capbadge AAC

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by mountain, Oct 9, 2008.

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  1. can anyone of you wise people help with a capbadge, its called the MAID OF WARSAW and apparently it is tied to 652 - 651 sqn 4 regt AAC. Its triangular red background with white piping. any help would be great
  2. Maid of Warsaw Crest - QRH - Serving members of 651 Sqn AAC and 654 Sqn AAC

    Worn by all ranks at regimental expense on the left forearm of No 2 and 4 dress. Also known as the “Syrena” badge. Worn by all ranks at unit expense on the left forearm of No 2 Dress.

    History of 654 Squadron.


    654 Air Observation Post (AOP) Squadron formed on 15 July 1942 at RAF Old Sarum, equipped with the Tiger Moth and then Auster 3 aircraft.

    After some months of work up training, the Squadron was mobilised and sent to Algeria in North Africa, arriving on 4 March 1943. Initially allocated to 9 Corps, it then transferred to the 8th Army. The North Africa campaign was then in its closing stages and during the Summer of the same year the Squadron was involved in supporting the invasion of Sicily. By the Autumn, the invasion of Italy had begun with the Squadron consisting of 3 flights plus a Squadron HQ. During the subsequent campaign, these flights generally operated separately, supporting amongst others 10 Corps, 1 Canadian Corps and the Polish Corps. Involvement in this campaign continued throughout 1944, with the Squadron progressively re-equipped with Auster IVs. It was in October 1944 that the Squadron was granted the honour, by the Poles, of wearing the Syrena Badge (Maid of Warsaw) and this it has proudly done ever since.

    During the Winter of 1944/1945, the Auster IVs arrived and the Squadron continued its service in Italy through the Spring, carrying out information gathering and tank hunting in addition to its Air Observation Post role. After the defeat of Italy, the Squadron remained there until 1947, based at Ronchi and finally Udine. It was disbanded on 24 June 1947 with the flights re-allocated to join 651 AOP Squadron, then based in Palestine.

    654 Light Aircraft Squadron reformed at Hildesheim on 10 August 1958 with Nos. 4 and 5, and later 17 Recce Flights, supporting 2nd and 4th Divisions, but administered by 1st Division. In October 1962 the 4th Division commitment was taken over by 655 Squadron and the squadron became part of the 2nd Division on 1 February 1963.

    By 1 October 1969, the Squadron was based at Herford as a result of reorganisation, and was equipped with the Sioux and Scout Helicopters. It supported 4th Division through 4 Regiment Army Air Corps which also had its HQ at Herford. The other Squadrons in the Regiment being 661 Squadron at Detmold and 662 Squadron at Munster.

    On 1 December 1977, restructuring occurred, (as part of the Wide Horizon Scheme) 654 Squadron moved to Soest and was renamed 653 Squadron and 661 Squadron in Detmold was renamed 654 Squadron.

    Thus 654 Squadron was co-located with RHQ 4 Regiment Army Air Corps in Detmold supporting 4th Division; the other squadron in the Regiment was 664 Squadron based in Minden and was equipped with Gazelle aircraft. The Squadron’s Scout aircraft changed to the Anti Tank Guided Weapons Role (ATGW) in the Summer of 1978 which also marked the arrival of the Lynx in the utility role. The Squadron had 6 of each type organised into 2 Flights.

    On 21 February 1981 the Squadron took delivery of the first Lynx/TOW to replace the ATGW Scout. Being the first unit in BAOR to receive these aircraft gave the Squadron the opportunity to form the basis of operations for the complete replacement programme and in this capacity it was heavily involved in trials and demonstration of the new equipment.

    In 1983 BAOR lost one Division but formed 3 larger Armoured Divisions. Within 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, 664 Squadron was lost to support HQ 1(BR) Corps and the 2 Squadrons of 9 Regiment were amalgamated with 4 Regiment Army Air Corps. For the first time the Regiment was together in one location.

    4 Regiment now consisting of 654, 659 and 669 Squadrons, formed 2 ‘Attack’ Squadrons and one ‘Recce’ Squadron. The 2 Attack Squadrons consisted of 9 Lynx/TOW and 3 Gazelle with 669 Squadron providing Recce support with 12 Gazelle.

    ‘Attack Squadron’ was not a new term to 654 Squadron. During 1982 the Squadron had been involved in a valuable partnership with ‘C’ company ‘Attack’ 501st Aviation Battalion of the US Army based at Illersheim. Through exchange visit the partnership was developed and opportunities to test and practice many aspects of inter operability, tactics, sport and social customs were seized upon with enthusiasm on both sides. The Affiliation was recognised on the 15 September 1983 with the granting of a formal NATO partnership between 654 Squadron AAC and C Company (Attack) Helicopter Company.

    On 16 November 1990 the Squadron was warned for deployment to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation “Desert Shield”. By 2 January 1991 the Squadron was complete in Al Jubail and training for war against Iraq as part of the coalition forces. On 24 February 1991 the Squadron moved into Iraq in support of Operation “Desert Sabre”, and on the 26 February 1991 it engaged and destroyed 7 armoured vehicles of the Iraqi 12th Armoured Division. The war only lasted some 1000 hours and the Squadron returned to Detmold on 22 March 1991 without loss.

    In December 1994 the Squadron began its move with 4 Regiment AAC to Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk. The Squadron was complete in station by February 1995. It then began the work of converting to the Airmobile role in support of 24 Airmobile Brigade.

    On 15 December 1996 the Squadron deployed to Bosnia Herzegovina, in support of SFOR and the Multi National Division South West (MND SW) on Operation LODESTAR. The Squadrons roles were many but consisted mainly of Comd and Liaison, Recce, the monitoring of the Former Warring Factions movements and equipment, re-supply of hilltop sites, movement of troops and equipment and the support of Special operations. The Squadron returned to Wattisham on 17 June 1997 without loss.
  3. More information here at the QOH Museum clicky