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656 Squadron Army Air Corps

Overview

656 Squadron Army Air Corps, located at Wattisham, is part of 3 Regiment Army Air Corps and a unit of 16 Air Assault Brigade. The Squadron was formerly an Air Observation Post Squadron during the Second World War but was reformed with the creation of the Army Air Corps in 1957. The Squadron served in the Far East before returning to the United Kingdom in the late 1970s. Their motto is 'Voland et videns' or 'Flying and seeing'.
656 Sqn AAC badge

Squadron History

656 Air Observation Post Squadron (AOP) Royal Air Force (RAF) formed up on 31 December 1942 at RAF Westley, Suffolk, under command of Major DW Coyle, Royal Artillery. The Squadron was equipped with the Auster Mk1 and Mk3 aircraft. 656 (AOP) Sqn RAF deployed to India in support of the 14th Army. Between 1943-1946 the Squadron operated from India, Burma and the Dutch East Indies. The Squadron was then reduced in size and reformed into 1914 Flight in Malaya during the internal conflict there. During this time 656 AOP Sqn RAF provided support in both the AOP and air liaison role, which continued throughout the emergency.

The Squadron reformed as an Army Air Corps Squadron on 1 September 1957 and their time in the Far East continued with tours in Singapore, Borneo and Hong Kong. With the exception of two Flights, the Squadron was disbanded in 1977 and returned to the United Kingdom to be reformed in Farnborough, from where they deployed on Operation AGILA (Rhodesia 1979-1980) and Operation Corporate (The Falkland Islands 1982). Following a short time at Netheravon, as part of 7 Regiment Army Air Corps, the Squadron reocated to Dishforth in 1993 as one of the anti-tank Squadrons of 9 Regiment Army Air Corps. In 2007 the Army Air Corps was restructured into single-type regiments and 656 Squadron Army Air Corps was redesignated as a 4 Regiment Army Corps Squadron.

Squadron Badge

Squadron motto - 'Voland et videns' or 'Flying and seeing'.

Squadron badge heraldry - In front of two gun barrels in saltire, a Chinthe head. (A Chinthe is is a lion-like creature that is often seen at the entrances of pagodas and temples in Burma and other countries in South-East Asia.)

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