# 1153 Sea King HAR3, 202 Sqn 'E' Flight
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1153 - Sea King HAR3, XZ588, 202 Squadron, E Flight, DST Leconfield.
No. 202 Squadrons origins may be traced back to No. 2 Squadron RNAS which formed at Eastchurch on 17 October 1914. Equipped with a variety of aircraft it moved to Dover in February 1915 but lost its identity in June when it became No. 2 Wing. Reformed again at Dunkirk in November 1916, No. 2 Squadron RNAS flew reconnaissance, bombing and escort sorties for the remainder of the War and was renumbered No. 202 Squadron on 1 April 1918. It returned to the UK in March 1919 and disbanded on 22 January 1920. The Squadron reformed at Alexandria on 9 April 1920 as a naval co-operation unit, disbanding on 16 May 1921. 202 Squadron reformed on 1 January 1929 at Kalafrana in Malta equipped with Fairey IIID seaplanes which were replaced with Fairey IIIFs in 1930. Supermarine Scapas, the Squadrons first flying boats, were received in May 1935 and these were replaced in September 1937 with Saro Londons which were flown on anti-submarine patrols. A move to Alexandria was made in September 1938 but, at the outbreak of WWII, the Squadron moved to Gibraltar to patrol the approaches to the Mediterranean. In September 1940 Swordfish floatplanes were added for local patrol duties, but 1941 saw the arrival of Catalina and Sunderland flying boats. The Squadron moved to Northern Ireland in September 1944 for U-boat patrols off the west coast, disbanding on 12 June 1945. 202 Squadron reformed at Aldergrove on 1 October 1946 equipped with Halifaxes for meteorological flights over the Atlantic. Hastings were received in October 1950 and flown until the Squadron disbanded on 31 July 1964. On 1 September 1964, No. 228 Squadron, which had formed at Leconfield in 1959 to operate Whirlwind HAR10s in the search and rescue role, was renumbered No. 202 Squadron. SAR flights were operated from Coltishall, Acklington and Leuchars as well as at the HQ at Leconfield. In January 1976 the HQ moved to Finningley where, with HQ 22 Squadron, SAR Wing was formed. The Whirlwind aircraft were replaced by Sea King HAR3s in 1978/9 and these aircraft then equipped No. 202 Squadron detached Flights at Boulmer, Brawdy, Coltishall and Lossiemouth. Immediately after the South Atlantic campaign in 1982, C Flight was sent from Coltishall to provide SAR cover in the Falkland Islands, being later renumbered No. 1564 Flight as an independent unit. On 2 September 1985 C Flight was reformed with Sea Kings at Coltishall moving to Manston on 1 September 1988 and E Flight later formed at Leconfield. In December 1992 the Squadrons second-line engineering facility moved to St Mawgan and its Headquarters joined A Flight at Boulmer. In July 1994 the Squadron reorganised with B Flight moving from Brawdy to Chivenor and C Flight moving to Wattisham. Simultaneously they became A and B Flights of No. 22 Squadron leaving No. 202 Squadron with HQ and A Flight at RAF Boulmer, D Flight at RAF Lossiemouth and E Flight at DST Leconfield. In April 2008 the HQ moved to Valley along with 22 Squadron Headquarters forming part of the new SAR Force Headquarters. In February 2011 the RAF celebrated the seventieth anniversary of Search and Rescue. Born of lessons learnt from the Battle of Britain, the SAR Forces predecessor, the Directorate of Air Sea Rescue (ASR), was formed at the headquarters of RAF Coastal Command in 1941. ASRs mandate was to form a combined and effective rescue service for downed allied aircrew that were being lost at an alarming rate in the seas around Britain. Since 1941, tens of thousands of lives have been saved by the men and women of ASR and the SAR Force, operating from marine craft, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.