#1508 Puma HC2
Purchased products will not feature the Squadron Prints watermark
Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1508 - XW199 and ZD575, Puma HC2 and Chinook HC6A, 28 Squadron, RAF Benson. No. 28 Squadron formed at Gosport on 7 November 1915 and spent its first 18 months as a training unit. It moved to Yatesbury in July 1917 and re-equipped with Sopwith Camels, moving to France in October. After a brief involvement on the Western Front it was hastily sent to serve in Italy, where it spent the remainder of the war flying offensive patrols in support of the Army. It returned to the UK in February 1919 and was disbanded on 20 January 1920. It reformed again on 1 April 1920 in Ambala, India, and flew Bristol Fighters on the North West Frontier as an Army cooperation unit. Wapitis were received in September 1931 and Audaxes in June 1936, with Lysanders arriving in September 1941. These aircraft were taken to Burma in January 1942 in an effort to stem the Japanese advance through Malaya, but the country was soon overrun. 28 Squadron reformed at Lahore in March 1942 still with Lysanders and continued in the Army cooperation role until receiving Hurricanes in December 1942. These were used on tactical reconnaissance operations over Burma from January 1943 and continued until the end of the war in the Far East. The Squadron received Spitfires in July 1945 and moved to Penang in Malaya in November. After a spell at Kuala Lumpur from April 1946, the Squadron moved to Tengah in February 1947 where it re-equipped with Spitfire FR18s. On 11 May 1949, the Squadronâ€™s long association with Hong Kong began when it moved to Kai Tak, operating in the Colony from this airfield and Sek Kong until a temporary disbandment from 31 December 1966 until 1 April 1968. During this period 28 Squadron flew Vampire FB5s and FB9s, Venom FB1s and FB4s, and Hunter FGA9s. Conversion to helicopters coincided with the break in service and Whirlwind HAR10s were flown from 1 April 1968 until replaced by Wessex HC2s in January 1972. These aircraft provided transport and search and rescue facilities in the Hong Kong area. The Squadron disbanded in June 1997 but reformed at Benson on 17 July 2001 as the RAFâ€™s first Merlin HC Mk3 squadron. Given the Squadronâ€™s long association with 48 Gurhka Infantry Brigade in the Far East, the Squadron has, for some time, proudly worn the Brigadeâ€™s Kukri flash. The Squadron handed over Merlin helicopter operations to 845 Naval Air Squadron on 9 July 2015 at RAF Benson and changed role to become the combined Puma and Chinook OCU, whose task is to deliver exceptional training and education to aircrew destined for the Puma and Chinook frontline squadrons. 28 Squadron became operational as an OCU on 21 October 2015.