|No. 1435 Flight RAF|
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
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
RAF Mount Pleasant
|Motto||Defend the right|
|Aircraft||Hawker Hurricane Mks.IIb & IIc
Bristol Beaufighter Mk.I
McDonnell-Douglas Phantom FGR.2
Panavia Tornado F.3
Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4
No. 1435 Flight is a Eurofighter Typhoon 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".
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.
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. In July 1942, personnel from No. 603 Squadron were equipped with the Spitfire V to form the unit. 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 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.
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, with the only limitation being the necessary weather flying qualifications. 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. Although the unit's new aircraft do not have the traditional names applied, the four aircraft have tailcodes that match (F, H, C, D).
|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|
- No. 1312 Flight RAF - Falklands transport planes
- List of Royal Air Force aircraft squadrons
- List of Royal Air Force independent flights
- Military of the Falkland Islands
- Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
- Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
- Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF(Retd.). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
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- "No 671 – 1435 Squadron Histories". RAFWEB Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation.
- Page of Images of 1435 Flight's Tornado F.3s
- Squadron/Flight history at MOD site
- on YouTube, uploaded 18 January 2007.