RAF Patch UAS Queens University Air Squadron Patch Bulldog
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RAF Patch UAS Queens University Air Squadron Patch Bulldog

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  • Item #: 1P 01UK 1RAF 01SQN 2OP 00QUAS 01
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RAF Patch Queens University Air Squadron UAS Gothic Lettering Patch Bulldog 1980s Embroidered on twill 66mm by 105mm two and five eighth inches by four and one eighth inches.

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The University Air Squadron concept was conceived by Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord Trenchard in the 1920s to provide preliminary flying training and promote the Royal Air Force as a career opportunity to some of the brightest and most capable young people in the country having secured places to study at university. The first units were formed at Oxford and Cambridge in 1925.

World events during the 1930s led to a massive increase in the number of pilot and officer recruits required to counter the perceived threats leading to the establishment of many more University Air Squadrons before and during the war years to help increase the number of aircrew available for the RAF. Throughout the war most Squadrons were equipped with Tiger Moths supplemented with Harvards

Post-war the new Squadrons were largely maintained with some rationalization and reorganization as their value in providing an excellent source of high caliber recruits to the RAF had been fully recognized leading to the UASs being less affected by the post-war reduction in manpower than other areas of the Royal Air Force.

The Chipmunk was introduced in 1950 initially to Oxford University Air Squadron operating from RAF Kidlington with the other Squadrons re-equipping soon after. The RAF introduced its Graduate Entry Scheme in 1969 and in the 1970s some 50% of RAF pilots entered the service under the scheme.

In April 1973 the Bulldog began to replace the Chipmunk as the standard primary training aircraft with the University of London Air Squadron being the first to receive it in October 1973 at RAF Abingdon. While the University Air Squadrons were a primary source of RAF pilots an increasing number of UAS students wished to enter the Ground Branches of the RAF leading to a formal Ground Branch syllabus being introduced in 1998.

In 2000 the UASs were re-equipped with the Grob 115E primary trainer aircraft owned and maintained by a civilian contractor with the University of London Air Squadron and Cambridge University Air Squadron the first to operate them.

In 2013 14 University Air Squadrons had around 600 Flying and 400 Ground Branch students. Imminent re-organization will alter the syllabus to require students selected for the UAS to successfully complete Initial Officer Training following which all students will undertake UAS flying while students wishing to become RAF pilots will commence formal Elementary Flying Training.  

Formed on 8 January 1941 as Belfast University Air Squadron at RAF Sydenham within No 54 Group, it was re-designated Queens University Air Squadron on 18 May 1941 its aircraft establishment was transferred to No 11 EFTS on 14 December 1945 and the Squadron disbanded in January 1946. 

Queens UAS reformed at RAF Aldergrove in October 1946 under the control of RAF Northern Ireland and moved to RAF Sydenham in March 1947. The Squadron was transferred to No 64 Group on 31 March 1950 and then to No 25 Group in January 1959. The Squadron retuned to RAF Aldergrove in 1992 where it remained until disbanding on 31 July 1996.  Manchester and Salford University Air Squadron now recruits students from Queens University. QUAS also parented No 13 AEF which as a result was the only AEF to operate Bulldogs and disbanded at the same time 31 July 1996.




This patch dates from the 1980s.



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