Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

Home Page

About this site

Quick Menu

Main Menu

Members' Area (Subscription service)

What's New

Help Needed?

Shop online from Amazon

Lopoking for ex-colleagues?

E-mail me

Please sign my guest book

Pleae read my guest book

Glossary

Bibliography

Links Page

Text links are shown below

Link to Servicepals.com

In Association with Amazon.co.uk


Woodfield Publishing

- Home Page -

- About this site -

- Quick Menu -

- Main Menu -

- Members' Area -

- What's New -

- Help Needed -

- Online Store -

- Reunions -

- Contact Me -

- Sign Guest Book -

- View Guest Book -

- Glossary -

- Bibliography -


No 521 - 540 Squadron Histories


Numbers in the 500 series were originally allocated to squadrons of the Special Reserve but only five such squadrons had been formed before they were absorbed into the Auxiliary Air Force.  As more squadrons were required by the wartime expansion of the RAF, numbers in this series began to formed as the 300 and 400 series were allocated to Foreign and Commonwealth units.

No 521 Squadron

Formed from No 1401 Flight at Bircham Newton on 1 August 1942, it continued to conduct meteorological reconnaissance duties.  It used Hudsons and Blenheims for North sea patrols, Spitfires and Mosquitoes over the continents and for local flights it used Gladiators.  It was disbanded when it was divided into Flights again, No's 1401 and 1409. 

However, it was reformed in its previous role on 1 September 1943 at Docking.  It was now equipped with Hampdens, Hudsons and Gladiators, with Venturas arriving in December 1943.  Hurricanes supplemented the Gladiators in August 1944 and Hudson returned to replace the Venturas in September.  Fortress IIs arrived for long range sorties in December 1944 and these were operated together with Mk IIIs from May 1945 until February 1946.  Halifax III started to arrive in December 1945 and following the withdrawal of the Fortresses, became the squadron's sole equipment until in disbanded on 1 April 1946 at Chivenor, where it had moved on 3 November 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -

5O 1942 - 1946

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 524 Squadron

Initially formed as a trials units to gain experience with the Martin Mariner flying boat on 20 October 1943 at Oban, but following the decision not to adopt the type for the RAF, the squadron was disbanded on 7 December 1943.

The squadron reformed in the maritime reconnaissance role at Davidstow Moor on 7 April 1944.   It was now equipped with Wellingtons and undertook patrols to locate E-boats, which were then attacked by other squadrons.

The squadron relocated to the East Coast in July 1944 in order to undertake similar operations of the Dutch coast.  It disbanded at Langham on 25 May 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -

7R Apr 1944 - May 1945

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 525 Squadron

No 525 Squadron BadgeFormed as a route flying transport squadron at Weston Zoyland on 2 September 1943, it was initially equipped with Warwicks, flying on the UK - Gibraltar route. 

After a number of accidents were experienced by transport Warwicks, the type was grounded and Dakotas started to arrive in June 1944, the Warwicks having left the squadron by September.

Regular flight to continent began at the same time as conversion to Dakotas was complete and after the war flight to the Mediterranean also began.  It was finally disbanded by being re-numbered No 238 Squadron on 1 December 1946, by which time it was based at Abingdon.

.

.

Motto:  Vinciendo vincimus (We link together to conquer)

Squadron Codes used: -

8P Allocated Sep 1943 but not used
WF 1946 - Dec 1946

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 526 Squadron

Formed at Inverness on 15 June 1943, this squadron was tasked with radar calibration duties.  

Equipped with Blenheims, it later received Hornet Moths, Oxfords and Dominies, operating all four types until disbanding on being absorbed into No 527 Squadron on 1 May 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -

MD Jun 1943 - May 1945

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 527 Squadron

No 527 Squadron BadgeFormed at Castle Camps on 15 June 1943, this squadron was tasked with radar calibration duties.  Initially equipped with Blenheims and Hurricanes,  Hornet Moths arrived in December 1943, Spitfires in July 1944, Oxfords - September 1944, Wellingtons in April 1945 and finally Dominies in May 1945.  

In September 1944 the squadron absorbed No 528 Squadon and the same month retired the Hornet Moths, the Hurricanes being retired in April 1945 and the Blenheims in May, whilst the remainder were flown until the squadron disbanded at Watton on 15 April 1946, where it had moved on 8 November 1945.

The squadron was reformed on 1 August 1952, by amalgamating and redesignating N and R squadrons of the Central Radar Establishment at Watton.  It now flew Lincolns, Ansons and Canberras, later addind Meteor NF 11s and Varsitys.   The last Lincoln left in March 1957 after which it became a pure jet unit with the Canberras and Meteors.  It was disbanded by being re-numbered No 245 Squadron on 21 August 1958.

Motto:   Silently we serve

Squadron Codes used: -

WN Jun 1943 - Apr 1946

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 528 Squadron

Formed at Filton on 28 June 1943, this squadron was tasked with radar calibration duties.  

Equipped with Blenheims and Hornet Moths, it moved north to Digby on 15 May 1944, disbanding there on 1 September the same year, its duties being taken over by No 527 Squadron.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 529 Squadron

Formed at Halton from No 1448 Flight on 15 June 1943, this squadron was tasked with radar calibration duties.  

It was equipped for a variety of types including, Rota Is, Hornet Moths, Oxfords.  It became the first squadron in the RAF to operate helicopters in May 1945 when it received some Sikorsky Hoverfly Is.  Moving to Henley on Thames on 16 August 1944, it disbanded there on 20 October 1945.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -

KX Jun 1943 - Oct 1945

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 530 Squadron

On 2 September 1942, the various Turbinlite flights around the country were raised to squadron status, No 1451 Flight at Hunsdon becoming No 530 Squadron.

These squadrons were equipped with Havocs and Boston, modified to carry a powerful searchlight in the nose and AI radar.  The Turbinlite aircraft used their radar to locate enemy aircraft and then illuminated them with the searchlight, enabling accompanying fighters to attack the hostile aircraft.  On being raised to squadron status, the Hurricanes became an integral part of the unit, whereas the Turbinlite aircraft had previously operated with fighters from other squadrons.  Improvements in AI radar in aircraft such as the Mosquito soon lead to the concept becoming unwieldy and ineffective, resulting in the squadron's disbandment on 25 January 1943.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 531 Squadron

On 2 September 1942, the various Turbinlite flights around the country were raised to squadron status, No 1452 Flight at West Malling becoming No 531 Squadron.

These squadrons were equipped with Havocs and Boston, modified to carry a powerful searchlight in the nose and AI radar.  The turbinlite aircraft used their radar to locate enemy aircraft and then illuminated them with the searchlight, enabling accompanying fighters to attack the hostile aircraft.  On being raised to squadron status, the Hurricanes became an integral part of the unit, whereas the turbinlite aircraft had previously operated with fighters from other squadrons.  Improvements in AI radar in aircraft such as the Mosquito soon lead to the concept becoming unwieldy and ineffective, resulting in the squadron's disbandment on 25 January 1943.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 532 Squadron

On 2 September 1942, the various Turbinlite flights around the country were raised to squadron status, No 1453 Flight at Wittering becoming No 532 Squadron, although on the 11 September 1942, it moved to Hibaldstow.

These squadrons were equipped with Havocs and Boston, modified to carry a powerful searchlight in the nose and AI radar.  The turbinlite aircraft used their radar to locate enemy aircraft and then illuminated them with the searchlight, enabling accompanying fighters to attack the hostile aircraft.  On being raised to squadron status, the Hurricanes became an integral part of the unit, whereas the turbinlite aircraft had previously operated with fighters from other squadrons.  Improvements in AI radar in aircraft such as the Mosquito soon lead to the concept becoming unwieldy and ineffective, resulting in the squadron's disbandment on 25 January 1943.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 533 Squadron

On 2 September 1942, the various Turbinlite flights around the country were raised to squadron status, No 1454 Flight at Charmy Down becoming No 533 Squadron.

These squadrons were equipped with Havocs and Boston, modified to carry a powerful searchlight in the nose and AI radar.  The turbinlite aircraft used their radar to locate enemy aircraft and then illuminated them with the searchlight, enabling accompanying fighters to attack the hostile aircraft.  On being raised to squadron status, the Hurricanes became an integral part of the unit, whereas the turbinlite aircraft had previously operated with fighters from other squadrons.  Improvements in AI radar in aircraft such as the Mosquito soon lead to the concept becoming unwieldy and ineffective, resulting in the squadron's disbandment on 25 January 1943.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 534 Squadron

On 2 September 1942, the various Turbinlite flights around the country were raised to squadron status, No 1455 Flight at Tangmere becoming No 534 Squadron.

These squadrons were equipped with Havocs and Boston, modified to carry a powerful searchlight in the nose and AI radar.  The turbinlite aircraft used their radar to locate enemy aircraft and then illuminated them with the searchlight, enabling accompanying fighters to attack the hostile aircraft.  On being raised to squadron status, the Hurricanes became an integral part of the unit, whereas the turbinlite aircraft had previously operated with fighters from other squadrons.  Improvements in AI radar in aircraft such as the Mosquito soon lead to the concept becoming unwieldy and ineffective, resulting in the squadron's disbandment on 25 January 1943.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 535 Squadron

On 2 September 1942, the various Turbinlite flights around the country were raised to squadron status, No 1456 Flight at High Ercall becoming No 535 Squadron.

These squadrons were equipped with Havocs and Boston, modified to carry a powerful searchlight in the nose and AI radar.  The turbinlite aircraft used their radar to locate enemy aircraft and then illuminated them with the searchlight, enabling accompanying fighters to attack the hostile aircraft.  On being raised to squadron status, the Hurricanes became an integral part of the unit, whereas the turbinlite aircraft had previously operated with fighters from other squadrons.  Improvements in AI radar in aircraft such as the Mosquito soon lead to the concept becoming unwieldy and ineffective, resulting in the squadron's disbandment on 25 January 1943.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 536 Squadron

On 2 September 1942, the various Turbinlite flights around the country were raised to squadron status, No 1457 Flight at Predannock becoming No 536 Squadron, moving to Fairwood Common on 27 October 1942.

These squadrons were equipped with Havocs and Boston, modified to carry a powerful searchlight in the nose and AI radar.  The turbinlite aircraft used their radar to locate enemy aircraft and then illuminated them with the searchlight, enabling accompanying fighters to attack the hostile aircraft.  On being raised to squadron status, the Hurricanes became an integral part of the unit, whereas the turbinlite aircraft had previously operated with fighters from other squadrons.  Improvements in AI radar in aircraft such as the Mosquito soon lead to the concept becoming unwieldy and ineffective, resulting in the squadron's disbandment on 25 January 1943.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 537 Squadron

On 2 September 1942, the various Turbinlite flights around the country were raised to squadron status, No 1458 Flight at Middle Wallop becoming No 537 Squadron.

These squadrons were equipped with Havocs and Boston, modified to carry a powerful searchlight in the nose and AI radar.  The turbinlite aircraft used their radar to locate enemy aircraft and then illuminated them with the searchlight, enabling accompanying fighters to attack the hostile aircraft.  On being raised to squadron status, the Hurricanes became an integral part of the unit, whereas the turbinlite aircraft had previously operated with fighters from other squadrons.  Improvements in AI radar in aircraft such as the Mosquito soon lead to the concept becoming unwieldy and ineffective, resulting in the squadron's disbandment on 25 January 1943.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 538 Squadron

On 2 September 1942, the various Turbinlite flights around the country were raised to squadron status, No 1459 Flight at Hibaldstow becoming No 538 Squadron.

These squadrons were equipped with Havocs and Boston, modified to carry a powerful searchlight in the nose and AI radar.  The turbinlite aircraft used their radar to locate enemy aircraft and then illuminated them with the searchlight, enabling accompanying fighters to attack the hostile aircraft.  On being raised to squadron status, the Hurricanes became an integral part of the unit, whereas the turbinlite aircraft had previously operated with fighters from other squadrons.  Improvements in AI radar in aircraft such as the Mosquito soon lead to the concept becoming unwieldy and ineffective, resulting in the squadron's disbandment on 25 January 1943.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 539 Squadron

On 2 September 1942, the various Turbinlite flights around the country were raised to squadron status, No 1460 Flight at Acklington becoming No 539 Squadron.

These squadrons were equipped with Havocs and Boston, modified to carry a powerful searchlight in the nose and AI radar.  The turbinlite aircraft used their radar to locate enemy aircraft and then illuminated them with the searchlight, enabling accompanying fighters to attack the hostile aircraft.  On being raised to squadron status, the Hurricanes became an integral part of the unit, whereas the turbinlite aircraft had previously operated with fighters from other squadrons.  Improvements in AI radar in aircraft such as the Mosquito soon lead to the concept becoming unwieldy and ineffective, resulting in the squadron's disbandment on 25 January 1943.

No Badge Authorised

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 540 Squadron

No 540 Squadron BadgeFormed from 'H' & 'L' Flights of the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit at Leuchars on 19 October 1942.

Equipped with Mosquitoes, it operated over Norway and the Baltic.  Detachments from bases further south, also operated over France and Italy and during Operation Torch, another detachment operated over North Africa.

It moved to Benson in February 1944, in time for Operation Overlord and from it also carried out sorties into Austria and to the canary Islands.  In March 1945, the squadron moved to France but returned to Benson the following November, where it remained until disbanding on 30 September 1946.

The squadron reformed at Benson on 1 December 1947, again in the PR role and still equipped with the Mosquito, this time Mk 32s.  It converted to Canberra PR3s in December 1952 and the following March moved to Wyton.  Canberra PR 7s arrived in September 1954, the squadron operating both models until it was disbanded on 31 March 1956.

Motto:  Sine qua non (Indispensable)

Squadron Codes used: -

DH Nov 1945 - Sep 1946, Dec 1947 - 1951

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 31/01/13 using FrontPage XP

Back to Organizational Index Organisational Index                       [Top of Page]                                 Sqns 541 - 598 Forward to 541 - 598 Squadrons