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Welsh squadron celebrated in new book on centenary of the Royal Auxiliary Airforce in Wales

2024 is the centenary year of the Royal Auxiliary Airforce. A new book, On Dragons’ Wings, by a serving member Martin Wade, tells the story of its only Welsh squadron, No. 614 (County of Glamorgan) Squadron, and the ordinary men who served in it since its formation in 1930s Cardiff.

The No. 614 Squadron were volunteers who flew in their spare time, with a squadron motto of Codaf i Geisio (I rise to Seek/Search). During the Second World , the Squadron was the only Pathfinders based outside Britain. They operated and fought, and many died, in raids over occupied Europe and then in North Africa and Italy.

In his Foreword, Air Commodore Adrian Williams OBE RAF (Rt’d) describes the book as a “wonderful addition” to the rich history of the RAF and Wales and emphasises that On Dragons’ Wings “tells the story of the many people who served in the squadron, the service they gave, the many that lost their lives” as well as featuring light-hearted moments and escapades.

Author Martin Wade, a journalist with over 20 years’ experience, who works for the RAF as a media operations officer, said:

“This is a story of machines, training, equipment, risk, danger and sacrifice – sometimes the ultimate sacrifice – but always, then and now, it is a story of people. On Dragon’s Wings tells how the people of Wales’ only Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron served, facing danger with courage and professionalism. It is my hope that this book tells their stories and honours them.”

After the Second World War ended, the squadron returned to Wales and flew jets as a Cold War fighter unit at Llandow in the Vale of Glamorgan, before disbanding in 1957. Relaunched in 2014, the squadron now has over a hundred men and women from across Wales who serve the RAF in their spare time. These roles vary from Covid testing in the pandemic to supporting front-line operations in modern conflicts.