No. 1435 Flight RAF

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No. 1435 Flight RAF
Typhoon f2 zj910 arp.jpg
A Typhoon typical of the current aircraft of 1435 Flight
Active 4 December 1941 – June 1942
15 July 1942 – 2 August 1942
1 Nov 1988 – current[1]
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Air Force
Role Air defence
Base [1]
Motto Protect the right
Aircraft [1]

No. 1435 Flight is a Typhoon FGR4 unit of the Royal Air Force, based at RAF Mount Pleasant, providing air defence for the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The Flight goes by the motto of "Protect the Right" while the motto of the Falkland Islands is "Desire the Right".[lower-roman 1]

During the Second World War, No. 1435 Flight was a nightfighter unit on Malta subsequently raised to squadron status becoming the only RAF flying squadron to be given a four digit number.[3][4]


No. 1435 (Night Fighter) Flight was first formed at Malta as a night fighter unit on 4 December 1941, by re-designating the Malta Night Fighter Unit.[1] In July 1942, personnel from No. 603 Squadron were equipped with the Spitfire V to form the unit.[3] After a brief period as No.1435 (Fighter) Flight, at RAF Luqa, due to its size it was raised to No. 1435 Squadron on 2 August 1942 at RAF Luqa, Malta[5][6]

It converted to fighter-bomber activities in January 1943 and operated over Sicily and in Italy. It was assigned to the Balkan Air Force, carrying out operations over Albania and Yugoslavia until the end of the war.

It disbanded on 29 April 1945 at Falconara, Italy.[7]


Photograph of two aeroplanes in flight.
Two Tornado F3's flying over the Falkland Islands in 2007
File:Tornado F3 patrolling over the Falkland Islands. MOD 45147773.jpg
Two Tornado F3's flying over the Falkland Islands in 2007

In November 1988, when 23 Squadron converted to the Tornado, 1435 Flight was revived, equipped with four McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2s. After No. 23 Squadron's disbandment at RAF Mount Pleasant, the mission and equipment were transferred to No. 1435 Flight, flying the Panavia Tornado F.3 and later the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The aircraft are permanently based in the islands, while the aircrew from the UK are cycled through No. 1435 Flight. While there they provide a 365-day, 24 hour alert. The Flight has maintained its Maltese connections, with its aircraft sporting the Maltese cross. The practice of naming the four-aircraft presence on the islands has also been maintained: they are called Faith, Hope and Charity, after the legendary three Gloster Sea Gladiators that once defended Malta, and Desperation. Desperation was added to the three traditional names when Phantoms entered service in the Falklands and the flight was revived in 1988. Faith, Hope and Charity fly operationally, with Desperation appropriately in reserve. On their retirement in 1992, one of the Phantoms was placed as the gate guardian at Mount Pleasant. The Phantoms were replaced by four Tornado F.3s. The four Tornados remained in active service until they were replaced in their turn by four Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 (Tranche 2) in September 2009.[8] Although the unit's new aircraft do not have the traditional names applied, the four aircraft have tailcodes that match (F, H, C, D).

Aircraft operated

File:Typhoon Over the Falklands MOD 45157164.jpg
A Typhoon flying over the Falkland Islands in 2007
Aircraft operated by No. 1435 Flight RAF[1][6][9]
From To Aircraft Variant
December 1941 June 1942 Hurricane Mk.IIb, Mk.IIc
August 1942 April 1945 Beaufighter Mk.I
November 1988 1992 F-4 Phantom II FGR.2
1992 September 2009 Tornado F.3
September 2009 Present Typhoon FGR.4

See also


  1. The WWII squadron had neither motto nor badge at that time.[2]
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Lake (1999), p. ??
  2. "History of 1435 Squadron". MOD.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "No 671 – 1435 Squadron Histories". RAFWEB Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "No.1435 Squadron". RAF Museum Cold War Exhibition.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Rawlings (1976), p. 511.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Halley (1988), p. 459.
  7. Rawlings (1976), p. 512.
  8. Typhoons arrive in Falklands Archived February 23, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  9. Jefford (2001), p. 106.
  • Flintham, Vic; Thomas, Andrew (2003). Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Halley, James J. (1988). The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent: Air Britain (Historians). ISBN 0-85130-164-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF(Retd.) (2001) [1988]. RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912 (2nd ed.). Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lake, Alan (1999). Flying Units of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-84037-086-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft ((2nd edition 1976, reprinted 1978) ed.). London: Macdonald & Jane's. ISBN 0-354-01028-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links