603 Squadron and the Spitfire

ACS Aviation's Commitment to Preserving the 603 Squadron Spitfire Memorial Shines Bright

ACS Aviation is proud to announce its continued dedication to maintaining the esteemed 603 Squadron Spitfire Memorial. Standing tall as a symbol of valor and sacrifice, this iconic memorial commemorates the heroic actions of the 603 Squadron during critical historical events.
The 603 Squadron Spitfire Memorial, is situated at Edinburgh Airport. This hallowed site pays tribute to the gallant men and women who served in the 603 Squadron, highlighting their crucial role in pivotal conflicts and their unwavering commitment to safeguarding freedom.

Preserving the 603 Squadron Spitfire Memorial is an immense honour for us, We understand the historical significance of this site and the sacrifice of those who served. Our commitment to maintaining this memorial is our humble way of showing gratitude and respect for their unwavering dedication."

Craig McDonald - ACS Aviation

About 603 Squadron

603 Squadron falls under 5 Force Protection Wing and are based in the City of Edinburgh.  It provides trained RAF Regiment and RAF Police personnel to augment RAF Force Protection units world-wide.

Formed as a light bomber squadron in 1925, 603 Squadron became a fighter squadron in 1939.  It fought in the Battle of Britain, Malta and elsewhere in the Second World War.

Personnel are required to be fit and robust and are recruited from Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England.  Most training is conducted at weekends and during evenings, with an annual two-week training camp each year.

The Squadron has deployed personnel to all major RAF deployments in the last twenty years and routinely has personnel deployed world-wide.


1925   Formed as an Auxiliary Air Force Squadron at RAF Turnhouse, flying the Airco DH.9A Light bomber, with the Squadron Headquarters in Learmonth Terrace, Edinburgh, where it remains.

1939   Equipped with the Spitfire and credited with shooting down the first enemy aircraft over the UK in World War Two, shooting a bomber into the Firth of Forth.

1940   Deployed to RAF Hornchurch to take part in the Battle of Britain, becoming one of the leading scoring squadrons.

1942   Deployed to defend Malta.

1943   Converted to a maritime strike squadron, flying Beaufighters, operating from North Africa.



1945   Disbanded at the end of the war.

1946   Reformed as a Unit of the Auxiliary Air Force and began recruiting personnel to man a Spitfire Squadron during June at RAF Turnhouse.  Receiving its first Spitfire in October, it flew this type until conversion to De Havilland Vampire in May 1951.  The type was flown until disbandment on 10 March 1957.  The Auxiliary Air Force became the Royal Auxiliary Air Force in 1947.

1959 – 1999   RAF Reservists in Edinburgh served in 2 Maritime Headquarters Unit, based in Learmonth Terrace.

1999   Reformed as a Force Protection and Operations Support Squadron.

2003   Members of 603 Squadron deployed to Kuwait for Operation TELIC.  Between 2003 and 2013, members of the Squadron served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

2013   The Squadron began recruiting RAF Police personnel and the Squadron is now a RAF Force Protection Squadron with equal elements of RAF Police and RAF Regiment.

2020   Members of the Squadron were mobilised to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Spitfire ‘L1067’, finished in 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron markings and nicknamed ‘Blue Peter’, was installed as a memorial to the unit based on the site between 1925 and 1957.

The Spitfire is the last obvious link between Edinburgh Airport and its past, as the site’s second runway was permanently closed in 2018 as part of the development. That runway, 12/30, dates back to the Second World War when the site was known as RAF Turnhouse, home to a number of Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons including the Royal Auxiliary Air Force’s 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron.

On 16 October 1939, No.603 Squadron shot down a Luftwaffe Ju 88 over the Firth of Forth – the first aircraft to be destroyed over Britain since the Great War and arguably the first RAF victory of the conflict. The unit moved south and participated in the tail end of the Battle of Britain before converting to Beaufighters and seeing action in the Mediterranean.

In 1945 the squadron reconverted to Spitfires in the UK and flew sweeps over the Netherlands before disbanding in August 1945. Post-war, 603 re-formed and operated Vampires between 1951 and 1957.

Partner 1
Partner 1
Partner 1
Partner 1

Get started with your first flight lesson

acs logo

Contact Us

Hangar 3,

Perth Airport,

Perth, PH2 6PL