Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Squadron patches

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Squadron patches

Old 25th Jan 2020, 23:23
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Down South
Posts: 250
Squadron patches

I collect aircrew patches for various aircraft types (most of which are air defence) for a hobby, and also to support the Squadron(s) whenever they sell them at air shows I attend.
I have always wondered where it all started, and how it started and I haven't been able to find anything definitive yet - could any PPRuNe member(s) shed some light on it?
It seems obvious to me that the patches form part of the identity of the Unit and wearing them gives aircrew a sense of belonging and camaraderie, but the history of wearing patches has eluded me!
BVRAAM is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2020, 23:30
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 16,492
Not just Aircrew
NutLoose is online now  
Old 25th Jan 2020, 23:50
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Down South
Posts: 250
Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Not just Aircrew
I'm aware groundcrew (and other branches) also wear them, but I only collect aircrew patches - it can be an expensive and time consuming hobby so I keep it as narrow as possible to the things that interest me.
I know loads of collectors with thousands of patches from various units and aircraft types, from air and groundcrew and they have invested tens of thousands in to it - even current and former aircrew and engineers - it's just not for me when flying is what interests me the most, so it keeps the cost down.
BVRAAM is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2020, 12:14
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Northamptonshire
Posts: 1,259
Whilst I can't give a definitive answer to the question posed, I can offer some thoughts in no particular order.

For the RAF, squadron badges were a feature from the earliest days and were 'official' having been formally designed and approved by the Chester Herald (?). Almost every squadron had an approved badge and these were very often turned into a wire blazer badge and/or a woven badge worn on the flying suit. When I joined the RAF in 1963, I don't recall that there were too many non flying unit badges about, although Commands (of which there were 11) and Groups and AHQs, as well as stations, also had badges which had been approved.

With time, I noticed that 'patches' began to appear often representing an aircraft type and also denoting 'X' number of flying hours etc. By the 1970s it seemed that everybody and their dog had a badge and there seemed to be no boundary and 'authority' seemed not to have a particularly view on badges as long as they weren't too 'extreme'. Now every 'liney' has a badge.

The best unofficial badge I ever saw and which I once 'pirated' when I had to give speech was the usual outline of an official badge and the centre was a spanner crossed with a condom. The motto, predictably, was: 'If you can't fix - [email protected]:k It'. It was designed by an SNCO wireless operator on detachment at the RAF detachment at Kuantan in Malaya - sadly I have forgotten his name.

Old Duffer
Old-Duffer is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2020, 17:53
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Down South
Posts: 250
Ha! Cheers, O-D.
BVRAAM is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2020, 21:46
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SAM. u.k.
Age: 76
Posts: 261
The unofficial RAF Gan one was a cracker.


denachtenmai is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2020, 00:42
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 16,492
'If you can't fix - [email protected]:k It'
My favourite quote, except the longer version of it..

'If you can't fix - [email protected]:k It, so no other [email protected]:ker can fix it"
NutLoose is online now  
Old 27th Jan 2020, 16:52
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,552
A certain Sqn Ldr was once serving on the RAF's premier AAR squadron. Not the most popular chap, he'd been known to some whilst serving in the South Atlantic Island Paradise as 'Thrombo', the wandering clot, for his habit of wandering around poking his nose where it wasn't welcome. To others he was known as 'The AWF'. As an ex-F-4 pilot he happily assumed that this meant 'The All Weather Fighter', whereas in truth it meant 'The Avocado With Feet', for his sylph-like appearance in a flying suit.

One day there was a snag with the autopilot controller in Thrombo's jet. After much tinkering, a few naughty words and a lot of exasperation, the lad trying to fix the thing announced. "Well, that's that then - it's f**ked!". This didn't impress Thrombo, who said that as a Sqn Ldr and aircraft captain he expected a more comprehensive debrief. No words of "Thanks for trying", of course.

A few minutes later in the squadron, up came SEngO. "Ah, Thrombo - you wanted a fuller debrief? Well, It wasn't just f**ked, it was well f**ked"!

Oh how we tittered!
BEagle is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2020, 17:36
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Alderaan System
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
Not the most popular chap, he'd been known to some whilst serving in the South Atlantic Island Paradise as 'Thrombo', the wandering clot, for his habit of wandering around poking his nose where it wasn't welcome. To others he was known as 'The AWF'. As an ex-F-4 pilot....!
Please tell me Iím not the only one who sees the irony here...
Homelover is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2020, 15:24
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Just behind the back of beyond....
Posts: 3,947
BVRAAM,
The one snippet I can offer is that the Hawker Fury pilots of No.43 Squadron wore an embroidered flying suit badge pre-war. I interviewed several of them, some years ago, and at least one of them still had his! It depicted the famous 'fighting cock', but ISTR that it wasn't in the usual heraldic 'frame'. I suspect that the habit may have been more widespread than that pre-war, but that the use of flying suits became less common during the war years.


Homelover,
I like a bit of banter, but would question whether snarky remarks about a fellow forum member really qualify as such. BEagle may not be your cup of tea, but he seldom descends into insults and rudeness about named forum members.
Jackonicko is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2020, 20:46
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Northamptonshire
Posts: 1,259
Regarding Post 6 and the Gan tie. This was used elsewhere and the same basic symbology of - for those with a sensitive disposition - the Roman numeral 12, the female sex symbol and the No Entry traffic sign. The tie was available in Borneo and could be purchased at RAF Labuan after 9 months into the tour.

One of our number, an NZ native serving with the RAF at Com Air Bor HQ, managed to get a trip to Singapore. From evidence gleaned after his return, the centre motif was burnt out by a cigarette burn - I wonder what that could have meant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

O-D
Old-Duffer is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2020, 22:18
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: north of england
Age: 55
Posts: 294
Originally Posted by Homelover View Post
Please tell me Iím not the only one who sees the irony here...
That was cheap!
mopardave is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2020, 07:47
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Alderaan System
Posts: 18
Imagine how ‘Thrombo’ felt when he read what had been written about him....

Last edited by Homelover; 29th Jan 2020 at 07:54. Reason: Grammar
Homelover is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2020, 08:50
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 1996
Location: Check with Ops
Posts: 740
My favourite patch 'dit' occurred when we were playing with the Crabs in Deci. 74 Sqn were down there and had 'acquired' a sheep/goat (we never really did establish exactly what it was), which was kept out the back of the Ops building. He was given the name, Norman. He even had his own song created; Norman biriani. The lyrics weren't great but seemed to get funnier as the evenings went by and the Deci Red levels reduced. Anyway, for those who don't know, 74 Sqn's motto used to be (is.....I haven't a clue) "I Fear No Man". I thought the insertion of an 'R' on all the squadron patches was really quite funny and still have, somewhere about the house, a 74 Sqn patch with "I Fear Norman".

I know, I should get out out more but, for the Junior Service, I thought it amusing

(PS: Norman was eventually released back into the field from whence he came, to re-join all the other shoats/geep/whatever they were and probably lived happily ever after for the next week or so).
Pontius is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2020, 14:36
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,552
BVRAAM, I have an unworn '101 Sqn Jan 1991 Desert Storm' patch, as well as spare 55 Sqn and 101 Sqn badges (sometimes described as 'crests') plus a 101 'cat crapping in pork pie' badge - if you want them send me a PM with an address, which will remain confidential.

Homelover, there was nothing malicious in my post - I just gave the background to the nicknames which 'twenty five to three' gave him. Actually, within the bounds of rank, I got on quite well with him. He was rather teased by a couple of 56(F) navs in 1982 - he'd been joe'd to get donations for some station fete and they gave him a number to ring.... "Hello, this is Sqn Ldr () of RAF Wattisham, I understand that you'd like to give us a donation for the station fete?". There was a moment of silence at the other end, followed by "This is the Argentinian Embassy, we are not in a position to help...CLICK". Our navs had been in the pub at lunchtime and had heard about the invasion - which he hadn't. But he saw the funny side. Another time he was flying with a certain nav (who used to PPRuNe a few years ago) - after the usual Eastern Radar waste of time they were handed over to Neat and the nav started off with their sortie requirements. "Shouldn't you authenticate her first?", suggested (), but was rather flummoxed by the response "Authenticate her? No need - I've $hagged her!".

I once bumped into him a the local WHSmiths after I'd been posted to a QFI tour. After the usual friendly "How are you getting on?" chat, he came up with the usual "So when are you doing your A2?". I replied that I'd only do it when there was a proper theory syllabus rather then the "I know more question than you know answers" inquisition of those times. He must have Known Someone at CFS, because a couple of months late a syllabus appeared, my bluff was called and off I went to Standards and Exam Wing that summer. Much to my astonishment I passed first time, so when I got back I tracked down ()'s location. "Hello, Sir - remember what I said about doing my A2? Well, I kept my word!". He was effusive with praise as was his wont.

But he got one on me in later years. I'd been running the Flying Club for a while and one day the Sqn Boss told me "Station Commander wants you in his office - now!" "Hat on or off, Boss?" "Don't know - take it anyway" Off I went, wondering WTF. Hat on, I was admitted to the presence. "(BEagle), what's this I hear about the Flying Club doing aerobatics over Burford?" "What? I haven't heard anything, Sir!" "Well, you'd better read this then...." It was actually a Blue Letter announcing my promotion - he shook hands and chuckled merrily about getting a joke over on a joker!

No idea where he is now, but on the off chance that he's reading this, I wish him well!

By the way, is it true that 'Blue Letters' are no longer sent out?
BEagle is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2020, 14:44
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 426
More to the point, Is it true that the latest design of flying suit used by most fleets makes the wearing of distinctive squadron patches impossible?

Last edited by Timelord; 29th Jan 2020 at 15:48.
Timelord is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2020, 16:11
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Just behind the back of beyond....
Posts: 3,947
Originally Posted by Homelover View Post
Imagine how ĎThromboí felt when he read what had been written about him....
Good point, well made.
Jackonicko is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.