On the 14th November 2022 the Malta Aviation Society commissioned the crest of the Royal Air Force 185 Squadron to the Royal Air Force Club in Central London.
Here in Malta, the Royal Air Force formed a squadron during World War II that would serve until 1953. The courageous fighters of No. 185 Squadron immediately established themselves as legends for valiantly defending the island, and they adopted the squadron’s motto from the local Maltese population. Their official symbol boldly displays the words “Ara Fejn Hu.” The badge depicts a griffin in front of the Knights eight pointed Cross.
Maltese people frequently used the phrase as enemy aircraft approached the island.
The Maltese who dared to venture outside the shelters would point out the RAF personnel and aircraft as they flew in to protect Malta and shout, “Ara fejn hu!”.
On May 12, 1941, the Unit was reformed in Malta as a fighter squadron. The third formation of the squadron took place on April 27, 1941, at Malta, using “C” Flight of No. 251 Squadron. Before the first Spitfires arrived early in 1942, the new unit ran the Hawker Hurricane for nearly a year. The squadron took part in the heated air battles over Malta and began to sustain serious losses in the latter half of 1942 when the superior Bf 109F reached Sicily.
After the Spitfires arrived, the situation was once again in balance, and by the end of 1942, No. 185 Squadron had taken the initiative by conducting sweeps over Sicily and later assisting in the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943.
185 sqn is the only RAF Squadron that has a Maltese motto written on the Unit’s badge, but their are other Squadrons from the RAF and also the Royal Navy that have Maltese markings as part of their badge, some of them show for example the Knights eight pointed cross on their Squadron Badge.
However, their is also another badge that uses the Maltese language in their motto and that is the Badge of the Royal Air Force Station Luqa. RAF Luqa’s motto is Mitjar qatt Mirbuh since the axis forces have never won and took over the base and eventually the island. RAF Luqa as it was known is the former ‘old’ part of Malta International Airport.
The Malta Aviation Society President Joe Ciliberti and Secretary Massimo Farrugia were present for the inauguration on November 14th at the RAF Club in London as seen in the picture. The MAS is the organiser of the Malta International Airshow which should retrun to the Maltese skies in this September.