47 Air Despatch Squadron RLC

47 Air Despatch Squadron RLC

47 Air Despatch Squadron RLC (Royal Logistic Corps) is one of only two Air Despatch Units remaining in the British Army, the other being 395 Air Despatch Troop RLC (TA).

47 Air Despatch Squadron provides crucial support for the Airborne Task Force and operates from Dakota Lines at RAF Brize Norton.

The naming of Dakota Lines pays homage to the importance of the Dakota aircraft within the air despatch community. Although the aircraft was flown on air drop sorties throughout WW2 and beyond, it is for the actions during Operation Market Garden that it is most remembered.

The air despatchers who flew on resupply missions to drop supplies to beleaguered troops on the ground suffered a disproportionally high casualty rate and are considered to be the unsung heroes of the operation. In recognition of their very high losses, air despatchers were bestowed with the honour of wearing a Dakota ‘flash’ or badge (a golden Dakota on a blue background) on their uniforms. The Dakota Flash is still worn today.

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