207 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE HISTORY
207 (Reserve) Squadron Badges & Livery
November 25 2003
A Dining-In Night was held following the Presentation of 207's new Standard by HRH Prince Andrew, and this was its first use. Standard Bearer was Matt Hollowood.
The new Standard corrects an error in the original presented in July 1956 and which hangs in Leicester Cathedral. One of the Battle Honours on it referred to German Forts 1941-45. This now correctly reads German Ports 1941-45. The Squadron attacked Bremen, Bremerhaven, Danzig, Hamburg, Kiel, Wilhelmshaven, as well as Boulogne, Brest, Calais, Cherbourg, Gydnia, Le Havre, Lorient, Ostend, Rostock, St Nazaire, and Genoa on many occasions.
Ten of 1 FTS' Tucanos now sported the 207 winged lion statant on the tail with the fuselage roundels flanked by red flashes outlined in yellow: the badge on the side of the cockpit was 1FTS. Naturally ZF207 was one of the 207 ten.
We finally received our new Sqn badges! This turned into a saga with several badges being returned to the manufacturers, as they were wrong. In particular, the first attempt at the Sqn badge had us still as a 'Bomber Sqn' - which, according to Alan Mawby, our History Officer we were unable to use. The students and staff were now all resplendent in Red/Yellow name badges. The staff wear the two remaining badges at all times but the students have to earn theirs.
The intention was for them to wear the diamond shaped 'Tac Badge' following First Tucano Solo and the Squadron Badge following a successful pass at the Basic Handling Test on sortie 49 (badges not shown to scale).
207 Squadron offices sign
207's Badge Returns to the Squadron
Sqn Ldr Alan Dolding flew down to Marham in October to collect 'our' squadron badge - the orginal, approved by Edward VIII in May 1936 - from the History Room at Marham. It is worth recounting how it came to be there.
When the Squadron disbanded at Northolt on June 30th 1984 the badge went into the care of the MU at Quedgely and then to Stafford when that unit moved. Our Association learned in 2000 that it had passed to Benson, the connection being that 207 was located at Benson flying Fairey Battles when folded into 12 OTU in 1940.
With all due respect to Benson, the Association took the view that Marham was a more appropriate place for the Badge as the Squadron had served there in a front line Cold War role for 14 years from 1951. This service began with Washingtons (the RAF name for B-29 Superfortresses used as a stopgap between the obsolescent Lincolns and the Canberras and V-bombers), followed by Canberras and then the Valiants. The Association were able to borrow the badge to display at our late President's - AVM David Dick - memorial service at Lyneham.
The President of the Association, Wg Cdr Ken Marwood AFM, delivered it to Marham's Community Relations Officer, Sqn Ldr Sandy Sandeman, for placement in their Officers' Mess. Marham later advised the Association that it would instead go to the History Room which Marham were re-organising.
Plans to visit Marham to see the Badge in its new home were scuppered by the intense activity at Marham arising from the relocation of a number of units to there and the work arising fron RAF commitments in the Balkans and Middle East.
It is was hung in the foyer of Linton's Officers' Mess. The badge was authorised by Edward VIII in May 1936 at a time when 207 and other Squadrons were positioned in the Sudan and Egypt as a warning to Mussolini who had invaded Abyssinia in October 1935. It was designed by JD Heaton-Armstrong MVO, Chester Herald and Inspector of Royal Air Force Badges.
At a Station Parade at Ed Damer in the Sudan, the badge was presented by Grp Capt Raymond Collishaw, a Canadian WWI ace, later to achieve further fame in WW2.
The badge was based on an earlier unofficial badge, of which one of a number of versions is shown. For example in WWI 207 was known as the Black Cat Squadron. One day, no doubt, its origins will come to light.
Back with 207 at last
from the Squadron History
It takes the form of "a winged lion statant" and the motto is Semper Paratus (Always Prepared). Sadly, according to the RAF Heraldry Trust, for many years the College of Heralds gave incomplete descriptions of the badges in terms of the colours to be used, so that when the Trust sought to recreate those of a number of squadrons, this proved less easy than expected as in many cases the originals had faded and written colour specifications were lacking.
Various forms of the 207 badge have been used on signs and aircraft over the years: the proper stance is leftward facing (there is probably an heraldic way of saying that!): the 207 bike shed in front of the Squadron Office sported a colourful example superimposed on the former 2 Sqn 1 FTS logo - and probably upset the local pigeons mk LXXII ...
click for a bigger lion!
Raymond Collishaw - Canadian Ace
RAF Heraldry Trust
last updated 11 Jan 2008: 25 Dec 13