22 Squadron

“Ut Mare Liberum Sit” (That the Seas may be Free)

About this Squadron

Formed from 31 Flight as 22 (Torpedo-Bomber-Reconnaissance) Squadron in Durban on 1 July 1942, the squadron was assigned anti-submarine, coastal recce and convey escort work with the surviving ex-SAA Ju-86 and aging Anson aircraft. In August 1942 the Junkers were replaced by Venturas. In July 1944 the squadron moved from patrolling the Indian Ocean to Gibraltar to operate in the Mediterranean. In July 1945 22 Squadron was posted to Gianaclis in Egypt and in August moved to Idku where it was disbanded on 24 October 1945.

The squadron was reformed in 1954 with Venturas, but was later disbanded once more in 1958. 22 Flight was formed on 1 January 1964 at Ysterplaat to operate the newly acquired Westland Wasp and became a full squadron in May 1976. The Alouette III was added to the fleet in 1978 and the squadron continued to operate the Alouette III when the Wasp was retired in 1990, with the Puma joining the fleet when 22 Squadron was amalgamated with 30 Squadron at the end of 1991. The Puma was replaced by the Oryx in 1994.

The squadron is considered the “maritime” helicopter squadron and provides helicopters, air and ground crews for deployments aboard Navy vessels. The squadron took delivery of the Super Lynx maritime helicopters in 2007 and these are operated from the SA Navy’s Meko A200SAN class frigattes.

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