63 Squadron was formed as a light anti-aircraft squadron in 1943, a role
it served in for the duration of the Second World War. In 1946, while
serving in Berlin, the squadron's role was changed, becoming a field
squadron. It remained in this role until 1972, when it was planned to
become the first RAF Regiment squadron to be equipped with the Rapier
SAM, returning to the air defence role. Two unexpected tours in Northern
Ireland meant that it was 1974 before the squadron converted. Following
this, it was deployed in RAF Germany until 1992, when, with the gradual
withdrawal of the RAF from Europe, the squadron was disbanded.
No4 Wing Operation Granby (Bahrain) November
In 1960, the RAF Drill Unit was charged with the task of guarding and
escorting the Queen's Colour of the Royal Air Force, being given the
name Queen's Colour Squadron. It was a pure ceremonial unit for 30
years, providing the sole escort to the colour, and famed for its
displays of drill, which are performed without a single word of command.
However, the Options for Change reforms led to the squadron being given
an operational role as a field squadron in addition to its ceremonial
role. For this, it was given the number plate of No 63 Squadron, being
renamed The Queen's Colour Squadron (No 63 Squadron RAF Regiment).
(63 Sqn in the Tengah Times 1967
Pictures from Steve Scott
Steve Scott, served on 63 sqn
from 1981 to 1984, after spending 1 year on No1 Sqn RAF Regiment
(1980/81) before that he served on 58 Sqn from 78-80, serving in NI as
well as being part of CVRT trials flight, ( then posted to Rapier) there
is a lot more to his career with the Corp. while on 63 took part in Op
Corporate, only to return back to the Falklands in less than a year.
Sid Clark, Hector Bate and Davey Lydon
1: Steve Scott, 2: Gunners manning defensive positions on the QE2
while the army sunbathed
3:HQ 63 Sqn before leaving the QE2
Steve Potter not long after be asked to leave the bridge of the QE2
after informing the Captain he had a nice boat.
The parade through LONDON for the Task force First 2 rows all RAF
Regiment Gunners, Names I can remember Chalky White, Des Kennedy, Nick
Cocker, Trev Watson thats 4 of the front row of six,
Pictures from John Berwick
John served with 15 (Field) Sqn from 79 to 81 then 63 Sqn Rapier from
81 to 85 and last posting 7 Sqn Chinooks
1: 1982 an Argie Bofors 2: Playing with an Argie FN 3:
Aussie Hinkley, Cot Death
1: Ascension Islands hung-over!! 2:Wildenrath 1984
1: Chief & Jock Curry 2: DZ Falklands 1982 3: cliff
and Jock Berwick
1: New CO 2:1980 Bishops Court Jock Berwick john
Thomas Storeman 3: Jock Berwick 1980 bishops Court
Quote by Commander 'Sharkey' Ward regards the RAF
Regiment Rapier Sqn
"I heard of dinners being held commemorating up to 30 Rapier kills when
statistics showed that they didn't actually score asingle one". He
observed that, "the only aircraft that the RAF had shot down since the
1940s were their own--by accident?"
With regards to the Rapier, it was credited with 14 kills and 6
from 24 missiles fired. This clearly goes against Sharkey Wards claims,
A quote from 63 Squadron, RAF Regiment:
"When 63 Squadron came ashore at San Carlos, there were obvious
difficulties in locating, and unloading, their Rapier equipment and
vehicles from the Atlantic Causeway while the squadron personnel, who
had transhipped from the
QEII in South Georgia to the Canberra and the Norland,
did not land as a formed unit. These were not unlike the problems with
which Regiment LAA flights and squadrons had encountered in Operations
Torch and Husky almost forty years earlier It took over 12 hours to land
59 Land Rovers and 57 trailers - including the Rapier equipment - by
Mexefloats from the Atlantic
Causeway and another 24 hours before the last of the squadron personnel
was ashore from the passenger vessels.
The squadron commander had received no briefing on
his tasks, no preliminary reconnaissance of fire unit sites
had been possible and the logistic and administrative support left
something to be desired - there were, for example, only twenty-four sets
of Arctic clothing for the whole squadron."
Royal Artillery crews encountered similar problems. Any teething
problems with the Rapier crews could therefore be understood,
unfortunately the first 36 hours were the critical period for the
landing forces, and with their specialist air defence facilities
non-operational, there were a number of high profile successes for the
Argentine Air Force.
These successes were wrongly attributed by the media
to failure of the Rapier air defence system.
Once the Rapier was fully operational on the islands, it proved highly
successful. Of course success tends not to be reported in the same was
as "failure", and the reputation seemed to have stuck.
Pictures also from John Berwick
Your pictures Main Page
Pictures also from John Berwick
1 :Cpl Jerry Sage 2:? 3: Jock Berwick Live Fire ex
Jock Berwick Bisley 1983 2: Cot Death Paddy Joyce 13: Rapier
1:Two Sisters 2:Sapper Hill 3:Tumble down
Thanks to Clive from Nomad Webbing @NomadWebbing
63 Sqn Deployed 1964 not sure where
more to follow
The RAF Regiment.net web
© site and The RAF Regiment from
1984 © Web site have been created by
Glen Beavis, both sites contain pictures and information gathered from
many sources, including my own personal knowledge.
Where possible I have given credit to the originators of
the information, if I have infringed any copyright laws then please