No. 7 Squadron
of the Royal Air Force
operates the CH-47 Chinook HC.2
from RAF Odiham
7 Sqn is earmarked as the operator of the eight Chinook HC.3s on order, if the problems with the helicopters are ever resolved.
No. 7 Squadron was first formed on 1 May 1914
but has been disbanded and reformed several times since. The squadron spent most of the First World War
as an observation squadron and was a heavy bomber
squadron during World War Two. After WW2 the squadron was equipped with Avro Lincoln Bombers, an update of the Lancaster. Based at RAF Upwood, the Lincoln was for several years the front line cold war bomber aircraft. It was used in the Malayan emergency, the Middle East, the Trucial States (the Emirates) and then Aden. The Squadron disbanded in 1955 before reforming with the Canberra. The squadron operated the Vickers Valiant
from RAF Honington
from 1956 until 1962.
The squadron converted to helicopters and received its Chinooks HC.1s in 1982 and today operates five of the helicopters. The Chinook HC.2, equivalent to the US Army CH-47D standard, began to enter RAF service in 1993.
7 Squadron took part in the UK's deployment to the Gulf following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. 15 HC.1s were sent from No. 7 and No. 18 squadrons.
On June 2 1994 a 7 Sqn Chinook HC.2 (ZD576) crashed into the Mull of Kintyre while carrying 25 senior members of the British security forces from RAF Aldergrove, Belfast to Inverness. All passengers and the four crew were killed.