600 (City of London) Squadron
Originally the Gentleman's flying club in the City of London, having the late Queen Mother as Honourary Air Commodore. Very steeped in history as the only RAF unit with 2 badges, and having somehow 'acquired' a standard even before the rest of the RAF did. Even stranger that it became the ONLY air force unit to gain the Freedom of London. Sadly it also has the unique distinction of having the first fatality of WW2, in that one of its pilots crashed into Enfield High Street about 35 minutes after the declaration of war !! On the upside, as a night bomber Squadron, it had the highest scores of confirmed 'kills' in WW2. Not bad for a bunch of part-timers !! The Squadron's greatest loss of life was the ill-fated defence of Rotterdam in 1940, when 5 Blenheims (a wooden/Mecano plane with a couple of 2CV engines) were lost in and around the City. The Squadron excel their reputation by visiting the graves each year and paying their respects. Even the Dutch (including their Prime Minister and Royal Family) love 600.
It had twice the number of occifers to ORs but with the advent of a novel idea of fitness and mobilisation, many found this just too frightening to contend with and resigned. Likewise the lofty heights of Commanding Officer became a lottery and the novel phrase of "who is this week's CO" had a ring of truth about it. The Communications Flight were largely mobilised in 2009 and the 'Big Red Bus' toured Afghanistan successfully. Many outstanding war stories echoed along the Squadron lines, and it is possible that one or two may have some truth to them, just. Now that they are back, they have all become barmen making it unique to have more airmen behind the bar on a Saturday evening than in front of it. !
Although the average age is closer to the state pension age, some of the new management is steering the Squadron in the right direction, with the dreaded subject of fitness now part of the calendar and recruiting well from the local community.
The new Hon. Commodore is the grandson of the founder of the RAF, namely Lord Trenchard.