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A BRIEF HISTORY
No. 7 squadron was formed at Farnborough on May 1st, 1914, but was not mobilised until September of that year. In April 1915, the squadron moved to St. Omer in France, where its activities included reconnaissance, artillery observation, photography and bombing. In 1917, in its new role of Army co-operation the squadron took part in the battles of Arras, Messines, Ypres, Cambrai, The Somme, Lys and Armentieres. In this period, the squadron lost 41 killed and 89 injured or missing. The honours and awards included one Victoria cross awarded to Captain Liddell in 1915. After the Armistice, the squadron served with the Army of Occupation until September 1919. It then returned to Eastleigh for a time and was disbanded at Farnborough in November of that year.
At Bircham Newton in 1923 the squadron re-formed. In the course of its training between the wars the squadron aircraft took part in the Aldershot tattoos and in the new R.A.F. display. The Laurence Minot Trophy was contested for the first time in 1927,and was won by a crew of No.7 squadron with the Commanding Officer, Wing Commander C.F.A. Portal, D.S.O. M.C. as bomb aimer. In all, the Trophy was captured seven times up to 1936 and was shared with No. 58 Squadron on one other occasion. The squadron took part in a number of long range exercises and demonstrations during this period.
On the outbreak of war the squadron was equipped with Hampdens and Ansons, but re-equipped in August 1940 with Stirling and began bombing Germany with great effect in February 1941. The squadron contributed generously to the first 1,000 bomber raids. In 1942 the squadron assumed the "Pathfinder" role and re-equipped the next year with Lancasters. In 1943 also the completion of 25 years service with the R.A.F. was marked by the award of the Royal standard. The squadron played an impressive part in the preparations for operation "Over-Lord", and carried out daylight operations in support of the invading Allied Armies.
After the war the squadron resumed peace time training. and took part in many exercises to test the defences of Europe, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Outstanding among these was Operation "Red Lion" in Malaya, and the "Sunray" detachments to the Middle East.
NO. 7 SQUADRON
ROYAL AIR FORCE
Major J.M. Salmond 1. 5. 1914.
Major A.G. Board 28. 3. 1915.
Major C.G. Hoare 24. 3. 1915.
Major F.L.J. Cogan 7. 11. 1915
Major R.M. Vaughan 16. 7. 1916.
Major A.T. Whitelock 23. 9. 1916
Major B.E. Sutton 18. 10. 1917.
Major R.E. Saul 5. 1. 1919.
Disbanded 19. 11. 1919.
Re-formed 1. 6. 1923.
Squadron Leader C.H. Hayward 1. 6. 1923.
Squadron Leader E.D. Grenfell, D.F.C., M.C.,A.F.C.
Aquadron Leader J.S.T. Bradley, O.B.E. 19. 11. 1925.
Wing Commander C.H.B. Blount, O.B.E., M.C. 1. 5. 1926.
Wing Commander C.F.A. Portal, D.S.O., M.C. 11. 3. 1927.
Wing Commander E.R. Manning, D.S.O., M.C. 30. 11. 1928.
Squadron Leader C.E.H. Macpherson 2. 11. 1929.
Wing Commander C.W.H. Pulford, O.B.E., A.F.C. 6. 1. 1930.
Squadron Leader L.G.S. Payne, M.C., A.F.C. 7. 4. 1931.
Wing Commander A.L. Gregory, M.B.E., M.C. 26. 5. 1931.
Wing Commander A.A.B. Thomson, M.C., A.F.C. 2. 10. 1933.
Squadron Leader C.E.W. Foster 13. 2. 1934.
Wing Commander A. Gray, M.C. 2. 4. 1934.
Wing Commander E.I. Soden 18. 12. 1935.
Wing Commander W.E. Theak 4. 12. 1938.
Squadron Leader J.N. Jaques 2. 1. 1939.
Wing Commander L.G. Nixon 29. 3. 1939.
Wing Commander A.E. Paish 28. 11. 1939
Disbanded 22. 4. 1940.
Re-formed 1. 8. 1940.
Wing Commander P.I. Harris, D.F.C. 3. 8. 1940.
Wing Commander R.H. Graham, D.S.O., D.F.C. 31. 8. 1940.
Wing Commander B.D. Sellick D.F.C. 10. 4. 1942.
Wing COmmander O.R. Donaldson, D.S.O., D.F.C. 2. 10. 1942.
Wing Commander H.H Burnell 3. 5. 1943.
Group Captain K.R. Rampling, D.S.O., D.F.C. 20. 9. 1943.
Wing Commander W.G. Lockhart, D.S.O., D.F.C. 25. 3. 1944.
Wing Commander J.F. Barron, D.S.O., D.F.C., D.F.M. 28. 4. 1944.
Wing Commander R.W. Cox, D.F.C., A.F.C. 20. 5. 1944.
Wing Commander D.M. Walburn, D.S.O. 9. 10. 1944.
Wing Commander D.A. Cracknell, D.S.O., D.F.C. 1. 1. 1945.
Wing Commander K.H. Burns, D.S.O., D.F.C. 5. 6. 1945.
Wing Commander R.A. Milward, D.F.C. 21. 1. 1946.
Wing Commander C.N. Fleming, D.F.C. 5. 1946.
Squadron Leader S. Chester 3. 1947.
Squadron Leader T.G. Hynes, D.F.C. 7. 7. 1947.
Squadron Leader S.C. Ladyman 16. 5. 1949.
THE LAURENCE MINOT TROPHY
NO. 7 SQUADRON
ROYAL AIR FORCE UPWOOD
17th OCTOBER 1951
THE LAURENCE MINOT BOMBING TROPHY
The Laurence Minot Bombing Trophy was presented to the Royal Air Force in 1926 in Memory of Captain Laurence Minot M.C. who was killed in air combat over Meulebeke, Flanders in 1917, while serving with No. 57 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps.
The trophy was originally awarded for the best individual crew performances (pilot and bomb aimer) in a competition between the regular bomber squadrons in the Wessex Bombing Area of the Air Defence of Great Britain. These squadrons later formed Bomber Command.
The trophy, first contested in 1927 and awarded annually until 1936, was revived in 1948 on a squadron basis.
Among the names on the trophy is Wing Commander C.F.A. Portal, D.S.O., M.C. (Now Marshal of the Royal Air Force, the Viscount Portal of Hungerford) who was Commander-in-Chief, Bomber Command in 1940 and Chief of the Air Staff from 1940 until 1946. He was Squadron Commander and bomb aimer in 1927 and 1928 when the trophy was won by No. 7 squadron. No.7 squadron won the trophy 7 times in all up to 1936 sharing it once with No.58 squadron, it's greatest rival, then commanded by Wing Commander A.T. Harris (now Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Arthur T. Harris) who succeeded Lord Portal as Commander-in-Chief, Bomber Command.
Lord Portal's pilot in 1928 was Flying Officer G.D. Harvey, now Air Vice Marshal G.D. Harvey, C.B.E. D.F.C., Senior Air Staff Officer, Bomber Command. The contest took place that year at North Coates Fitties in Vickers Virginias flying at 80m.p.h. The bombing accuracy they achieved from 10,000 feet on two runs was 30 yds and 40 yds
Since the last war the trophy has been won in 1948 by No. 50 Squadron, Waddington, in 1949 by No. 49, squadron, Upwood and 1950 by No. 617 Squadron, Binbrook.
This year the competition was for inter-squadron visual bombing, and the trophy has been awarded to No. 7 squadron, Upwood, as the squadron with the best average bombing error in the final round.
Spectators assemble in No. 3 hanger.
Viscount Trenchard and the Commander-in-Chief, Bomber Command, arrive by air. General Salute by the Guard of Honour.
Viscount Trenchard inspects Guard of Honour.
Viscount Trenchard, accompanied by the Commander-in-Chief, Bomber Command, and the Station Commander, R.A.F. Upwood, enters No. 3 hanger
Inspection of No.7 squadron by Viscount Trenchard.
Address by Viscount Trenchard.
Presentation of the Trophy.
March past by No. 7 squadron.
Viscount Trenchard and senior officers drive to the Officer's Mess. (The remaining spectators are asked to remain in the hanger until these cars have moved away).
Remaining official guests and spectators proceed to the Officer's Mess.
Reception in the Officer's Mess.
Buffet Luncheon in the Officer's Mess.
Viscount Trenchard, with the Commander-in-Chief, drives to the airfield.
Inspection of the Guard of Honour by Viscount Trenchard.
Viscount Trenchard and the Commander-in-Chief leave Upwood by air for London airport.
All the words are taken from the booklet
The Laurence Minot Trophy was won by No. 7 Squadron 10 times
1927 No.7 (Virginia)
1928 No. 7 (Virginia)
1929 No.58 (Virginia)
1930 No.7 (Virginia)
1931 No. 7 (Virginia)
1932 No.7 (Virginia)
1933 No. 7 (Virginia)
1934 No.7 (Virginia)
and No. 58 (Virginia)
1935 No. 7 (Heyford)
1936 No. 215 (Harrow)
1937 - 1947 No competitions
1951 No. 7 (Lincoln)
1955 No. 7 (Lincoln)
Many Thanks to Les Hunt for the information
Avro Lincoln Crash RE342
Lincoln RE342 MG:B was in 7 squadron at the time of the crash on the 10.10.1951. Crashed on approach to Upwood.
Information and pictures Ramsey Rural Museum
Last updated 28/8/2018