RAF Patch UAS Southampton University Air Squadron Crest a

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RAF Patch Southampton University Air Squadron UAS Crest 1970s Chipmunk Hamle Embroidered Applique on wool cut edge 104mm by 78mm four and one eighth inches by three and one eighth inches.

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Badge: - a brown hart facing left in front of a yellow Doric column

Motto: - Fortibus Ardua Cedunt Adversity Yields to the Bold

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.  

Southampton University Air Squadron SUAS is located at SUAS Town Headquarters THQ in Southampton City Centre with flying operations taking place at MoD Boscombe Down. SUAS enrols students from University of Southampton University of Portsmouth Bournemouth University Southampton Solent University University of Chichester and University of Winchester.

Southampton University Air Squadron was formed on 15 February 1941 as part of 54 Group at RAF Abingdon equipped with Tiger Moth training aircraft. The Squadron moved to RAF Worthy Down in May 1942.  Its aircraft establishment was transferred to 3 EFTS on 14 December 1945 and relocated to RAF Hamble in June 1946. The Squadron moved back to RAF Worthy Down in September 1946 with 62 Group before relocating to Hamble in 1947. SUAS reequipped with Chipmunk aircraft in 1950. The Squadron was reassigned to 25 Group in 1963 and 22 Group in 1966 before the Groups disbandment on 31 January 1972 when the Squadron was reassigned to RAF Training Command. Southampton University Air Squadron reequipped with Bulldog trainers in 1973 and relocated to Hurn in 1979. SUAS relocated to Lee-on-Solent in 1987 moving to its current base at MOD Boscombe Down in 1993. The Squadron was reassigned to RAF Training Group on 1 April 1994. SUAS has parented 2 Air Experience Flight from 1 April 1996 providing local air cadet units with experience of powered flying. The Squadron reequipped with Grob 115E primary trainer aircraft in 2000. SUAS was reassigned to 22 Training Group on 30 October 2006 on the renaming of RAF Training Group.


This patch dates from 1970s.



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