Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
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Formed at Hainault Farm as a night fighter unit on 12 June 1918 by taking a flight from Nos 44, 78 and 112 Squadrons. The first flight moved to France on 16 June and ten days later the rest of the squadron was also in France. It operated Camels in defence of British bases in the area and by the end of the war had destroyed 26 enemy aircraft. It also introduced the principle of night intrusion, when it made attacks against German bombers returning to their airfields. Having returned to Britain in February 1919, it disbanded at Drem on 10 September.
The squadron reformed on 4 August 1936 at North Weald, equipped with Gauntlets from a detachment of No 56 Squadron. Hurricanes began to arrive in December 1938 and conversion was completed in February 1939. Unlike many Hurricane units, it remained in Britain on defensive duties, instead of going to France. It then covered the Dunkirk evacuation and took part in most of the Battle of Britain, before moving to Digby in September 1940.
The following November, it was decided to transfer the squadron to the night fighting role and it moved to Bramcote where it also received Defiants. Night operations were commenced in February 1941 from its base at Wittering and a detachment at Coltishall. In April 1942, Mosquitos began to arrive and the Hurricanes were immediately retired although it was July before the Defiants left, leaving the squadron solely equipped with the Mosquito. From April 1943, as a result of the declining night interceptions being made, the squadron moved to Colerne, from where it began intruder operations. In October 1944, a move to Castle Camps led to it adopting the bomber support role and these were continued from East Anglia until the end of the war. A few days later the squadron moved back to the West Country, disbanding at Weston Zoyland on 10 October 1946.
From 11 February 1949 until 14 September 1951, the squadron number was linked to No 23 Squadron, but on the 15th, the squadron regained its independence, when it reformed at Leuchars as a Vampire night fighter unit. In April 1953 Meteor NF Mk 11s replaced the Vampires and in July 1955, these were replaced by Venom NF Mk 3s. The squadron's role changed in July 1957, when it became an all-weather fighter unit on re-equipping with Javelins, these being retained until 19 September 1961, when the squadron disbanded, still being at Leuchars.
Its final incarnation lasted from 1 January 1962 to 25 May 1963, when the Signals Command Development Squadron was given the number. Bases at Watton, this unit operated a range of aircraft including Lincolns, Hastings, Varsities and Canberras on radar research and development. The squadron was disbanded by being renumbered No 97 Squadron.
Motto: Foy Pour Devoir (Fidelity unto duty)
Squadron Codes used: -
Formed as a night fighter unit equipped with Camels at Rochford on 1 June 1918, it moved to France in October, but saw little action in the remaining three weeks of the war, returning to Drem in February 1919, where it disbanded on 30 June.
The squadron reformed at Acklington on 1 October 1939 equipped with Gladiators. Conversion to Spitfires began in January 1940 and this process was complete by February. Initially retained in the North-East for defensive duties, it moved south in July 1940 to Warmwell, where it remained throughout the Battle of Britain. It flew convoy patrols from Portreath from April 1941 before moving to East Anglia in August, from were it flew escort missions. In January 1942, it moved to Northern Ireland, in August it was back on convoy patrols from Angle but in September it moved to Wittering and began preparing fro embarkation overseas.
The squadron took part in the Allied landing in North Africa in November and from the 14th of that month it moved onto airfields in Algeria. During the early part of this campaign, it provided fighter cover to fighter-bombers supported 1st Army's advance. March 1943 saw the squadron adopting the fighter-bomber role itself, which it conducted until the end of the campaign. In preparation for the landings on Sicily, the squadron moved to Malta in June 1943, moving onto the island in July and then Italy in September.
However, in November it was on the move to another operational theatre, when it was advised to transfer to India. Arriving in December it re-equipped Spitfire VIIIs and immediately began fighter patrols until April 1944 when it went back to fighter-bomber operations. It was involved in the Battle of Imphal and continued to support 14th Army for the rest of the war. Following VJ-Day, the squadron moved to Singapore, where it disbanded on 10 March 1946.
Two months later on 8 May 1946, No 136 Squadron was renumbered 152. Equipped with Spitfire XIVs, it received Tempests in June but a spares shortage limited flying and the disbanded again on 15 January 1947. From 11 February 1949 until 31 May 1954, the squadron number was linked to No 19 Squadron, but on 1 June 1954, the squadron regained its independence, when it reformed at Wattisham as a Meteor night fighter unit. It disbanded on 31 July 1958. However, on 29 September 1958, No 1417 Flight was raised to squadron status as No 152 Squadron. It was equipped with Pembrokes and Twin Pioneers for communications duties in the Persian Gulf. It finally disbanded on 9 December 1967.
Motto: Faithful Ally
Squadron Codes used: -
There is No 152 Squadron Association but Richard Castle, 1 Battle Close, Sarisbury Green, Southampton, Hampshire, SO31 7ZF: tel 01489 601937 is in contact with some members; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Formed at Hainault Farm as a night fighter unit on 4 November 1918, but the Armistice seven days later prevented the squadron becoming operational or receiving any aircraft, but it was 13 June 1919, before it actually disbanded.
The squadron eventually formed on 24 October 1941 at Ballyhalbert from 'A' Flight of No 256 Squadron, which had moved there on 14 October from Squires Gate. It operated Defiants on night fighter duties until May 1942 but in December, a Blenheim arrived for training and in January the process of converting the squadron onto Beaufighters began in ernest. Following conversion the squadron continued to provide night defence of Northern Ireland until December when it moved to North Africa.
In North Africa, the squadron provide night cover to Allied forces as well as providing protection to convoys from a range of advanced bases. From July 1944, the squadron was bases in Sardinia, from where it added night intruder operations to its duties. These were conducted against targets in Southern France and Northern Italy and in August, the squadron received a few Spitfires and Hurricanes for use in dawn patrols, but on 5 September the squadron disbanded.
The following month (7 October), the squadron reformed at Kirmington from a nucleus supplied by No 166 Squadron as a Lancaster equipped bomber unit, but almost immediately moved to Scampton. Until the end of the war, it operated as part of Bomber Command's Main Force and then carried out trooping flights to Italy, disbanding on 28 September 1945. The squadron has far been reformed for one other period, 28 February 1955 to 2 July 1958. This was in its original role as a night fighter unit, being based at West Malling with Meteor NF Mk 12 and 14s for the entire period.
Motto: Noctividus (Seeing by night)
Squadron Codes used: -
On 9 May 1918, it was proposed to form the squadron for deployment to France with Bristol F2Bs in October but these plans were cancelled on 4 July. Its formation was immediately rescheduled to form on 3 August for deployment on 3 October, but this plan was suspended on 29 July. Eventually the squadron was formed at Chingford on 7 August for deployment on 29 October, but having received no aircraft, it was disbanded on 11 September.
The squadron reformed at Fowlmere on 17 November 1941, being declared operational in February 1942. Equipped with Spitfires, it moved to Churchstanton in May for convoy escort duties and Hornchurch in June where it began offensive operations over France. However, on 30 August, it flew its last mission and was taken off operations, moving to Welligore the next day to prepare for movement overseas.
The ground echelon left on 1 November by sea, whilst the air echelon flew out to Gibraltar, operating from there until the two components were able to re-assemble in Algeria on 21 November. The squadron provided air defence of the Allied forces along the North African coast until the end of the campaign. After this it moved to Malta, from where it supported the invasion of Sicily, moving onto the island itself on 18 July 1943. In September the squadron moved to Italy but in December it moved to Palestine and the n Cyprus, from where it took part in operations in Syria. April 1944 saw te squadron operating from Corsica and in August it provided cover for Operation 'Dragoon', the Allied invasion of Southern France. It then remained in France provided air cover to the advancing Allied armies until the end of September, when it returned to Italy, disbanding at Naples on 1 November 1944.
Two weeks late (16 November), the squadron reformed at Biggin Hill, acquiring No 131 Squadron's Spitfire VIIs. These were used to provide long range bomber escorts, which was made easier from February 1945, when Mustangs replaced the Spitfires but on 31 March 1945, the squadron disbanded at its latest base of Hunsdon.
Motto: His modis ad victoriam (By this means to Victory)
Squadron Codes used: -
On 9 May 1918, it was proposed to form the squadron for deployment to France with DH9As in September and then October but these plans were cancelled on 4 July. Its formation was immediately rescheduled to form on 6 September for deployment on 6 November, but this plan was suspended on 29 July. It eventually formed as a night bomber squadron at Feltham on 14 September 1918, it received some DH9As but having failed to achieve operational status was disbanded on 7 December.
No 155 reformed on 1 April 1942 at Peshawar, equipped with Curtiss Mohawks, however it was September before the squadron became operational. It was involved in air defence operations and coastal patrols around Madras, but the following month it was transferred to Bengal, where it began to operate over Burma.
The squadron retained its Mohawks on a vareity of operations including ground attack, recce and escort duties until January 1944, when it eventually received more modern equipment in the form of Spitfires. With these it was employed on air defence as well as its previous roles. With the Japanese surrender the squadron moved to Singapore and then in May 1946 it moved to Sumatra, where it disbanded on 31 October 1946.
At the time of writing (2002), the squadron's final incarnation began on 1 September 1954, when it reformed at Seletar as a Whirlwind helicopter squadron. It flew these aircraft in the light transport and casualty evacuation roles during Operation 'Firedog' supporting both the army and police in their fight against Communist terrorist. However, on 3 June 1959, the squadron was disbanded when it was amalgamated with No 194 to form No 110 Squadron.
Motto: Eternal vigilance
Squadron Codes used: -
All Squadron badges on this page are courtesy of Steve Clements
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This page was last updated on 21/08/12 using FrontPage XP©
Sqns 156 - 160
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