RAF Patch a 4 Squadron Royal Air Force Harrier GR 3 X 1988MF21EB
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RAF Patch a 4 Squadron Royal Air Force Harrier GR 3 X 1988MF21EB

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  • Item #: 1P 01UK 1RAF 01SQN 4DE 0004SQ 04
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RAF Patch 4 AC Squadron IV Royal Air Force Exercise Maple Flag 21 Last GR 3 Deployment Canada 1988 Harrier GR 3 RAF Gutersloh Embroidered on twill merrowed edge 77mm three and one sixteenth inches diameter.

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Squadron history

IV Army Cooperation Squadron ended its War service at Celle Air Base Germany equipped with Spitfire aircraft carrying out photo reconnaissance survey operations in support of the British Army of Occupation BAOR. 4 Squadron disbanded on 31 August 1945 and reactivated the following day 1 September 1945 at Volkel AB Netherlands on the redesignation of 605 Squadron equipped with Mosquito aircraft tasked with light bomber operations moving to Celle AB and then to Wunstorf AB. The Squadron reequipped with Vampire fighter bombers in July 1950 and relocated to Jever AB in 1951 before receiving Sabre fighter bombers in October 1953 and then Hunter aircraft in July 1955. The Squadron was disbanded at RAF Jever on 31 December 1960.

4 Squadron reformed on 1 January 1961 at RAF Gutersloh on the redesignation of 79 Squadron equipped with Hunter FR 10 aircraft tasked with low level reconnaissance. The Squadron disbanded at the end of May 1970.

4 Squadron was reactivated at RAF Wildenrath on 22 June 1970 equipped with Harrier GR 1 VSTOL aircraft tasked with Attack Close Air Support and Tactical Reconnaissance. To support the recce role a Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre RIC was attached to the Squadron. As part of RAF Germany Harrier Force the Squadron trained for its war role dispersing from its vulnerable static airfield and operating from forward non airfield locations to increase survivability. 4 Squadron upgraded to Harrier GR 3s in 1975 and relocated to RAF Gutersloh on 4 January 1977. The Squadron received Harrier GR 5s in 1989 and reequipped with Harrier II GR 7 Night Attack aircraft in 1991. The Squadron relocated to RAF Laarbruch in November 1992 taking part in Operation Warden over Iraq in 1993 and Op Deny Flight in 1995 undertaking bombing missions for Op Diliberate Force. Operations over the Former Yugoslavia continued in 1998 with Op Deliberate Forge and Op Allied Force.

With the rundown of RAF Germany following the end of the cold War 4 Squadron to RAF Cottesmore UK with its sister Harrier Squadron 3 F Squadron during April 1999. The Squadron continued to maintain commitment to Op Deliberate Forge on a rotational basis with the other two GR 7 Squadrons until they were tasked with the draw down from Gioia del Colle Italy in April 2001. 

The Squadron then focused on a period of training including Exercise Saif Sareera in October 2001 with the Squadron operating from HMS Illustrious in the Mediterranean Suez Canal and Red Sea. The Squadron were deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Telic Iraqi Freedom in February 2003 where they were tasked with close air support and reconnaissance. As part of Joint Force Harrier IV AC Squadron operated alongside the Fleet Air Arm Sea Harriers and was capable of deployment from the Royal Navy aircraft carriers. In August 2004 the Force deployed to Kandahar Airfield to support NATO troops in Afghanistan for Operation Herrick. In March 2005 whilst deployed to HMS Invincible for Exercise Magic Carpet 4 AC Squadron conducted the UKs first strike mission from an aircraft carrier into Kandahar Airfield. The Squadron continued its primary role in Afghanistan close air support CAS and reconnaissance with a secondary commitment of training NATO Forward Air Controllers. 

On 31 March 2010 4 AC Squadron disbanded and reformed as 4 Reserve R Squadron at RAF Wittering taking over from 20 R Squadron as the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit. As a result of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review the squadron disbanded in January 2011 to reform on 24 November 2011 when it took over the role of 19 R Squadron operating the BAE Hawk T2 from RAF Valley in tactical weapons training.

This patch dates from 1988.


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