1 Squadron "Speed and Courage"
The role of No. 1 Squadron was ground attack and air defence.

Brief History

The unit was established in 1951 to operate Spitfires being delivered to Rhodesia. Initially operating from Cranborne, it moved to New Sarum (south of Salisbury) in October 1952, then onwards to Gwelo in 1962. January 1956 saw the squadron reequipped with the Vampire FB 9, which were soon (in 1958) to be taken on their first overseas deployment to RAF Khormkasar, then an RAF base in Aden. During that period, RAF Khormkasar was the busiest station in the RAF, with nine squadrons based there. This was the first overseas deployment, which would then continue until 1963.

In 1963 the Vampires were transferred to No 2 Squadron, having only recently (December 1962) been re-equipped with Hawker Hunter F9As. 

Now working on airborne internal security, the squadron carried out trials with rocket projectiles. In return, the squadron became the first in Rhodesia known to have had rockets fired back at it, when a SAM-7 Strela (known by NATO forces as the Grail) was fired at them over Mozambique. Whilst this first attack was to miss, as the insurgents became more proficient a number of helicopters and civil aircraft were later to be downed.

Post Zimbabwe Independence

During 1981 the squadron had received four Hawker Hunter FGA aircraft and a T81 training aircraft. In the 1982 attack on the Gweru airbase, seven Hunters, a Hawk and a Cessna spotter plane were to be destroyed. For more information, Cole Sabotage and Torture