XV Squadron - Tornado

In June 1983 XV Sqn began to take delivery of its first Panavia Tornado GR1 aircraft. On 1 September 1983 XV Sqn officially became the first RAFG Tornado Sqn. Following a NATO Tactical Evaluation (TACEVAL) in June 1984 the Squadron was declared operational in the strike (nuclear) role. The Sqn then became attack operational in January 1985, it’s 70th anniversary year.

In August 1990 Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait and by December XV Sqn had deployed to Muharraq, Bahrain, in preparation for war against Iraq. Operation Granby was Britain’s contribution to Operation Desert Storm, the coalition’s offensive campaign to liberate Kuwait. The Sqn carried out one of the first allied offensive missions of the war, flying low-level attacks against an Iraqi airfield on 17 January 1991. In the six weeks of operations, XV Sqn flew over 200 sorties against some 30 different targets delivering in excess of eight hundred 1000 lb bombs and 30 JP233 airfield denial weapons. Two aircraft were lost due to enemy action.

After the Gulf War, three Tornado squadrons at Laarbruch were disbanded, XV Squadron being one of these, at the end of 1991.

Received its first Tornado, ZA411 on 5th July 1983, second was ZA409 on 7th July 1983.

Formally stood up 1st November 1983 at RAF Laarbruch

Declared operational 1st July 1984

Disbanded 31st December 1991

Initially allocated EA - EZ codes

ZA392 EK (Abschuss 17./18.1.1991 - flown by Marham crew) - ZD791 BG of 14 Sqn (Abschuss 17.01.1991, crewed by XV Sqn)

ZA409 W (Trainer) - ZD717 C of 17 SQN. (Abschuss 14.02.1991, crewed by XV Sqn)

ZA410 EX (Trainer)

ZA411 Y (später GY bei 20 Sqn)

ZA446 EF (MacRobert's Reply)

ZA447 EA

ZA448 EB (Absturz 30.03.1988 - Nellis Ranges - crewed by 20 Sqn)

ZA450 EC

ZA451 ED (Absturz 06.02.1984)

ZA453 EG

ZA454 EH (Absturz 30.04.1990 - crewed by 9 Sqn/ RAF Brüggen)

ZA455 EJ

ZA459 EL

ZA462 EM

ZA464 ED (Absturz 14.08.1990 bei 20 Sqn, already coded GM)

ZA468 EN (Absturz 20.07.1989)

ZA471 ER

ZA472 EE



ZA594 EY


ZD790 ED

Im Juli 1985 feierte die XV. Squadron ihren 70. Geburtstag.

Commanding Officers whilst on RAF Laarbruch

1970 – 1991:

Oct 1970 Wing Commander D J Collins

Apr 1971 Wing Commander R Watson

Apr 1973 Wing Commander M G Simmons

Jan 1976 Wing Commander P D Oulton

Jul 1978 Wing Commander T Nattrass AFC

Jul 1981 Wing Commander E Cox

Sep 1983 Wing Commander B Dove AFC

Aug 1986 Wing Commander M C Rudd AFC

Jan 1989 Wing Commander J A Broadbent DSO

Aug 1991 Wing Commander A D White

Squadron Leader Pablo Mason

Pablo Mason was among the 24 tornado crews detachment during the Gulf War. During Operation 'Desert Storm' Pablo Mason led his formation of four 15 Sqn. Tornados on 24 bombing missions over Iraq. These included ultra-low level daylight mission, medium-level night bombing and the first ever Buccaneer/Tornado attack using laser-guided bombs which took place on the 2nd February 1991. During his first Gulf War mission his No. 2 was shot down and the crew (John Peters and John Nichol) became POWs. This was the attack on the Ar Rumaylah airfield and it was the first daylight Tornado attack of the war.

Pablo was forced to eject from a Tornado GR1 which crashed nr Lubberstedt, Germany, on a training mission on 10th May 1991.

photo collection XV Squadron Tornado

back to XV Squadron Buccaneer

Staffelaustausch - Squadron Exchanges

(zusammengestellt von / compiled by Luca Araniti / Italy)

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