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Approval No. A809
Heraldic definition: Crescent moon Gules to an owl Sable deployed feathered Argent set on a wave Azure set on a terrace the whole exceeded


Symbolically its first squadron carries the traditions of the 4B3 flotilla which operated within the naval aviation until 1936. The formation of the Ministry of Air, in September 1928, is the prelude to the total autonomy of aeronautics military. All the air forces, which depended on several ministries (War, Navy and Colonies), will laboriously organize themselves under the authority of a single leader, and thus form the Air Force. However, the Navy managed to retain part of its aviation, the naval aviation, and also obtained that the Air Force detach a few air units to it for use: these are the Maritime Cooperation Squadrons.

In July 1927 in Cherbourg, the 1B1 bombing squadron, heir to the former 1R2, was born, first armed with en Farman Goliath 165  then replaced in 1930 by version 168. Designated to serve in Tunisia during the year 1933, it was stationed in Sidi Ahmed (Bizerte) where it took the designation of 4B3 on September 1 of that year . It becomes the first squadron of GB I/25. Its first “Air” commander was Captain Chassin (a former naval officer who opted for this weapon) and who ended his career as a general officer.

The rest of the history of 4B3 faithfully accompanies that of the Bombardment Group since it will follow its traditions under its various names until today as the 1st squadron of the ETR.
During the 20th century, the "Owl" was painted on the cabin or the fin of many aircraft. Thus, at the beginning of the Second World War, these are des Block 200. Later in the conflict, the squadron exchanged its heavy twins for the more maneuverable LeO 45, then des "Halifax"  during his integration into the RAF. Among all the anecdotes and feats of arms of this period is, for example, that of the CNE Stanislas. During a mission on the night of February 8, 1945, his plane was hit head-on and exploded. Stanislas is the only survivor of the ten crew members (photo, Stanislas is the 2nd from the left).

After the war, the 4B3 belatedly exchanged its "Halifax" against des B26 "Invade", widely exploited during the Indochina War and in particular the siege of Dien Bien Phu. The end of the Asian conflict also puts an end to the existence of GB I/25 TUNISIA. The 4B3 was put on hold, although for a limited time since the traditions of the I/25 were very quickly taken over by the new Bombardment Squadron (EB) 2/92 AQUITAINE. The Owl then finds a place on the cabins of the new heavy fighters SO 4050 "Vulture". The 4B3 uses the IIB version, the one with the glazed nose to accommodate a navigator/bombardier

The dissolution of 2/92 in 1974 led to the transfer of traditions to the Center d'Instruction des Forces Aériennes Stratégiques (CIFAS 328), still based in Bordeaux-Mérignac. According to the name changes of the unit, the 4B3 thus welcomed the Mirage IV A and the Mirage III B, even if the badge was not worn on these magnificent fuselages.
In 1992 the 4B3 was put on hold again to be reactivated only in 2001 on the air base 116 of Luxeuil as a squadron of the new Tactical Training Center (CITAC) 339 AQUITAINE, in charge of the training of the crews of Mirage 2000 N. The CITAC also had a Falcon 20 SNA recognizable by the 2000N radome.


In 2010, the 4B3 became the first squadron of the newly created Escadron de Transformation Rafale 2/92 AQUITAINE on the latest Air Force vector, le Gust. Since then, the Owl has been visible on the unit's single-seaters and two-seaters, accompanied by his faithful Bison  or gloriously alone.

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