Formed at Beverley, Yorkshire, on 1 March 1916, No. 47 Squadron went on to operate in far flung corners of the world, frequently as the sole representatives of the Royal Air Force and the United Kingdom. During the First World War the squadron flying Armstrong Whitworth FK3s, amongst other types, was stationed in Greece fighting the Bulgarian forces, and in 1919 the squadron was deployed to southern Russia to support the White Army during the Russian Civil War, operating aircraft such as the Airco DH9 and Sopwith Camel. The 1920s and 30s found the squadron, equipped with aircraft such as the de Havilland DH9a, Fairey IIIF, and Fairey Gordon, deployed to Egypt and the Sudan on policing duties , before engaging the Italians during the early Second World War campaigns in East Africa, operating Vickers Wellesleys. During 1942 and 1943, equipped with the Bristol Beaufort and Beaufighter, the squadron undertook numerous armed rover patrols in support of the fighting in North Africa and Tunisia, subsequently assisting in the Allied attempts to prevent the Aegean islands from coming under enemy control. A transfer to the Far East followed and a conversion to de Havilland Mosquitos. With the Japanese defeated the squadron went on to fulfil peace keeping duties on the Island of Java.
Author Owen Clark has drawn on his considerable archive, and utilised a wealth of previously unpublished photographs, to tell the story of this unique and distinguished squadron. Also included is a selection of specially commissioned aircraft profiles. The squadron of today prides itself on its ability to get the job done , an approach that is as present today as it was in the beginning.