The eleven Squadron association was borne out of the shared experiences of those who served in World War 2. No. XI(F) Squadron saw service in a number of overseas campaigns, but the majority of the founding members were involved in the Far East where “Legs Eleven” played a key role in achieving victory against great odds in that theatre.

For those of us who have come later to the Association, it is a proud legacy that we have inherited, and this web site will not only enable us to maintain and hopefully enhance the Association, but it will also offer an opportunity to express our admiration for the work and service of our founders.

Michael Graydon graduated from Cranwell in 1959. He flew as an instructor with the Royal Navy and a number of Fighter Squadrons flying Hunters and Lightnings. He commanded No. XI(F) Squadron from 1977-79 before becoming MA to the Chief of Defence Staff. He commanded RAF Leuchars flying Phantom aircraft from 1981-83, was in charge of the Policy Division at SHAPE from 1986-89 before becoming AOC-in C Support Command in 1989; he was AOC-in-C Strike Command from 1991-92 and CAS from 1992-97.
 
     

 

       
    My association with XI Squadron began in February 1967, when the Squadron had been disbanded for more than a year. I received a piece of paper which stated that No. XI Squadron would reform at RAF Leuchars on the 1st of April equipped with the Lightning Mk 6 aircraft. I was to act as Squadron Commander until June when Wing Commander David Blucke would take over. It was a fascinating period, building up an entire squadron from scratch, assembling aircrew, groundcrew, aircraft and ground equipment, offices and administration and trying, to the best of my ability, to instill a squadron spirit worthy of it’s distinguished history. When I handed over to David Blucke four months later I felt I had made a good start.

In 1984 I was privileged to be invited to present No. XI Squadron with it’s new Standard. My speech on that occasion contains thoughts and sentiments which still have relevance today and should strike a chord with all members of the association: -

“... The flying Squadron is the embodiment of the essential spirit of the Royal Air Force, and the Standard is the unique symbol of the Squadrons own traditions and achievements. .... We stand today in the context of 70 years of Squadron history. The average member of the Squadron will spend perhaps two to two and a half years serving with it, so it is clear that the corporate continuity belongs to the Squadron and not the individual. The Squadron members are the current guardians of all that the Standard represents : tradition, loyalty, courage and excellence. ...Hand on to your successors in No. XI Squadron a reputation and a record which is consistent with your heritage and a fitting target for their future endeavours”.

We can all agree that my exhortation then has been well and truly satisfied. We have a frontline Squadron which is second to none, and we have an association which clearly expresses our pride in having served in it.