to the Falkland Islands in 1982, with 74 Squadron. Both 56 and 23 Squadron operated the Phantom FGR.2, which used British Rolls Royce Spey engines, UK MOD Radar systems, and other modifications. 74 Squadron was equipped with ex-US Navy/Marine F-4Js (designated as the F-4J(UK) in RAF service). 56 Squadron operated the Phantom FGR.2 for 17 years at Wattisham until finally retiring the last of these in 1992. 56 Squadron bade an emotional farewell to their long-term home and moved to RAF Coningsby and the following year RAF Wattisham, which had been one of Britain's major fighter bases during the Cold War, was closed and handed over to the British Army.

At Coningsby the squadron adopted the title of 56(Reserve) Squadron. It became the RAF's Operational Conversion Unit (229 OCU) conducting training of Ab initio crew and aircrew converting from other aircraft types to the Tornado F3. Following the announcement that the RAF's new fighter aircraft, the Eurofighter Typhoon would be stationed at Coningsby, it was decided that 56® Sqn would relocate to RAF Leuchars in Fife, home to 43(F) Squadron and 111 Squadron (with whom 56 Sqn had previously shared their Wattisham home), both flying the Tornado F3. The Squadron moved north in March 2003, initially moving into the 'Ark Royal' hangar before moving into their new building on the northern side of the airfield. The squadron, nicknamed the Firebirds, was until 2005 the display squadron for the F3. It was announced in December 2005 that, as a cost cutting measure, the RAF would no longer have a Tornado F3 display .
On 5 February 2008, it was reported that 56® squadron at RAF Leuchars would disappear after being merged with 43(F) Squadron on 22 April as the Tornado fleet was phased out to be replaced with the Eurofighter Typhoon. The 56 Squadron nameplate was transferred to the Air Warfare Centre Air Command and Control Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Operational Evaluation Unit (AIR C2ISR OEU) at RAF Waddington on 22 April 2008 as 56® Sqn, The ISTAR OEU.

The ISTAR OEU is the center of excellence for the RAF's AWACS, Nimrod R1/MR2 and Sentinel aircraft.

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#13 Han

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 17:31

Great! Thanks for finding.

Completed, thread unstickied.

Any additional details may be added / corrected.

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#14 hq_Reflected

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 22:54

Brian, you beat me to it! :) nicely done tho. However, if I were you I would have mentioned that it was the pilots and ground crew of 56 sqn who transformed the SE5 into an effective fighter, and the modifications they made contributed a lot to the birth of the SE5a.

Albert Ball didn't realize its potential and he preferred to fly his personal Nieuport on solo missions. According to him the new scout was too sluggish. It was Cyril Crowe who developed a technique we know today as "boom and zoom". So without them, the SE5 couldn't have become the effective fighter it was.

I'd also add that the cradle of the squad was London Colney, and they flew off to France on the 7 April 1917.
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#15 WWBrian

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 23:02

Sorry Ref'…just saw it undone, and got the ball (no pun intended) rolling is all.

Please, feel free to add/correct anything you deem noteworthy! I'm certain you have much more detailed information than what I posted.

Write it up, and I'll add it in red to the previous post wherever you tell me to.

[edit] Or…just write yours up, and I'm sure 777 would be more than willing to swap out what I wrote for the more detailed version of what you write.

…and if it ends up not getting done, then at least they have mine to fall back on.

It's all good.
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#16 hq_Reflected

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:03

Sorry Ref'…just saw it undone, and got the ball (no pun intended) rolling is all.

Please, feel free to add/correct anything you deem noteworthy! I'm certain you have much more detailed information than what I posted.

Write it up, and I'll add it in red to the previous post wherever you tell me to.

[edit] Or…just write yours up, and I'm sure 777 would be more than willing to swap out what I wrote for the more detailed version of what you write.

…and if it ends up not getting done, then at least they have mine to fall back on.

It's all good.

No problem, mate!

I'll collect a few things that I'd like to see included, and then you can add it to your text if you want. Afte all I think you're better with words than I am I think ;)
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#17 LukeFF

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:57

Just a bit of grammar cleanup and some stuff added from http://www.raf.mod.u.../56squadron.cfm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.raf.mod.u.../56squadron.cfm :

No 56 Squadron

Number 56 Squadron is one of the oldest and most successful squadrons of the Royal Air Force, with battle honours from many of the significant air campaigns of both World War I and World War II.

The squadron was formed on 8 June 1916 at Gosport, England and was posted to France in April 1917 as part of the Royal Flying Corps. The squadron was equipped with the then brand new SE5 fighter. Its arrival at the front with the latest fighter, combined with the unusually high proportion of experienced pilots in its ranks, led to rumours among its German opponents that the squadron was specifically the ИAnti-Richthofen Squadron,’ dedicated to the removal of the Red Baron. Although there was no truth in these rumours, the squadron did shoot down and kill Richthofen’s nearest 1917 rival - Lieutenant Werner Voss - in an epic dogfight.

By the end of the war 56 Squadron had scored 402 victories. During the course of the war, 40 of the squadron's pilots were killed in action, 20 were wounded, and 31 were taken prisoner.

No 56 Squadron was home to many famous fighter aces. Albert Ball was an original member of the squadron but was killed in May 1917 and awarded the Victoria Cross. Arthur Rhys Davids spent his brief flying career with the squadron and ended the war as arguably the RFC’s most famous pilot. James McCudden added 50 victories to his score during his time with unit, earning the Victoria Cross in the process. Other famous pilots include Reginald Hoidge, Gerald J. C. Maxwell, Geoffrey Hilton Bowman, Richard Maybery, Leonard Monteagle Barlow, Henry Burden, Cyril Crowe, Maurice Mealing, William Roy Irwin, Edric Broadberry, Kenneth William Junor, Cecil Lewis, Keith Muspratt, Harold Walkerdine, William Spurrett Fielding-Johnson, William Otway Boger, Charles Jeffs, Harold Molyneux, and Duncan Grinnell-Milne, the latter of whom became the unit's last Officer Commanding before inactivation.

The squadron disbanded in January 1920 but was shortly reformed thereafter at Aboukir, Egypt and equipped with Sopwith Snipes. The unit was disbanded again on 23 September 1922, only to be hastily reformed into a Flight and deployed to Turkey during the Chanak Crisis, where it would remain under the control of No 208 Squadron through August 1923. Oddly, No 56 Squadron was officially reformed during this time at Hawkinge in November 1922.

No 56 Squadron's introduction to World War II came on 6 September 1939. The squadron, then based at RAF North Weald, became the unwitting victims of a friendly fire incident now known as the Battle of Barking Creek. Two pilots of the squadron were shot down and one, Montague Hulton-Harrop, was killed, becoming the RAF's first casualty in the defence of the UK.

The squadron entered the Second World War equipped with Hawker Hurricanes which they operated first during the Battle of France, and then as part of No 11 Group RAF from North Weald throughout the Battle of Britain. Higginson was sent to Dunkirk with "B" Flight, and recorded 4 victories. After returning to England, he shot down his fifth to become an ace, awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal on July 27 1940, 16 days after the Battle of Britain began. At the close of the battle, they were posted to RAF Boscombe Down to recuperate.

During 1940, the squadron claimed just over a hundred aircraft shot down.

In 1944, the squadron moved to RAF Newchurch and converted to Hawker Tempest Vs. Higginson left the squadron at this time for operational reasons, due to his knowledge of the pilot escape routes in France; his total war time victory count, all with No.56, was 15 enemy aircraft. As a unit of No. 150 Wing RAF, under the command of Wing Commander Roland Beamont 56 Squadron was an air defence squadron, involved in defending Britain from V1 flying bombs. Between 70 and 77½ of these were shot down before another move, on 28 September of that year, to B.60 Grimbergen Belgium as part of 122 Wing, Second Tactical Air Force. During the tough operations that followed, 56 Squadron was to become equal highest scoring Tempest unit, along with 486(NZ) Sqn, with 59 confirmed victories.

During the Second World War, the squadron claimed 149 aircraft shot down.

The squadron converted to the RAF's first jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor F. Mark III, in April 1946 at RAF Bentwaters where they also flew the Gloster Meteor F. Mk 8 and the unsuccessful Supermarine Swift. In 1952 and 1953 56 sqd flew Meteor 8 from RAF Waterbeach receiving the Swift for evaluation in 1953 till 1955. In September 1957, the squadron moved to RAF Wattisham with the Hawker Hunter F5/F6 where they would spend most of the next 35 years defending Britain's airspace, frequently intercepting probing Tupolev Tu-95 Bear aircraft. They converted to the English Electric Lightning F1A in 1960 and showed the aircraft in a display team called The Firebirds. The squadron left Wattisham for 8 years in 1967 deploying to the RAF base in Cyprus before returning in 1975 with the Lightning F6.

In 1976, 56 Squadron exchanged their Lightnings for McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2s and shared their base of RAF Wattisham initially with 23 Squadron and subsequently, on their departure to the Falkland Islands in 1982, with 74 Squadron. Both 56 and 23 Squadron operated the Phantom FGR.2, which used British Rolls Royce Spey engines, UK MOD Radar systems, and other modifications. 74 Squadron was equipped with ex-US Navy/Marine F-4Js (designated as the F-4J(UK) in RAF service). 56 Squadron operated the Phantom FGR.2 for 17 years at Wattisham until finally retiring the last of these in 1992. 56 Squadron bade an emotional farewell to their long-term home and moved to RAF Coningsby and the following year RAF Wattisham, which had been one of Britain's major fighter bases during the Cold War, was closed and handed over to the British Army.

At Coningsby the squadron adopted the title of 56(Reserve) Squadron. It became the RAF's Operational Conversion Unit (229 OCU) conducting training of ab-initio crew and aircrew converting from other aircraft types to the Tornado F3. Following the announcement that the RAF's new fighter aircraft - the Eurofighter Typhoon - would be stationed at Coningsby, it was decided that 56® Sqn would relocate to RAF Leuchars in Fife, home to 43(F) Squadron and 111 Squadron (with whom 56 Sqn had previously shared their Wattisham home), both flying the Tornado F3. The Squadron moved north in March 2003, initially moving into the 'Ark Royal' hangar before moving into their new building on the northern side of the airfield. The squadron, nicknamed the Firebirds, was until 2005 the display squadron for the F3. It was announced in December 2005 that, as a cost cutting measure, the RAF would no longer have a Tornado F3 display.

On 5 February 2008, it was reported that 56® squadron at RAF Leuchars would disappear after being merged with 43(F) Squadron on 22 April as the Tornado fleet was phased out to be replaced with the Eurofighter Typhoon. The 56 Squadron nameplate was transferred to the Air Warfare Centre Air Command and Control Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Operational Evaluation Unit (AIR C2ISR OEU) at RAF Waddington on 22 April 2008 as 56® Sqn, The ISTAR OEU. The ISTAR OEU is the centre of excellence for the RAF's AWACS, Nimrod R1/MR2 and Sentinel aircraft.

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#18 LukeFF

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:09

One further edit:

Number 56 Squadron, one of the oldest and most successful squadrons of the Royal Air Force, was originally formed on 8 June 1916 at Gosport, England. It was posted to France in April 1917 as part of the Royal Flying Corps. The squadron was equipped with the then brand-new SE5 fighter. Its arrival at the front with the latest fighter, combined with the unusually high proportion of experienced pilots in its ranks, led to rumours among its German opponents that the squadron was specifically the ИAnti-Richthofen Squadron,’ dedicated to the removal of the Red Baron. Although there was no truth in these rumours, the squadron did shoot down and kill Richthofen’s nearest 1917 rival - Lieutenant Werner Voss - in an epic dogfight.

By the end of the war 56 Squadron had scored 402 victories. During the course of the war, 40 of the squadron's pilots were killed in action, 20 were wounded, and 31 were taken prisoner.

No 56 Squadron was home to many famous fighter aces. Albert Ball was an original member of the squadron but was killed in May 1917 and awarded the Victoria Cross. Arthur Rhys Davids spent his brief flying career with the squadron and ended the war as arguably the RFC’s most famous pilot. James McCudden added 50 victories to his score during his time with unit, earning the Victoria Cross in the process. Other famous pilots include Reginald Hoidge, Gerald J. C. Maxwell, Geoffrey Hilton Bowman, Richard Maybery, Leonard Monteagle Barlow, Henry Burden, Cyril Crowe, Maurice Mealing, William Roy Irwin, Edric Broadberry, Kenneth William Junor, Cecil Lewis, Keith Muspratt, Harold Walkerdine, William Spurrett Fielding-Johnson, William Otway Boger, Charles Jeffs, Harold Molyneux, and Duncan Grinnell-Milne, the latter of whom became the unit's last Officer Commanding before inactivation.

The squadron disbanded in January 1920 but was shortly reformed thereafter at Aboukir, Egypt and equipped with Sopwith Snipes. The unit was disbanded again on 23 September 1922, only to be hastily reformed into a Flight and deployed to Turkey during the Chanak Crisis, where it would remain under the control of No 208 Squadron through August 1923. Oddly, No 56 Squadron was officially reformed during this time at Hawkinge in November 1922.

No 56 Squadron's introduction to World War II came on 6 September 1939. The squadron, then based at RAF North Weald, became the unwitting victims of a friendly fire incident now known as the Battle of Barking Creek. Two pilots of the squadron were shot down and one, Montague Hulton-Harrop, was killed, becoming the RAF's first casualty in the defence of the UK.

The squadron entered the Second World War equipped with Hawker Hurricanes which they operated first during the Battle of France, and then as part of No 11 Group RAF from North Weald throughout the Battle of Britain. Higginson was sent to Dunkirk with "B" Flight, and recorded 4 victories. After returning to England, he shot down his fifth to become an ace, awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal on July 27 1940, 16 days after the Battle of Britain began. At the close of the battle, they were posted to RAF Boscombe Down to recuperate.

During 1940, the squadron claimed just over a hundred aircraft shot down.

In 1944, the squadron moved to RAF Newchurch and converted to Hawker Tempest Vs. Higginson left the squadron at this time for operational reasons, due to his knowledge of the pilot escape routes in France; his total war time victory count, all with No.56, was 15 enemy aircraft. As a unit of No. 150 Wing RAF, under the command of Wing Commander Roland Beamont 56 Squadron was an air defence squadron, involved in defending Britain from V1 flying bombs. Between 70 and 77½ of these were shot down before another move, on 28 September of that year, to B.60 Grimbergen Belgium as part of 122 Wing, Second Tactical Air Force. During the tough operations that followed, 56 Squadron was to become equal highest scoring Tempest unit, along with 486(NZ) Sqn, with 59 confirmed victories.

During the Second World War, the squadron claimed 149 aircraft shot down.

The squadron converted to the RAF's first jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor F. Mark III, in April 1946 at RAF Bentwaters where they also flew the Gloster Meteor F. Mk 8 and the unsuccessful Supermarine Swift. In 1952 and 1953 56 sqd flew Meteor 8 from RAF Waterbeach receiving the Swift for evaluation in 1953 till 1955. In September 1957, the squadron moved to RAF Wattisham with the Hawker Hunter F5/F6 where they would spend most of the next 35 years defending Britain's airspace, frequently intercepting probing Tupolev Tu-95 Bear aircraft. They converted to the English Electric Lightning F1A in 1960 and showed the aircraft in a display team called The Firebirds. The squadron left Wattisham for 8 years in 1967 deploying to the RAF base in Cyprus before returning in 1975 with the Lightning F6.

In 1976, 56 Squadron exchanged their Lightnings for McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2s and shared their base of RAF Wattisham initially with 23 Squadron and subsequently, on their departure to the Falkland Islands in 1982, with 74 Squadron. Both 56 and 23 Squadron operated the Phantom FGR.2, which used British Rolls Royce Spey engines, UK MOD Radar systems, and other modifications. 74 Squadron was equipped with ex-US Navy/Marine F-4Js (designated as the F-4J(UK) in RAF service). 56 Squadron operated the Phantom FGR.2 for 17 years at Wattisham until finally retiring the last of these in 1992. 56 Squadron bade an emotional farewell to their long-term home and moved to RAF Coningsby and the following year RAF Wattisham, which had been one of Britain's major fighter bases during the Cold War, was closed and handed over to the British Army.

At Coningsby the squadron adopted the title of 56(Reserve) Squadron. It became the RAF's Operational Conversion Unit (229 OCU) conducting training of ab-initio crew and aircrew converting from other aircraft types to the Tornado F3. Following the announcement that the RAF's new fighter aircraft - the Eurofighter Typhoon - would be stationed at Coningsby, it was decided that 56® Sqn would relocate to RAF Leuchars in Fife, home to 43(F) Squadron and 111 Squadron (with whom 56 Sqn had previously shared their Wattisham home), both flying the Tornado F3. The Squadron moved north in March 2003, initially moving into the 'Ark Royal' hangar before moving into their new building on the northern side of the airfield. The squadron, nicknamed the Firebirds, was until 2005 the display squadron for the F3. It was announced in December 2005 that, as a cost cutting measure, the RAF would no longer have a Tornado F3 display.

On 5 February 2008, it was reported that 56® squadron at RAF Leuchars would disappear after being merged with 43(F) Squadron on 22 April as the Tornado fleet was phased out to be replaced with the Eurofighter Typhoon. The 56 Squadron nameplate was transferred to the Air Warfare Centre Air Command and Control Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Operational Evaluation Unit (AIR C2ISR OEU) at RAF Waddington on 22 April 2008 as 56® Sqn, The ISTAR OEU. The ISTAR OEU is the centre of excellence for the RAF's AWACS, Nimrod R1/MR2 and Sentinel aircraft.

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