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Silver Lining For Historic RAF Squadron

Published: 16 Aug 2016

Selling off the family silver is one thing, but a distinguished Warwickshire RAF Squadron will soon be polishing theirs again after decades of separation.

Over half a century since disbandment saw their precious silverware mothballed and passed to Stratford on Avon Town Council for safekeeping, the newly re-established 605 County of Warwick Squadron can now give their historic silver awards and mementoes pride of place, thanks to a grant from the RAF Charitable Trust.

The charity has awarded £1,860 funding to the squadron to pay for a display cabinet so that the cherished pieces can be displayed in the re-formed squadron's new HQ.

Initially formed as a flying unit and with an illustrious WWII history that includes shooting down the first enemy aircraft on D-Day, the squadron has now been reincarnated as an RAF Auxiliary Air Force Squadron at RAF Cosford - and is actively recruiting while preparing for 90th birthday celebrations later this year.

Originally formed at Castle Bromwich, a short distance from Birmingham's famed Jewellery Quarter; the squadron amassed several items of impressive silverware during its first thirty years. 

 Items include a bear and ragged staff - the county symbol of Warwickshire (Birmingham came under Warwickshire county boundaries at the time) and several aircraft models.

With the new squadron keen to reinforce historical ties with the former 605 Squadron, the silverware will be put on prominent display in the display cabinet provided by the RAF Charitable Trust. 

Within a year of being formed in 1926 the squadron won the Esher Trophy - awarded to the best RAuxAF Sqn. The squadron continued to play a role in the Battle of Britain, defence of Malta and the war against the Japanese, ending the war flying interdiction sorties into occupied Europe.

The re-formed 605 Sqn RAuxAF is now responsible for the recruitment, training and management of logistics reservists and RAF Police personnel to support the RAF.

The official opening of the 605 Sqn HQ will take place in October 2016, when the silver will be displayed proudly as part of the squadron's bid to forge the link between past and present. 

With no availability of public funding for the preservation of historical items, the silverware would have stayed in the custody of Stratford on Avon Town Council had the RAF Charitable Trust not been able to step in and support the grant application.

The Trust has also helped with a further grant for furniture for the reception area, which will further enhance the facility.

RAF Charitable Trust Director Amanda Butcher said that the Trustees of the charity were pleased to have been able to support the newly-formed squadron, particularly given the important history associated with the items.

Caption: Wg Cdr Paul Bell and Sqn Ldr Rich Newton with the new cabinet.

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