Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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No 196 - 200 Squadron Histories

No 196 Squadron

No 196 Squadron BadgeFormed as a training squadron at Heliopolis in Egypt on 9 August 1917, it disbanded on 13 November 1917 by being redesignated the Aerial Flying School

The squadron reformed as a bomber unit at Driffield on 7 November 1942 and received Wellingtons in the following month, when it moved to nearby Leconfield.  Operations began in February 1943 and in July the squadron moved to Witchford, where it converted to Stirlings.  From August to November it continued in its previous role but that month it transferred to the airborne forces role.

Following parachute dropping and glider towing training the squadron received Stirling IVs and began supply dropping operations to resistance forces in February 1944.  These continued to the end of the war as well as taking part in the three major airborne operations, namely Operation 'Overlord', Arnhem and Operation 'Varsity', the Rhine crossing of March 1945.  In May the squadron carried troops to Norway and Denmark, after which it continued with general transport duties until disbanding on16 March 1946.

Motto:      Sic fidem servamus (Thus we keep the faith)

Squadron Codes used: -

KG Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
ZO Nov 1942 - Mar 1946
7T May 1943 - Mar 1946

Aircraft & Markings

Tribute Website to Plt Off George Pollard - No 196 Sqn


No 197 Squadron

No 197 Squadron BadgeFormed as a training squadron at Almaza in Egypt on 9 August 1917, it disbanded on 20 November 1917 by being redesignated the Artillery  Observation School.

Reformed at Turnhouse on 21 November 1942, the squadron received Typhoons in December and it was declared operational in January 1943.  In March it moved to Manston and then in April, Tangmere and Need's Oar Point before settling at Hurn in July, having joined No 146 Airfield (later No 146 Wing) of the 2nd Tactical Air Force.  It undertook fighter-bomber operations in preparation for Operation 'Overlord' and transferred to France in July 1944.  The squadron continued in the fighter-bomber role for the rest of war, following the advancing armies through France, Belgium and the  Low Countries until it arrived in Germany in April.  The squadron disbanded at Hildesheim on 31 August 1945.

Motto:      Findimus caelum (We cleave the sky)

Squadron Codes used: -

AG Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
OV Nov 1942 - Aug 1945

Aircraft & Markings

Memories of Alan Smith (ex No 197 Sqn)

197 Squadron website : -


No 198 Squadron

No 198 Squadron BadgeFormed as No 198 (Depot) Squadron at Rochford on 27 June 1917, it was tasked with night training.  Until September this was merely elementary training but from that month it also provided advanced training.  It disbanded in September 1919

Reformed at Digby on 8 December 1942 as a night fighter unit equipped with Typhoons, it initially carried out defensive duties over North-East England.  In March 1943 it moved to Manston, in order to intercept the German low-level fighter-bombers then making attacks against coastal targets.  Early in 1944 the squadron began to train in the use of rocket projectiles and these remained its main offensive weapon until the end of the war.  These weapons were used to good effect in the preparations for Operation 'Overlord'   The squadron continued in the ground attack role for the rest of war, following the advancing armies through France, Belgium and the  Low Countries until it arrived in Germany in April.  One of its last operations was on 3 May 1945, when it was involved in attacks, along with other 2 TAF units, against large quantities of shipping being assembled around Kiel and Neustadt.  Unfortunately, during these attacks shipping was sunk that contained concentration camp prisoners, supposedly being transported to Sweden, resulting in over 7,000 of the then being killed.  The squadron disbanded at Wunstorf on 15 September 1945.

Motto:      Igni renatus (Born again to fire)

Squadron Codes used: -

PU Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
TP Dec 1942 - Sep 1945

Aircraft & Markings

198 Squadron website : -

External Information on RAF & UK Investments
Royal Air Force Central Fund RAF Strategic Priorities UK Investments UK Green Investments


No 199 Squadron

No 199 Squadron BadgeFormed as No 199 (Depot) Squadron at Rochford on 1 June 1917, by renumbering No 99 (Depot) Squadron, it was tasked with the training of night bomber pilots destined for service in France.  It moved to Harpswell in June 1918 and disbanded there in June 1919.

The squadron reformed on7 November 1942 as a bomber unit at Blyton, equipped with Wellingtons, operations beginning in December.  It moved to Ingham in February 1943, Lakenheath in June, finally settling at North Creake in May 1944.  The Wellingtons were replaced by Stirlings in July 1943 and early in 1944 the squadron was taken off normal operations to undergo training in the Radio Counter-Measures role as part of No 100 Group.  During Operation 'Overlord', the squadron provided a 'spoof' invasion convoy in the Pas de Calais area.  It continued to provide electronic support to Bomber Command's Main Force for the rest of the war.  Halifaxes began to arrive in February 1945 and was fully equipped by April, but the squadron disbanded on 29 July 1945.

The squadron's final incarnation began on 16 July 1951, as a Signals Command unit at Watton.  It was again operating in the RCM role, now equipped with Lincolns and Mosquitoes.  The Mosquitoes were replaced by Canberras in March 1954 and the Lincolns by Valiants in June 1957, however, just over eighteen months later the squadron was disbanded, the Valiants forming the nucleus of a new No 18 Squadron on 15 December 1958.

Motto:      Let tyrants tremble

Squadron Codes used: -

DO Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
EX Nov 1942 - Jul 1945

Aircraft & Markings

No 199 Sqn - RAF Lakenheath 1943
F/Lt Craw and crew. 199 Squadron (survived)
F/Lt Button and crew of "B" Beer 199 Squadron
Crew of "G" George 199 Squadron January 1944. Crew members were Les Francis? W G Pettet? J R Serjeant? R Currie others unidentified except for nicknames "scruffy" and "Joe
Crew of "H" Harry 199 Squadron. 3rd from left is the Navigator Bill Humphries RAF. Others are Maurice Bristow RCAF, Bob Hide RAF, Colin Hughes (Speed) RNZAF, Frank Shields RAF and two members of the RAAF whose signatures cannot beread

Navigator Bill "baby" Humphries of "H" Harry 199 Squadron. (surname may be somewhat different as difficult to read)

All Photos courtesy - Mildred Seager via Chris Seager


No 200 Squadron

No 200 Squadron BadgeFormed as No 200 (Depot) Squadron at East Retford on 1 July 1917, it was tasked with the training of night bomber pilots destined for service in France.  It disbanded at Harpswell on 13 June 1919.

The squadron reformed at Bircham Newton on 25 May 1941 from a nucleus provided by No 206 Squadron.  Equipped with Hudson, it left the following month for West Africa.  Whilst stopping over at Gibraltar the squadron provided escort to Hurricanes being flown to Malta from the carriers Ark Royal and Victorious.   The first aircraft arrived at Jeswang in Gambia on 18 June and operations were commenced on the 30th of the month.  From the July 1943 the squadron converted to Liberators, which were taken to India in March 1944.  The lack of enemy activity led to the squadron being transferred to special duties in April 1945 and it then began supply dropping to guerrillas in Burma.  On 15 May 1945, the squadron was disbanded by being renumbered No 8 Squadron.

Motto:      In loco parentis (We act as guardians)

Squadron Codes used: -

UE Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939

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 18/07/14 using FrontPage XP

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