Squadron History

600 (City of London) Squadron RAuxAF

Squadron Active:

14 October 1925-21 August 1945
10 May 1946-10 March 1957
1 October 1999-Present Day

Latin: Praeter Sescentos
(Translation: “More than six hundred”)

post1950_markingsPost 1950 Squadron markings

Battle Honours
France and Low Countries, 1940*
Battle of Britain, 1940*
Home defence, 1940–42*
North Africa, 1942–43*
Sicily, 1943*
Italy, 1943–45*
Anzio & Nettuno*
Gustav Line
Gothic Line
The honours marked with an asterix* are those emblazoned on the Squadron Standard

Squadron Codes
MV (Jan 1939 – Sep 1939)
BQ (Sep 1939 – Aug 1943
6 (Aug 1943 – Jul 1944)
RAG (May 1946 – 1949)
LJ (1949 – Apr 1951)

No 600 is the only squadron in the RAF/RAuxAF to have two official badges.



The one featuring the City of London crest is called “The Dustcart Crest” as the City badge is found on all vehicles operated by the Corporation of The City of London.
The second badge is called “The Moon and Paperknife” from the City dagger crossing the crescent moon. The design was decided on when the Sqn was based in N Africa and represents the Squadron’s role as a Night Fighter unit at that time. Post war, on the reformation of the Sqn at Biggin Hill as a day fighter Sqn the Officers reverted to the original crest. This was unofficial until the CO, Sqn Ldr David Proudlove spoke to the Honorary Air Commodore about it. She replied that she would “Have a word with her husband about it”. As our HAC was HM Queen Elizabeth, and her husband was King George VI, the authorisation of the second (but to us the first) badge quickly followed. The Herald “Chester King of Arms” was against it, but the King was talked around by our HAC and the Dust Cart badge was approved. We now display both badges, but the Dust Cart Badge is the primary badge of the unit.”
The squadron also holds two Standards, one official (see above) and one ‘unofficial’ and the story of the presentation of the first is also given here in Flt Lt van Geene’s words: –
“In 1931 Sqn Ldr “Freddie Guest” retired to become the Sqn’s first HAC. He handed over command to Sqn Ldr “Stan” Collett who was posted in from 601Sqn to assume command on promotion. Stan was employed as Assistant Company Secretary of the Great Western Railway, and was the son of Sir Charles Collett who was involved in local government in the City of London.
In 1934 the Sqn was involved in the Hendon Air Pageant, and Sqn Ldr Collett chose to fly in the Observer’s position of one of the Squadrons Wapiti aircraft piloted by Fg Off Robert Lea. The aircraft suffered engine failure on take-off (the subsequent Board of Inquiry actually found that the fuel cock had been turned off accidentally) and Lea turned back to the airfield to make a forced landing. He stalled and crashed and the aircraft caught fire. Lea escaped but Collett was knocked unconscious in the crash and died in the fire. His father was Lord mayor of London in the year of his death, and a large scale military funeral followed at St Paul’s Cathedral.
In memory of her son, the Lady Mayoress had a Squadron Standard embroidered, which was presented to the Squadron by her in 1935. It was subsequently carried by the Squadron in the Lord Mayor’s Show that November. At that time, no formation of the RAF or its reserves was authorised to hold a standard. In fact the presentation of Standards to the RAF did not begin until 1953. However the Squadron was given permission to parade with this banner only within the boundary of the City of London as recognition of it’s personal connection with the Lord Mayoralty. This custom was extended, and ratified by King George V on 1 April 1935, so that the Squadron could parade with the banner on St George’s Day of that year. Photographic evidence exists in one of the post war Squadron Scrap Books showing the Squadron under command of Sqn Ldr David Proudlove with the Collett Standard on parade for St Georges Day 1949. The standard continued to be paraded through the streets of the City of London on every Lord Mayor’s Show until the Squadron was disbanded in 1957.
The official records containing the letters authorising the custom were lost following the disbandment of the Squadron. Currently evidence exists only in the form of the photograph mentioned above, an article in Flight magazine dated 3 Nov 1949 which mentioned the custom, a further article written by Wg Cdr J Meadows, ex CO of the Sqn in Aeroplane Monthly in April 1987 and personal testimony from several members of the Sqn Association who were on parade when the Collett Standard was carried.”

No. 600 (City of London) Squadron RAuxAF is a squadron of the RAF Reserves. It was formed in 1925 and operated as a night fighter squadron during the Second World War with great distinction. After the war, 600 Squadron went on to operate jet fighters until 1957. Reactivated in 1999, 600 Squadron is the only RAF Reserve unit within the M25. It is a Headquarters Support Squadron and provides trained part-time reservists to support RAF operations around the world.



No. 600 (City of London) Squadron RAuxAF was formed at RAF Northolt on 14 October 1925 as a unit of the Auxiliary Air Force, equipped with Avro 504 trainers and Airco DH.9A day bombers. It moved to RAF Hendon at the end of 1926, replacing its DH.9As, veterans of the First World War, with more modern Westland Wapitis in 1929. It was designated a fighter squadron in July 1934. On the outbreak of war day and night patrols were flown, experiments with airborne radar beginning in December 1939. When the Germans invaded Holland, the squadron flew patrols over the Low Countries but in view of the inadequacy of Blenheims for daylight operations, 600 Sqn was allocated to night defence only a few days later.

In World War II

In September 1940 the first Bristol Beaufighter was received, conversion being completed early in 1941. In October 1940 the squadron moved to Yorkshire and in March 1941 to south-west England, where it remained until September 1942. In November 1942, 600 Sqn moved to North Africa to provide night cover for Allied bases and shipping. It was transferred to Malta in June 1943, and in September, to Italy where it spent the rest of the war on night defence and intruder missions. Re-equipment with Mosquitoes began in January 1945 and on 21 August 1945 the squadron disbanded, having become the highest scoring night fighter squadron in the RAF.


On 10 May 1946, 600 Sqn reformed at RAF Biggin Hill, as a day fighter squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force with Spitfires. It began to recruit during June and received its first operational aircraft in October. After receiving a De Havilland Vampire in October 1949 for jet conversion, it was allotted Meteors in March 1950 and flew these until the Royal Auxiliary Air Force disbanded on 10 March 1957.


Reforming on 1 October 1999 at RAF Northolt from No. 1 and No. 3 Maritime Headquarters Units, 600 Squadron is now a Headquarters Support Squadron of the RAuxAF, tasked to provide manpower to RAF static and mobile HQ’s at home and overseas. Currently 5 “Operational” Flights exist, these being Operations, Intelligence, Communications, Administration and Logistics. Squadron personnel have deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf States and into positions within the UK.
In 2007 the Corporation of the City of London granted 600 Squadron “Privileged Regiment Status”, an ancient honour granted to only 8 military formations in the history of the City. 600 Squadron is regularly involved in ceremonial events in London and in November 2007 provided a Guard of Honour to the Lord Mayor on his return to the Mansion House after taking the oath of allegiance at the Royal Courts of Justice.
600 (City of London) Squadron RAuxAF actively seeks to recruit and train motivated men and women who live within a 50 mile radius of RAF Northolt, with or without prior armed forces experience, and who have an interest in supporting the RAF in their spare-time. Further information can be found on the RAF Reserves website.

Aircraft Operated by No.600 Squadron

Oct 1925Oct 1929Avro 504K
Oct 1925Oct 1929de-Havilland DH9A
Aug 1929Jan 1935Westland Wapiti IIa
Aug 1929Jan 1935Avro Tutor
Jan 1935May 1937Hawker Hart
Feb 1937Apr 1939Hawker Demon
Jan 1939 Oct 1941Bristol Blenheim IV
Sep 1940Jun 1941Bristol Beaufighter If
Apr 1941Apr 1942Bristol Beaufighter IIf
Mar 1942Feb 1945Bristol Beaufighter VIf
Dec 1944Aug 1945de-Havilland Mosquito XIX
Oct 1946Nov 1947Supermarine Spitfire F14e
Apr 1947Nov 1950Supermarine Spitfire F.21
Sep 1948Mar 1950Supermarine Spitfire F.22
Mar 1950Apr 1952Gloster Meteor F.4
Nov 1951Mar 1957Gloster Meteor F.8

Officers Commanding no. 600 Squadron

Oct 19251926W/Cdr. A.W.H. James. MC
19261931S/Ldr. the Hon. F.E. Guest
1931Jul 1934S/Ldr. S.B. Collett
Jul 1934Jun 1937S/Ldr. P.G. Stewart
Jun 1937Dec 1939S/Ldr. G.L.S. Dawson – Damer. the Viscount Carlow
Dec 1939May 1940S/Ldr. J.M. Wells
May 1940Sep 1940F/Lt. de B. Clarke
Sep 1940Nov 1940S/Ldr. H.L. Maxwell DSO
Nov 1940Jan 1941S/Ldr. C.A. Pritchard[23]
Jan 1941Dec 1941W/Cdr. G. Stainforth AFC
Dec 1941May 1942W/Cdr. H.M. Pearson DFC
May 1942Nov 1942W/Cdr. A.G. Miller DFC Order of Lenin
Nov 1942Dec 1942W/Cdr. J.R. Watson
Dec 1942Mar 1944W/Cdr. C.P. Green DSO DFC
Mar 1944Dec 1944W/Cdr. L.H. Styles DFC
Dec 1944Aug 1945W/Cdr. A.H. Drummond
Jul 1946Jul 1948S/Ldr. T.N. Hayes DFC
Jul 1948Aug 1950S/Ldr. D.E. Proudlove
Aug 1950Oct 1953S/Ldr. J.P. Meadows DFC AFC
Oct 1953Mar 1957S/Ldr. J. McCormack AFC
1999Wg/Cdr. E. Partridge OBE DL
2001 ?TBA
Wg/Cdr. T. Lynn
Dec 2009Wg/Cdr. S. Ahearn AE
Dec 2009Nov 2011Wg/Cdr. M. Crossman
Nov 2011Wg/Cdr. I. Tripp
Acting OC - S/Ldr S. Duddy
Wg/Cdr. A Calame MVO MBE MA

Honorary Air Commodores of No. 600 Squadron

19311937The Rt Hon F.E. Guest
19371941Lord Lloyd
19421949Sir Archibald Sinclair
19491957HM The Queen (The Queen Mother from 1952)
19991999Sir Adrian Swire
19992002HM The Queen Mother
2006Present DayAir Cdre The Right Honourable
The Viscount Trenchard of Wolfeton DL.

Bases and Airfields used by No.600 Squadron

14 Oct 192518 Jan 1927RAF Northolt, Middlesex
18 Jan 19271 Oct 1938RAF Hendon, Middlesex
1 Oct 19383 Oct 1938RAF Kenley, Surrey
3 Oct 193825 Aug 1939RAF Hendon, Middlesex
25 Aug 19392 Oct 1939RAF Northolt, Middlesex
2 Oct 193916 Oct 1939RAF Hornchurch, Essex
Detachment to:RAF Manston, Kent
16 Oct 193920 Oct 1939RAF Rochford, Essex
20 Oct 193927 Dec 1939RAF Hornchurch, Essex
27 Dec 193916 May 1940RAF Manston, Kent
16 May 194020 Jun 1940RAF Northolt, Middlesex
20 Jun 194022 Aug 1940RAF Manston, Kent
22 Aug 194012 Sep 1940RAF Hornchurch, Essex
12 Sep 194012 Oct 1940RAF Redhill, Surrey
12 Oct 194014 Mar 1941RAF Catterick, North Yorkshire
Detachments to:RAF Drem, East Lothian Scotland
RAF Acklington, Northumberland
RAF Prestwick, Ayrshire
14 Mar 194127 Apr 1941RAF Drem, East Lothian, Scotland
Detachment to:RAF Prestwick, Ayrshire
27 Apr 194118 Jun 1941RAF Colerne, Wiltshire
18 Jun 194127 Jun 1941RAF Fairwood Common, Gower, Wales
Detachment to:RAF Predannack, Cornwall
27 Jun 19416 Oct 1941RAF Colerne, Wiltshire
Detachment to:RAF Predannack, Cornwall
6 Oct 19412 Sep 1942RAF Predannack, Cornwall
2 Sep 194214 Nov 1942RAF Church Fenton, North Yorkshire
14 Nov 194218 Nov 1942RAF Portreath, Cornwall
18 Nov 19427 Dec 1942RAF Blida, Algeria
7 Dec 19423 Jan 1943RAF Maison Blanche, Algeria
3 Jan 194325 Jun 1943Setif, Algeria
Detatchments to:Souk-el-Khemis
'Paddington', Tunisia
Bone, Tunisia
Tingley, Algeria
Monastir, Tunisia
25 Jun 194326 Jul 1943RAF Luqa, Malta
26 Jul 194330 Sep 1943Cassibile (Sicily), Italy
30 Sep 19432 Feb 1944Montecorvino Airfield, Italy
Detatchments to:Brindisi, Italy
Tortorella, Italy
Gaudo, Italy
Lago, Italy
2 Feb 194422 Mar 1944Marcianise, Italy
22 Mar 19441 Apr 1944Pomigliano, Italy
1 Apr 194413 Jun 1944Marcianise, Italy
13 Jun 194419 Jun 1944La Banca, Italy
19 Jun 19445 Jul 1944Voltone, Italy
5 Jul 194429 Jul 1944Follonica, Italy
29 Jul 194425 Aug 1944Rosignano, Italy
Detachment to:Falconara, Italy
25 Aug 194415 Dec 1944Falconara, Italy
Detatchment to:Rosignano Iesi, Italy
Bellaria, Italy
15 Dec 194424 May 1945Cesenatico, Italy
24 May 194526 Jul 1945Campoformido, Italy
26 Jul 194521 Aug 1945Aviano, Italy
10 May 194610 Mar 1957RAF Biggin Hill, Kent
1 Oct 1999Present DayRAF Northolt, Middlesex