213 (City of Rochester) Squadron

This is Rochester Air Cadets

We are a unit within Kent Wing of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets. We are situated on the Wainscott Primary school site in Wainscott Road, Wainscott.

We have a dedicated team of uniformed and civilian staff enabling us to offer a wide range of activities to young people, some of which include Shooting, Duke of Edinburgh’s award, Adventure Training, First Aid, Flying, Sport and Academic training including Leadership and BTEC qualifications.

We welcome young people between the ages of 12 (school year 8) and 17 years although may stay with us until 20 years old.

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213 Squadron RAF History


Irritatus lacessit crabro – ‘The hornet attacks when roused’


No 213 Squadron was formed on 1 April 1918 at Bergues, from No 13 (Naval) Squadron RNAS. The squadron flew at that time Sopwith Camels, mounting fighter patrols and escorting bombers and reconnaissance aircraft from the Dunkirk airfields. The squadron derived its Hornet and motto for the squadron badge, after overhearing a Belgian general refer to the squadron’s defence of his trenches, “Like angry hornets attacking the enemy aircraft.” The squadron returned to the UK in March 1919 and was disbanded on 31 December 1919.


No 213 was reformed at Northolt on 8th March 1937, equipped with Gloster Gaunlets and quickly moved to Yorkshire in July of that year.  January 1938 saw the squadron re-equipping with the Hawker Hurricane. At the start of WWII, the squadron was flying fighter patrols and in May 1940 sent a detachment to France for a few days to assist the British Expeditionary Force. The squadron spent the first half of the Battle of Britain in the Southwest of England, before moving to RAF Tangmere.

The squadron was posted to Egypt in May 1941. They flew and fought in the Syrian campaign and fighting over North Africa, culminating in El Alamein. The Hurricanes finished their days flying convoy protection and combat air patrols until February 1944. The Squadron was moved to RAF Idku was re-equipped with Mustangs and flew these in Italy and the Balkans until the end of the war.


The squadron operated in Italy, Palestine and Cyprus until the end of 1946 when it was re-equipped with Hawker Tempest F Mk IV fighter-bombers. The squadron continued to operate in the Canal Zone and East Africa, but the harsh conditions took the told on the squadrons aircraft. So it was with some relief in December 1949 that the squadron once again changed aircraft, this time joining the jet age in the form of the De Havilland Vampire Mk V. The squadron continued to use Vampires in the Canal Zone in a ground attack role until the squadron was disbanded on 22nd September 1954.

The squadron was reformed at RAF Ahlhorn, West Germany in July 1955, as a night fighter and light bomber squadron. The squadron was equipped with the English Electric Canberra as part of a tactical nuclear strike force, able to perform both conventional and nuclear missions.

At the end of the sixties, the RAF replaced the Canberra in the strike role with Phantoms and Buccaneers. Unfortunately, 213 Squadron did not receive either type of aircraft so on the 31st December 1969 at 14:00 hrs, the last elements of the squadron marched out of No 2 hangar at Royal Air Force, Bruggen, West Germany and the Squadron passed into  history and to be proudly taken on by the Royal Air Force Air Cadets.