RAuxAF 100 – 614 Squadron: Honours, Book and Painting

On 1st June, Wales’ only Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron staged a multiple celebration.

Exactly 87 years to the day since it was founded in 1937, members of No. 614 (County of Glamorgan) received their Coronation medals from Air Officer Wales, Air Commodore Rob Woods, at a special ceremony at the South Wales Aviation Museum at the former RAF St Athan. As well as these honours, commendations were awarded and there was also the unveiling of a painting by Welsh aviation artist Tim Jenkins by former Air Officer Wales, Air Commodore (retd) Adrian Williams, of 614 Squadron Vampires staging a flypast over City Hall in honour of the visit of HM the Queen to Cardiff after her coronation in 1953. Also unveiled was the Vampire T11 which has been painted by the museum in 614 Squadron colours to mark the centenary of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

Invited guests included families of the squadron’s war veterans, the squadron’s new Honorary Air Commodore, Air Cdre Sujatha Thaladi, Deputy Lt of South Glamorgan, Wg Cdr Gareth Chapman and Gp Capt (ret’d) Richard Mighall of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Foundation.

Wing Commander Olly Walker OC 614 Squadron gives opening remarks at Honours and Awards Ceremony
Receiving awards from Air Officer Wales
Unveiling by former Air Officer Wales of a painting by Welsh aviation artist Tim Jenkins

The day also saw the launch of a book on the history of the squadron, written by Flt Lt Martin Wade. Called ‘On Dragons’ Wings’ it tells the story of the Auxiliary Air Force squadron, founded at Cardiff in 1937, through its war service in the UK, North Africa and Italy as a Pathfinder unit, before it returned to Wales in peacetime to serve as a fighter squadron during the Cold War. On reforming in 2014 it became a General Support Squadron and its men and women support RAF operations all over the world.

OC 614 Sqn, Wg Cdr Olly Walker said: “We’re very grateful to all who came to this event. It was a very special day in a very special year – for the squadron and for the wider RAuxAF. It was great to recognise the achievements of our Aviators and to celebrate our history and that of the RAuxAF and to welcome Martin’s book. We’re thankful to the South Wales Aviation Museum for hosting us and for the brilliant job they did in painting the Vampire in our colours.”

614 Squadron Vampires flying over Cardiff.

Pictures by Sgt Cathy Sharples

Posted in News.