No 206 Squadron began its life with the formation of the Royal Air Force in April 1918. Like many other units, it was absorbed into the fledgling RAF from its previous existence as No 6 Squadron RNAS, formed in December 1916. This is the story of the unit from its early days in World War I, through roles as a fighter squadron, a transport squadron, a maritime patrol squadron and a test and evaluation squadron.
The tale is told with many personal recollections, with contemporary photographs, maps and drawings and with extracts from Operational Record Books. The terrible toll on men and machines in World War I is described in the early chapters. Subsequent chapters dealing with World War II detail the long, boring but essential ocean patrols, interspersed with stories of extraordinary valour in the face of enemy fire. The Cold War saw involvement in the Berlin Air Lift, in the Hydrogen Bomb tests at Christmas Island and in further long ocean patrols. More recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan kept the squadron occupied until its disbandment in 2005. Finally, its resurrection as 206(Reserve) Squadron in 2009 as a Test and Evaluation Squadron brings the story up to date.
Andrew Collins, a member of 206 Squadron, has researched the recent activities of the Squadron and added a chapter to Gunn’s original text. The story is now complete to 2015.
A definitive story of one of the oldest Squadron’s in the RAF will be of great value for those with a general interest in military aviation. Appendices and a comprehensive index also make this a valuable work of reference for military historians.