#1287 F-35B Lightning II
Purchased products will not feature the Squadron Prints watermark
Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1287 - ZM135, F-35B Lightning II, 17(R) Test and Evaluation Squadron, Edwards AFB, California, USA. No. 17 Squadron was formed at Gosport on 1 February 1915 equipped with BE 2 aircraft. In November they embarked for Egypt and soon began reconnaissance flights over the Turkish lines in Sinai, flying in support of troops engaged with Turkish army units in the Western Desert. In July 1916 the Squadron was sent to Salonika with BE2cs, DH2s and Bristol Scouts before becoming the first RFC unit in Macedonia. For the rest of WW1, it was engaged in tactical reconnaissance and artillery spotting on the Bulgarian border. Re-equipping with DH9s and Camels, in December 1918, the Squadron was split between Batum, supporting the White Russian Forces, and Constantinople. No 17 Squadron was disbanded on 14 November 1919. On 1 April 1924 17 Squadron reformed with Snipes at Hawkinge as a fighter squadron forming part of the fighter defence of the UK, successively equipping with Woodcocks, Gamecocks, Siskins, Bulldogs, Harts and Gauntlets. In June 1939, the Squadron re-equipped with Hurricanes at North Weald flying defensive patrols. Following the German attack on France in May 1940, fighter sweeps were flown over the Netherlands and Belgium from French airfields to cover the retreat of allied troops, returning in June to the UK via Brittany and the Channel Islands. No. 17 Squadron flew from Tangmere and Debden throughout the Battle of Britain, being moved to Northern Scotland in April 1941 for a well-earned rest. In November 1941, the Squadron sailed for the Far East arriving in Burma in January 1942 as Japanese troops neared Rangoon. Rangoon was eventually over-run and the Squadron re-assembled at Calcutta in May. Ground attack missions began in February 1943 and continued until August, when the Squadron moved to Ceylon. The Squadron converted to Spitfire XIIIs in March 1944 and returned to the Burma front in November. After the Japanese capitulation in early September 1945, 17 Squadron moved to Japan and upgraded to Spitfire XIVs to form part of the Commonwealth Occupation Force. By the end of WW2, 17 Squadron had 111 confirmed kills, 51 probables and 32 damaged which is an enviable record. Having disbanded in 1948, the Squadron reformed in 1949 with Spitfires, Oxfords and Beaufighters as an Army Co-operation unit before disbanding again in 1951. In June 1956 the Squadron again reformed, this time in Germany with Canberra PR7s in the photographic reconnaissance role firstly from Wahn but moving to Wildenrath in 1957, before disbanding again in 1969. No. 17 Squadron reformed at Brüggen in Germany on 1 September 1970 flying Phantom FGR2s in the ground-attack role. Conversion to Jaguar GR1s began in September 1975 and in January 1985 the Squadron began to re-equip with Tornado GR1s. The Tornados of No. 17 Squadron played an important role in the Gulf Conflict of 1991 before being disbanded yet again on 31 March 1999. The Squadron reformed as the Typhoon Operational Evaluation Unit on 1 April 2002, moving to Coningsby from Warton in 2005. On 12 April 2013 the Squadron transferred to the test and evaluation of Lightning II; responsible for bringing the UK’s first 5th generation combat air platform into Royal Navy and Royal Air Force frontline service. The joint RN/RAF Squadron is based at Edwards Air Force Base, California, USA, where 17(Reserve) Test and Evaluation Squadron will continue to live up to its motto: Excellere Contende – Strive to Excel.