Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
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Formed at Pizzone on 1 April 1918 by renaming the Bombing School, it was divided into Nos 472, 473 and 474 Flights in September. Equipped with DH4s and a few Camels (474 Flt) it carried out coastal reconnaissance, anti-submarine patrols and bombing mission against Austrian targets. In June the DH4s were replaced by DH9 and in October the squadron moved to Lemnos, from where it carried out attacks on Turkish targets in the Aegean. It returned to Italy in November, disbanding on 18 December 1918.
The squadron reformed from 'B' Flight of No 57 Squadron on 15 March 1937 at Upper Heyford, equipped with Audaxes. These were replaced by Battles in October, which were taken to France just before the outbreak of war as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force. Its attempts to halt the German advance proved futile and on 16 June 1940 the squadron was evacuated to Britain.
Almost immediately it was sent to Sydenham near Belfast, where it began re-equipping with Blenheims in February 1941, which it took to Wattisham in May 1941, joining No 2 Group. It was now involved in daylight attacks against coastal targets and enemy shipping, which proved to a very hazardous activity in Blenheims. However, New equipment arrived in November in the form of the Douglas Boston. These were used successfully until May 1943 when another American type arrived, the Mitchell.
By now No 2 Group had been transferred from Bomber Command to 2nd Tactical Air Force and the squadrons targets were enemy airfields and lines of communication, both inside and outside the immediate invasion area. Following the invasion it moved onto the continent and continued to support the advancing Allied armies for the remainder of the war, disbanding at Gilze-Rijen on 20 September 1945.
No 226's last incarnation was as a Thor Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile unit at Catfoss from 1 August 1959 to 9 March 1963.
Motto: Non sibi sed patriae (For country not for self)
Squadron Codes used: -
Formed from the RNAS Caproni Squadron at Pizzone on 18 April 1918, it was divided into Ns 299, 550 and 551 Flights in September. It was to have been a light bomber unit, but did not achieve operational status before the Armistice, disbanding on 9 December 1918.
In July 1942 a Beaufighter unit, to be numbered 227, was formed in the UK for service in the Middle East, however, on arrival at Aqir, its aircrews were absorbed by No 272 Squadron and the ground crews were allocated to assist No 10 Squadron, equipped with Halifaxes. this unit eventually merged with 76/462 Squadron to form a new 462 Squadron.
In the meantime a new 227 Squadron had formed at Luqa on Malta from a detachment of No 248 Squadron (although some sources quote 235 Squadron) and this was also equipped with Beaufighters and immediately began operations against enemy shipping. Moving to North Africa in March 1943, it operated over the Eastern Mediterranean until moving to Italy in August 1944 but on the 12th of that month it disbanded by being renumbered No 19 Squadron SAAF.
It reformed once again on 7 October 1944 at Bardney as a Lancaster bomber unit from 'A' Flight of No 9 Squadron and 'B' Flight of No 619 Squadron, moving to Balderton later that month. It operated as part of Bomber Command's Main Force until the end of the war, moving to Strubby in April 1945 and gravely in June, where it disbanded on 5 September 1945.
No Badge Authorised
Squadron Codes used: -
Formed on 20 August 1918 from No's 324, 325 and 326 Flights at Great Yarmouth, it continued to fly anti-submarine patrols with its Felixstowe F2As over the North Sea and English Channel until 24 October. In April 1919 it was reduced to cadre, losing its aircraft and moving to Brough at the same time. Two month later it moved to Killingholme, disbanding there on 30 June 1919.
The squadron re-entered the order of battle on 15 December 1936 as a flying boat unit at Pembroke Dock, although it was February 1937 before its equipment arrived. This was in the form of a single Scapa and by April it was operating a mixture of Singapores, a London, a Scapa and a Stranraer. However by August the squadron was solely equipped with the Stranraer, but in November Sunderlands began to arrive and these had completely replaced the Stranraers by April 1939.
Following conversion, the squadron moved to Alexandria in Egypt, but on the outbreak of war, it returned to Pembroke Dock, from where it operated detachments to Invergordon and Sullom Voe. These detachments were able to cover the North Sea as far as the Norwegian coast. However, in June 1940 Italy declared war on Britain and No 228 was immediately sent back to Alexandria. Up to October 1940, the squadron's maintenance base had remained at Pembroke Dock, but that month it was moved to Kalafrana in Malta and then in March 1941 to Alexandria itself. During this period it carried out anti-submarine and shipping patrols in the Mediterranean and covered the British withdrawal from Greece and Crete.
A further move came in June when the squadron went to Gambia in West Africa, but by this time it was down to just two aircraft and in August, it retuned to Pembroke Dock, but then moved to Stranraer to re-equip. Operations re-commenced in March 1942 from Oban with further moves in December to Lough Erne and in May 1943 back to Pembroke Dock, where it remained until disbanding on 4 June 1945.
It reformed at St Eval on 1 June 1946 from No 224 Y Squadron. It was now equipped with Liberators and operated both passenger and freight services to Iceland, the Azores, Gibraltar and North Africa but also undertook reconnaissance duties, Air-Sea rescue and meteorological patrols. It disbanded at St Eval on 30 September 1946.
It reformed again at St Eval on 1 July 1954 as a Shackleton equipped maritime reconnaissance unit, disbanding on 1 April 1959. Five months later (1 September), it was reformed at Leconfield by renumbering No 275 Squadron. This was a Search and Rescue helicopter unit flying Sycamores, which were transferred to No 118 Squadron in January 1961, when 228 received Whirlwind HAR Mk 2s and 4s. In their turn these were replaced by the Gnome turboshaft powered HAR Mk 10s in May 1962, but on 1 September 1964, the squadron disbanded by being renumbered No 202 Squadron.
Motto: Auxilium a caelo (Help from the sky)
Squadron Codes used: -
No 228 Squadron Association: - Doug Hollingworth, 102 Longhill Avenue, Ayr, KA7 4DF: Tel 01292 442606, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Formed on 20 August 1918 from No's 428, 429, 454 and 455 Flights at Great Yarmouth (although source also quote Oudezeele in Flanders). It was equipped with Short 184 and 320, Sopwith and Hamble Babys and Fairey IIICs for coastal patrols. Reduced to cadre in Mar 1919, it moved to Killingholme, where it disbanded on 31 December 1919.
It reformed at Digby on 6 October 1939 as a fighter squadron equipped with Blenheim IFs. Coastal patrols were begun in December but at the same time the squadron began night flying training and became involved in AI radar trials. However, this role was to be short-lived as in March 1940, the squadron re-equipped with Hurricanes, one flight of which was sent to France in May as reinforcements. Just over a week later, what was left of the squadron returned to Wittering continuing its operations along the East Coast until September when it moved to Northolt.
In December 1940 the squadron moved north to Speke for defence of Merseyside. This lasted until May 1941, when one flight was embarked aboard HMS Furious departing for Malta on 20 May. However, it was not planned that they be delivered to Malta by ship but that they fly off the carrier, which they did and after refuelling they proceeded to Egypt. When this flight arrived in Egypt, it was attached to No 274 Squadron and assisted in covering the evacuation from Crete. Fifteen days after the first flight the second arrived and this was split and attached to Nos 6, 208 and 213 Squadrons. The flight attached to 274 was then transferred to No 73 and ten eventually in September N 229 began to operate as an independent unit once again. It flew offensive operations over Libya until March 1942, when it was sent as reinforcement to Malta, but the heavy losses being suffered on the island led to it being disbanded on 29 April.
The squadron was reformed on Malta on 3 August 1942 when No 603 Squadron was renumbered. It participated in the closing stages of the islands air battles, following which it carried out fighter-bomber operations over Sicily prior to and during the Allied landings on the island. After the landings, the squadron was retained in Malta for defensive duties. It moved to Sicily itself in January 1944 but in April it returned to Britain, re-assembling at Hornchurch on the 24th of the month. Initially providing escort to day bombers, it later added armed reconnaissance operations to its task list until it disbanded, ironically by being renumbered No 603 Squadron on 10 January 1945.
Motto: Be Bold
Squadron Codes used: -
Formed at Felixstowe in August 1918, it amalgamated No's 327 and 328 Flights, equipped with the Felixstowe F2A with the Camels of No 487 Flight . With the end of hostilities it avoided disbandment, being retained as a flying boat unit within Coastal Area, when it was formed. The squadron remained at Felixstowe until May 1922 when it moved to Calshot, however, on 1 April 1923 the unit was downgraded in status to No 480 Flight.
A new 230 Squadron formed at Pembroke Dock on 1 December 1934, still in the General Reconnaissance role equipped with Singapore III flying boats from the following April. From October 1935 until August 1936, the squadron operated from Egypt during the Abyssinian crisis. However, within two months of arriving back at Pembroke Dock, the squadron was on the move yet again, this time to Singapore. By January 1937 the squadron was established at Seletar and in June 1938, it received its first Sunderlands. From September 1939 it carried out patrols over the Indian Ocean and operated a detachment from Ceylon. This detachment got progressively bigger until the entire air complement was based on the island and in February 1940, those personnel remaining in Singapore where transferred to No 205 and 230 re-located officially to Ceylon.
Just prior to the entry of Italy into the war saw the squadron transferred again, this time to the Mediterranean operating from Egypt on anti-submarine patrols and reconnaissance operations for the Mediterranean Fleet until January 1943. At this time it moved further south to Dar-es-Salaam in East Africa, from where it once again operated over the Indian Ocean. During this period the squadron operated detachments in Madagascar, and back in the Mediterranean.
February 1944 saw the squadron retuning to Ceylon and a year later operated a detachment form Calcutta, which flew casualties and freight from their to Burma. April 1945 witnessed the squadron move to Burma for offensive operations against coastal shipping and in December the squadron once again returned to Singapore. However, in April 1946 230 was transferred back to the Calshot, where it remained until February 1949 when it arrived back at Pembroke Dock. The squadron took part in the Berlin Airlift prior to the move to Pembroke Dock, where it operated into Lake Havel. During the period 15 February 1949 and 30 April 1952 230 was linked with No 240 Squadron and later disbanded at Pembroke on 28 February 1957.
With the demise of the flying boat in RAF service, No 230's next incarnation was in the light transport role, when it reformed on 1 September 1958. It was reformed by the re-numbering of No 215 Squadron, which was equipped with Scottish Aviation Pioneer aircraft and was based at Dishforth. Operating alongside Army units, it received some Twin Pioneers in 1960. One flight was detached to the Cameroons in September 1961, returning a year later. In June 1961, the squadron began to receive Whirlwind HAR Mk 10 helicopters and by the end of the year was fully equipped and the last of the fixed wing aircraft had left.
The squadron moved to Germany in January 1963 remaining there until January 1965, however, two months later the squadron was sent to Borneo remaining there for a further two years until finally retuning to the UK in January 1967. Operating from Odiham until November 1969 when it moved to Wittering, a detachment began training on the Puma in October 1971 and on 3 December 1971 the squadron disbanded. However, on 1 January 1972, the training element at Odiham was officially allocated the number-plate 230. In October 1980 the squadron moved to Gutersloh in West Germany, where it operated until 30 April 1992, when its aircraft were handed over to No 18 Squadron and 230 disbanded. However, on 4 May 1992 and new 230 Squadron was re-formed at Aldergrove in Northern Ireland. Still equipped with the Puma, the squadron continues to operate in the province.
Motto: Kita chari jauh (We seek far)
Squadron Codes used: -
*Honours in Black are those the squadron has a been granted the right to emblazon on the Squadron Standard, but does not do so.
Honours in Red are those actually emblazoned on the Squadron Standard
Honours in Blue are those the squadron has not been granted the right to emblazon on the Squadron Standard
All Squadron badges on this page are courtesy of Steve Clements
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Sqns 231 - 235
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