"XI Squadron Association is a proud legacy that we have inherited"

Air Chief Marshal
Sir Michael Graydon GCB CBE FRAeS

The eleven Squadron association was borne out of the shared experiences of those who served in World War 2. No. XI(F) Squadron saw service in a number of overseas campaigns, but the majority of the founding members were involved in the Far East where “Legs Eleven” played a key role in achieving victory against great odds in that theatre.

For those of us who have come later to the Association, it is a proud legacy that we have inherited, and this web site will not only enable us to maintain and hopefully enhance the Association, but it will also offer an opportunity to express our admiration for the work and service of our founders.

Michael Graydon graduated from Cranwell in 1959. He flew as an instructor with the Royal Navy and a number of Fighter Squadrons flying Hunters and Lightnings. He commanded No. XI(F) Squadron from 1977-79 before becoming MA to the Chief of Defence Staff. He commanded RAF Leuchars flying Phantom aircraft from 1981-83, was in charge of the Policy Division at SHAPE from 1986-89 before becoming AOC-in C Support Command in 1989; he was AOC-in-C Strike Command from 1991-92 and CAS from 1992-97.

Air Vice-Marshal
John Cliffe CB OBE

John Cliffe served his first two front-line tours on XI(F) Squadron between 1974 and 1978, after which he joined the QWI staff on the Lightning Training Flight. He then converted to the Phantom, and served in Germany, Scotland and the Falkland Islands. He was PSO to AOC 11 Group before taking command of XI(F) Squadron in 1991, now flying Tornado F3s. Tours in the Resource & Plans directorates in MoD and Strike Command followed, before he commanded RAF Leeming from 1999 to the end of 2000. He was Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands in 2001, and then took over as Director of Military Flying Training. Promoted to Air Vice-Marshal, he became Chief of Staff RAF Operations in 2003, and then moved to MoD in 2005 as Director General Defence Training & Education.

At first sight, the XI(F) Squadron of today, operating the highly capable Typhoon, may seem very different from the Squadron that formed at Netheravon in 1915, or that which served in Burma during the Second World War, or even the XI(F) Squadron that policed Britain’s skies at the height of the Cold War. But some things have stayed constant over the last 100 years or so. Through the Squadron Association, I have been fortunate to meet some amazing people that have served with the Squadron, including some who served in the First World War. Their experiences showed that, while the aircraft have changed, the character of the Squadron has remained much the same over the years.

The pride individuals have in serving on the Squadron, in its distinguished history and its traditions, is the bedrock of the XI(F) Squadron Association, and is celebrated through comradeship and shared experiences. It is a legacy we want to pass on to future generations of Squadron members.

Christopher H. Boden RAF
Association Secretary

Christopher Boden joined the Squadron at the end of February 1994 at RAF Leeming, transferring over from 23 Squadron which had been in the final elements of the disbandment process.

He spent 6 years on XI(F) as this was also his final tour in the Royal Air Force having completed 23.5 years service. He left the Service and the Squadron in February 2000.

Christopher started in 1976 as an Aircraft Electrical Mechanic, completing further training courses to eventually become an Aircraft Electrical Engineering Technician. During his service he worked on Vulcan, Sea King, Jaguar and Tornado ADV Aircraft.

Having left the Royal Air Force, I remained in contact with many ex & still serving members of the Tornado ADV world and eventually started to attend XI(F) Squadron Association & Reunion Functions.

In 2016 I was honoured to accept the position of Secretary.


If you served with XI Squadron, and would
like to join the Association, or for any other
Association-related enquiries,
please get in touch.