In all things first: The history of No. 1 Squadron

From the birth of military flight to operations over the South Atlantic during 1982, the Royal Air Force’s premier fighter unit, 1 Squadron, has always remained at the forefront of British aviation. Immersed in rich history, it has served as a capable strike force for more than a century, operating some of Britain’s most infamous aircraft during that time

Although 1 Squadron officially came into existence on May 13, 1912, its roots can be traced back to 1878, following the formation of No. 1 Balloon Company of the Royal Engineers. As the concept of military flight gradually emerged during the latter stages of the 19th Century, Britain explored the potential of using hydrogen balloons for reconnaissance. By 1902, balloons had been deployed to great effect during the Second Boer War, where, in addition to locating the position of enemy troops from above the battlefields of Southern Africa, they were used for artillery observation.

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