Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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No 186 - 190 Squadron Histories


No 186 Squadron

Formed at East Retford as a training unit for night fighter pilots for both home defence and overseas units on 1 April 1918, it moved to Gosport in July 1919, where it became a development squadron.  It was disbanded by being renumbered No 210 Squadron on 1 February 1920.

The squadron reformed as a fighter unit at Drem on 27 April 1943, however, its initial equipment in the form of Hurricanes did not arrive until August.  Having moved to Ayr at the same time the squadron began to re-equip with Typhoons in November, but three months later it received Spitfire VBs.  On 1 March 1944, it moved to Lympne, where it began operations on the 15th of the month but on5 April the squadron was disbanded by being renumbered No 130 Squadron.

A new No 186 Squadron formed on 5 October 1944 when 'C' Flight of No 90 Squadron was raised to squadron status.  It was now a Lancaster unit in Bomber Command, based at Tuddenham until December 1944, when it moved to Stradishall.  The squadron spent the remainder of the war as part of Bomber Command's Main Force, after which it was involved in repatriating POWs until it disbanded on 15 July 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -

 

MR Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
AP Apr 1943 - Apr 1944
XY Jan 1944 - Jul 1945
AP ?- Jul 1945 ('C' Flt only)

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 187 Squadron

No 187 Squadron BadgeFormed at East Retford as a training unit for night fighter pilots for both home defence and overseas units on 1 April 1918, it was disbanded on 1 May 1919.

It was 1 February 1945, before the squadron was reformed and it was now a transport unit equipped with Halifaxes.  However, these where short-lived as Dakotas began to arrive in March and the last Halifax left in April.  In May the squadron began trooping flights to India and in October flight to and from the continent.  The India flight ended in March 1946, and the squadron then concentrated on the continental operations. From July some aircraft were detached to support the occupation forces in Austria and Italy, but on 1 November 1946, the squadron was disbanded by being renumbered No 53 Squadron.

The squadron was revived on 1 February 1953, when No 2 Home Ferry Unit was allocated the number.  It was now tasked with the ferrying of aircraft throughout the UK and to Germany, a task it fulfilled until disbanding on 2 September 1957.

Motto:      Versatile

Squadron Codes used: -  

GP Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
PU Feb 1945 - Dec 1946

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 188 Squadron

Formed at Throwley on 20 December 1917 as a training squadron for night fighter pilots, for which it was equipped with Avro 504Ks.  In June 1918, Camels began to be issued to night fighter units, so 188 was given the task of training pilots for these aircraft, receiving both Camels and Pups for this purpose, as well as keeping its Avros.  The squadron disbanded on 1 March 1919 and was never revived during the Second World War.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -

XD Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 189 Squadron

Formed at Ripon as a training unit for night fighter pilots for both home defence and overseas units on 20 December 1917, it moved to Sutton's Farm in January 1918, where it disbanded on 1 March 1919.

It was reformed on 15 October 1944 as a bomber unit at Bardney.  It was part of No 5 Group and equipped with Lancasters, which it operated as part of Bomber Command's Main Force until the end of the war.  It was then involved in the repatriation of POWs before disbanding at Metheringham on 20 November 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -  

LM Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
CA Oct 1944 - Nov 1945

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 190 Squadron

No 190 Squadron badgeFormed at Newmarket as a training unit for night fighter pilots for both home defence and overseas units on 24 October 1917, it moved to Upwood in January 1918, where it disbanded on January 1919.

The squadron reformed at Sullom Voe on 1 March 1943 from a nucleus provided by No 210 Squadron, flying Catalinas on anti-submarine patrols over the North Atlantic.  It disbanded on 31 December 1943 by being renumbered No 210 Squadron.

Five days later, a new No 190 Squadron was formed at Leicester East.  It was now equipped with Stirlings and operated in the airborne forces role.  Prior to D-Day, it dropped supplies to resistance forces in France and during the invasion it supplied 23 aircraft to drop paratroops on the night of 5/6 June with another 18 delivering gliders on D-Day itself.  In September it took troops to Arnhem and then carried out re-supply missions throughout the operation.  March 1945 saw the squadron involved in the Rhine crossing, April it was flying fuel to advanced army units and in May ferrying troops to Norway, having newly converted to the Halifax.  The squadron finally disbanded on 28 December 1945.

Motto:      Ex tenebris (Through darkness)

Squadron Codes used: -

JB Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
GS Jan 1944 - Dec 1945
 L9 Jan 1944 - Dec 1945

Aircraft & Markings    


All Squadron badges on this page are courtesy of Steve Clements

Crown Copyright is reproduced with the permission of the Directorate of Intellectual Property Rights

This page was last updated on 21/08/12 using FrontPage XP

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