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R.A.F. Feltwell’s new pheasant badge

On 2nd July 1962, the Station Commander of RAF Feltwell submitted a request to the Under Secretary of State for Air, that RAF Feltwell should have its own Station Badge.  The reason given was that the “Station had just completed 25 years uninterrupted service.”

 Sir John Heaton-Armstrong MVO, Clarenceux King of Arms of the College of Arms, London described the design of the new badge, in a memorandum to the Director of Personnel Services, RAF.  Sir John wrote, “This Station has chosen a pheasant, which bird abounds in the neighbourhood of the Station, to give some indication of its location.”  The motto ‘Vires Acquirit Eundo’ may be freely translated as ‘Ever gathering new strength in our course’.

 Sir John Heaton-Armstrong submitted a rough sketch to the Director of Personnel Services on 9th April 1963 and approved the badge on 15th May 1963.  The Station Badge was authorised by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in November 1963.

 An entry for the Register of RAF Badges was submitted by the Director of Personnel Services in a loose minute dated 4th February 1964.  This stated, “RAF Feltwell was formed 29th November 1919 until 1920 as a Depot and became a Station on 12th March 1937.”

As reported in a local newspaper

A BADGE showing a pheasant, for R.A.F. Feltwell, is one of seven badges and mottos which have recently been approved by the Queen for R.A.F. units in Britain and Germany.  The station is now the home of an Officer Cadet Training Unit.

On the left is a photograph of the badge as provided by Mr Mervyn McLellan.

The image on the right was created by Tim Callaway, webmaster for the official RAF and Red Arrows websites, from a black and white image from the RAF Museum.

The idea goes back to March 1962, when it was realised the station had just completed 25 years uninterrupted service.  An application was made to see if a badge could be considered but when the station ceased to be a Thor missile base shortly afterwards there was some delay.

 The motto

 The design of the badge was the result of a competition on the base, in which several people submitted the idea of a pheasant as typical of the locality.  The best drawing was used as a basis foe the design submitted to the College of Arms.

The motto on the badge is “Vires acquirit eundo,” which has been freely translated to mean “Ever gathering new strength in our course.”  It is similar to a motto suggested by one of the entrants in the competition.

 The framed badge is to be hung in the Officers’ Mess at the station.