#1490 Puma HC2

Puma HC2
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£10.00 €11.35 $12.36
43.8 cm x 29.2 cm
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Puma HC2
230 Sqn
RAF Benson
UK - Air Force
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1490 - Puma HC2, XW224, 230 Squadron Centenary, RAF Benson. No. 230 Squadron formed at Felixstowe in August 1918 equipped with F2A flying boats for maritime reconnaissance duties. A few F5 flying boats were received in 1920 but the Squadron was renumbered No. 480 Flight on 1 April 1923. It reformed at Pembroke Dock on 1 December 1934, receiving Singapore IIIs in April 1935 and moved to Egypt in the September. It returned to the UK in August 1936 but departed for the Far East in October, arriving at Seletar in January 1937 where it converted to Sunderlands in June 1938. Maritime patrols were flown from the outbreak of war and a detachment in Ceylon became a permanent base in 1940, but in May the Squadron left for Egypt, tasked for operations in the Mediterranean. 230 Squadron moved to Tanganyika in January 1943 for patrols over the Indian Ocean and returned to Ceylon in February 1944. The Squadron moved to Burma in April 1945, carrying out attacks on Japanese coastal shipping and returned to Singapore in December before coming home to the UK in April 1946. Initially based at Calshot, 230 Squadron later flew in the Berlin airlift, but in February 1949 moved to Pembroke Dock where it resumed its maritime operations with Sunderland MR5s until disbanding as one of the RAF’s last two flying boat Squadrons on 28 February 1957. 230 Squadron reformed at Dishforth on 1 September 1958 equipped with Pioneer CC1s, flying in support of the Army. It moved to Upavon in May 1959 when it added Twin Pioneers in January 1960 and relocated to Odiham in May. In September 1960 it detached ‘A’ Flt to the Cameroons for security operations, returning in September 1961. At the same time the Pioneers flew border patrols in Northern Ireland. A radical change in equipment began in June 1962 with the arrival of Whirlwind HC10 helicopters and these were taken Gütersloh in Germany in January 1963. The squadron returned to Odiham in January 1965 but transferred to Borneo in March for operations during the Indonesian confrontation. It returned to Odiham in December 1966 and provided detachments to Cyprus until 1971. Conversion to the Puma HC.1 started in November 1971 with continuing support for the British Army in Northern Ireland, Belize, Cyprus and Germany, with a permanent move to Gütersloh in October 1980. The squadron played a prominent role in the Gulf during 1990/1991, but moved its field of operations to Northern Ireland on 4 May 1992 in support of Security Force Operations. Since 1996 elements of 230 Squadron have been involved in a number of Peace Support Operations in the Balkans. In April 2002 it gained an extra flight of Pumas following the disbandment of No. 72 Squadron making 230 Squadron the sole permanent RAF flying unit in Northern Ireland. 230 Squadron supported Operation TELIC from 2003, initially based in Kuwait; it took part in the liberation of Iraq and subsequently became forward based at Basrah Air Station, Southern Iraq. From February 2004 a detachment of Pumas supported operations in Baghdad. In August 2007 Operation BANNER, the longest operation in modern military history, ceased and 230 Squadron continued to support Operation TELIC until its end in July 2009. 230 Squadron left Northern Ireland in November 2009 for RAF Benson, ending 17 years of flying in Northern Ireland. In 2012 the Puma HC.1 was retired from service, 24 airframes were selected and upgraded to the Puma HC.2 and entered service in 2013. The Puma Force has been committed to supporting Operation TORAL, Afghanistan since March 2015. 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of 230 Squadron, to commemorate this and 100 years of the Royal Air Force, XW224 has painted in this commemorative paint scheme. The scheme ties together the previous design of Black Peter, the history behind the Tiger Badge and the RAF 100 Logo.

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