54 Squadron

After an awards ceremony at Hornchurch, Essex, decorated RAF pilots cheer King George VI. They are, (left to right): Flying Officer J L Allen, Flight-Lieutenant R R Stanford Tuck, Flight-Lieutenant A C Deere, Flight-Lieutenant A G Malan, Squadron-Leader J A Leathart and an airman bugler. Allen, Deere, and Leathart, all serving with No. 54 Squadron RAF, had, between them, shot down 25 enemy aircraft by the end of the Battle of France. Copyright IWM

Audax ominia perpeti – Boldness to Endure Anything

Originally formed in 1916 at Castle Bromwich, the squadron saw service in France during the First World War. It was disbanded in 1919. After only 11 years the squadron was reformed in 1930 at RAF Hornchurch. In March 1939 it was equipped with Spitfires. Based at RAF Hornchurch during July and August 1940, 54 Squadron was involved in some fierce engagements with the Luftwaffe, and in September 1940 it was moved to Catterick to rest.

The squadron continues to operate as 54(Reserve) Squadron, a training unit based at RAF Waddington.