418 Squadron

15th November 1941 Squadron Formed at RAF Debden.

Nov 1941 Issued with Boston lll which it flew until March 1943

15th April 1942 Moved to RAF Bradwell Bay

15th March 1943 Moved to RAF Ford

March 1943 issued with Mosquito ll which it flew until Nov 1944

8th April 1944 Moved to RAF Holmsley South

19th July 1944 Moved to RAF Middle Wallop

28th August 1944 moved to RAF Hundsden

Nov 1944 issued with Mosquito Vl which it flew until Sept 1945

21 Nov 1944 Moved to RAF Blackbushe

15th March 1945 moved to B 71/Coxyde

26th April 1945 Moved to B 80 Volkel

7th September 1945 Disbanded

418 Squadron Havocs Taxying at Bradwell                                         © IWM CH

23 Squadron

23 Squadron has along history being formed in 1915 and serving throughout the first World War and disbanded in 1919. It was reformed in 1925 at RAF Henlow. For the sake of brevity, we will start in December 1938 when the squadron was based at RAF Wittering and were issued with Blenheim 1F which they were to fly before converting to the Havoc 1 in 1941.

Mar 1941                   Detachments of squadron based at RAF Bradwell Bay, RAF Tangmere, RAF Manston, and RAF Middle Wallop

Feb 1942                   Issued with Boston lll aircraft

Jun 1942                   Converted to Mosquito ll Aircraft

 6 Aug 1942              Whole squadron moved to RAF Manston

14 Aug 1942             Moved to RAF Bradwell Bay

21 Aug 1942             Moved back to RAF Manston with a detachment at RAF Bradwell Bay

13 Oct 1942              Moved to RAF Bradwell Bay

27 Dec 1942             Moved to Luqa in Malta

May 1943                  Converted to Mosquito V1

May 1943                  Detachments sent to Sigonella, Gerbini, Pomigliano

7 Dec 1943                Moved to Alghero detachment at Blida

2 June 1944             Moved to RAF Little Snoring

Aug 1945                   Converted to Mosquito XXX

25 Sept 1945            Squadron Disbanded

© IWM CH 4045    23 Squadron planning a sortie

29 Squadron

Another First World War Squadron formed in 1915 and disbanded in 1919. To be reformed on 1st April 1923 at Duxford with Snipe aircraft. This short history will start in Drem in 1940 when they were flying Blenheim lF aircraft.

10th May 1940          Moved to RAF Debden with a detachment to Martlesham Heath.

27th June 1940        To RAF Digby

27th July 1940          To RAF Wellingore

Sep 1940                   Equipped with Beaufighter lF

27th April 1941         To RAF West Malling, detachment to RAF Coltishall

March 1943               Equipped with Beaufighter VlF

13th May 1943          To RAF Bradwell Bay

May 1943                  Equipped with Mosquito Xll

July 1943                   Equipped with Mosquito Vl

3rd Sep 1943            To RAF Ford

Oct 1943                    Equipped with Mosquito X111

1st March 1944        To Drem

1st May 1944            To RAF West Malling

19th June 1944        To RAF Hunsdon

22nd Feb 1945         To RAF Colerne

Feb 1945                   Equipped with Mosquito XXX

11th May 1945         To RAF Manston

Squadron continued service into 1970’s.

157 Squadron

Formed at the end of the First World War 157 Squadron was disbanded in February 1919.

15th Dec 1941          Reformed at RAF Debden

18th Dec 1941          Moved to RAF Castle Camps

Jan 1942                    Equipped with Mosquito ll aircraft

15th March 1943      Moved to RAF Bradwell Bay

13th May 1943          Moved to RAF Hunsdon

Jul 1943                     Equipped with Mosquito Vl

9th Nov 1943            Moved to RAF Predannack

26th Mar 1944          Moved to RAF Valley

7th May 1944            Moved to RAF Swannington

May 1944                  Equipped with Mosquito XlX

21st May 1944          Moved to RAF Swannington

Feb 45                        Equipped with Mosquito XXX

16th Aug 1945          Disbanded

Refuelling 157 Mosquito at RAF Hunsdon                © IWM CH 10313

247 Squadron

A seemingly restless squadron that didn’t stay anywhere for long, was at Bradwell Bay for about a month.

1st August 1940       Reformed at Roborough – Sumburg Fighter Flt redesignated

Aug 1940                   Gladiator ll    Det to RAF St Eval

Jan 41                        Re equipped with Hurricane l

10th Feb 1941          Moved to RAF St Eval

17th Feb 1941          Moved to RAF Roborough   Det RAF St Eval

10th May 1941          Moved to RAF Portreath

June 1941                 Re equipped with Hurricane llA

18th June 1941        Moved to RAF Predannack

Aug 1941                   Re equipped with Hurricane llB

Aug 1941                   Re equipped with Hurricane llC   Det RAF Exeter, RAF Middle Wallop, RAF Charmy Down

Apr 1942                    Re equipped with Hurricane l

17th May 1942          Moved to RAF Exeter   Det RAF Predannack, RAF Middle Wallop, RAF Charmy Down

Aug 1942                   Re equipped with Hurricane llB

21st Sept 1942         Moved to RAF High Ercall  Det RAF Valley

Jan 1943                    Re Equipped with Typhoon 1B

28th Feb 1943          To RAF Middle Wallop

5th April1943             Moved to RAF Fairlop

29th May 1943          Moved to RAF Gravesend

4th June 1943          Moved to RAF Bradwell Bay

10th July 1943          Moved to RAF New Romney

The squadron moved 35 more times before being disbanded on 31st December 1957.It spent some time on the continent following D Day. It was briefly formed in 1960 operating Bloodhound Missiles at RAF Carnaby and disbanded on 31st December 1963.

© IWM CL 157

Ground crews loading 3-inch rocket projectiles onto Hawker Typhoon Mark IB, MN317 ‘ZY-B’, of No. 247 Squadron RAF at B2/Bazenville, Normandy.

56 Squadron

Originally formed in Gosport eventually serving at various aerodromes in France and disbanded on 22nd January 1920. Reformed 2 years later on 1st November 1922 at Hawkinge. Flying a variety of aircraft until April 1938 when it was equipped with Hurricane 1’s. We will take up the squadrons story at the start of World War 2.

22nd October 1939              To RAF Martlesham Heath, Det North Weald

28th February 1940             To North Weald. Det Manston, Vitry-en-Artois, Norrent-Fontes, Boulogne, Biggin Hill

31st May 1940                      To Digby

5th June 1940                      To North Weald

1st September 1940            To Boscombe Down

29th November 1940           To Middle Wallop

17th December 1940           To North Weald

Feb 1941                               Re equipped with Hurricane llB

23rd June 1941                    Moved to Martlesham Heath

26th June 1941                    Moved to Duxford

September 1941                  Re-equipped with Typhoon lA

30th March 1942                  Moved to Snailwell

Mar 1942                               Re-equipped with Typhoon lB

29th May 1942                      Moved to Manston   Det Tangmere

1st June 1942                       Moved to Snailwell

24th Aug 1942                      Moved to Matlask

22nd July 1943                     Moved to Manston

6th August 1943                   Moved to Martlesham Heath

15th August 1943                Moved to Manston

23rd August 1943               Moved to Bradwell Bay

4th October 1943                 Moved to Martlesham Heath

15th Feb 1944                      Moved to Scorton

23rd Feb 1944                      Moved to Acklington

7 March 1944                        Moved to Scorton

30th March 1944                  Moved to Ayr

7 April 1944                           Moved to Scorton    

April 1944                              Re Equipped with Spitfire lX

28th April 1944                     Moved to New Church

June 1944                             Re-equipped with Tempest V

23rd September 1944         Moved to Matlask

28th September 1944         Squadron moved to continent.

1st April 1946                        Squadron Disbanded

© IWM CH 158 

Journalists watch a flight of Hurricanes of No. 56 Squadron RAF taking off for a sortie over France from North Weald, Essex, May 1940. In the foreground Hurricane Mk I P2764 ‘US-P’ stands at its dispersal point near the perimeter track on the south-western edge of the airfield.

198 Squadron

A very short-lived squadron formed in Dec 1942 and disbanded in September 1945. Its stay at Bradwell Bay was only 4 days, so more of a visitor, than a based squadron. 198 was equipped with Typhoon lA and lB.

7th December 1942                         Formed at Digby

23rd January 1943              Moved to Ouston

9th February 1943               Moved to Acklington

24th March 1943                  Moved to Manston

15th May 1942                      Moved to Woodvale

5th June 1943                      Moved to Martlesham Heath

19th August 1943               Moved to Bradwell Bay

22nd August 1943               Moved to Manston

16th March 1944                  Moved to Tangmere

30th March 1944                  Moved to Llanbedr

6th April1944                        Moved to Thorney Island

18th June 1944                    Moved to Funtington

22nd June 1944                   Moved to Hurn

1st July 1944 following D Day moved to continent.

15th September 1945         Disbanded

© IWM C 4102A

Three stills from camera gun footage shot from a Hawker Typhoon of No. 198 Squadron RAF during a low-level attack on shipping in Boulogne harbour, showing a Typhoon attacking a vessel with bombs and cannon fire.

488 Squadron

Originally based in the Far East, with the Fall of Singapore. Survivors were evacuated on 23rd February 1942. The squadron was disbanded on 2nd March 1942.

The squadron was reformed at Church Fenton on 25th June 1942 and equipped with Beaufighter llF aircraft.

1st September 1942            Moved to Ayr, dets Drem and Coltishall

March 1943                           Re-equipped with Beaufighter VlF

3rd August 1943                  Moved to Drem

August 1943                         Re-equipped with Mosquito Xll

3rd September 1943          Moved to Bradwell Bay

October 1943                        Re-equipped with Mosquito Xlll

3rd May 1944                        Moved to Colerne

12th May 1944                      Moved to Zeals

29th July 1944                      Moved to Colerne

9th October 1944                 Moved to Hunsdon

October 1944                        Re-equipped with Mosquito XXX

15th November 1944           Moved to Continent

26th April 1945                     Squadron disbanded

Air Marshal Sir Roderick Hill, Air Officer Commanding ADGB, is shown the wreckage of one of three enemy aircraft shot down by aircrews of No. 488 Squadron RAF, flying from Bradwell Bay, Essex, on the night of 21 March 1944. In the photograph are, (left to right) Flight Lieutenant C P Reed (navigator), Squadron Leader E N Bunting (pilot, pointing toward the wreckage), AM Sir Roderick Hill, Wing Commander R C Haine (Commanding Officer of No. 488 Squadron) and Flight-Sergeant J L Wood (navigator). This particular aircraft, a Junkers Ju 188E-1 of 2/KG6, came down at Butler’s Farm, Shopland, Essex, and was Bunting and Reed’s second ‘kill’ of the evening.

Broody’s War contains additional information about 488 squadron

605 Squadron

Formed in 1926 at Castle Bromwich. Re-equipped with Hurricane llA in June 1939

27th August 1940                Moved to Tangmere

11 February 1940                Moved to Leuchars

28th February 1940             Moved to Wick

21st March 1940                  Moved to Hawkinge

28th May 1940                      Moved to Drem

7th September 1940            Moved to Croydon

November 1940                    Re-equipped with Hurricane llA

25th February 1941             Moved to Martlesham Heath

31st March 1941                  Moved to Ternhill

30th May 1941                      Moved to Baginton

August 1941                         Re-equipped with Hurricane llB

4 September 1941               Moved to Honiley

12th November 1941           Most pilots re directed to Mata on HMS Argus and HMS Ark Royal. Other pilots absorbed into 232 and 242 Sqdns.

28th February                       Disbanded

7th June 1942                      Reformed at Ford

July 1942                               Re-equipped with:

                                                Havoc 1, Havoc ll, Boston lll

                                                Det at Hunsdon

February 1943                      Re-Equipped with Mosquito ll

15th March 1943                  Moved to Castle Camps

July 1943                               Re-Equipped with Mosquito ll

6th October 1943                Moved to Bradwell Bay

7th April 1944                       Moved to Manston

21st Nov                                1944 Moved to Blackbushe

15th March 1945                  Sent to Continent and disbanded 31st August 1945

A rare photo of 219 squadron aircrew at RAF Bradwell Bay – Photo courtesy of Stephen P Nunn

219 Squadron

Originally formed at the end of The First World War at Westgate and Manston flying seaplanes and landplanes. The squadron disbanded in 1920.

4th October 1939                 Reformed at Catterick

October 1939                        Equipped with Blenheim lF. Dets Scorton, Leeming and Redhill

September 1940                  Re-Equipped with Beaufighter lF

12th October 1940               Moved to Redhill   Dets Tangmere and Debden

10th December 1940           Moved to Tangmere   Det Valley

23rd June 1942                    Moved to Acklington   Det Drem

21st October 1942               Moved to Scorton   Det Ayr

25th April 1943                     Moved to Catterick

May 1943                              Re-Equipped with Beaufighter VlF

14th May 1943                      En route to North Africa

29th January 1944               Returned to UK

27th February 1944             Moved to Woodvale

February 1944                      Re-Equipped with Mosquito XVll

15th March 1944                  Moved to Honiley

26th March 1944                  Moved to Colerne

1st April 1944                      Moved to Bradwell Bay

June 1944                             Re-Equipped with Mosquito XXX

29th August 1944                Moved to Hunsdon

10th October 1944               Moved to Europe

1st September 1946            Squadron Disbanded

© IWM CL 2029

A successful night-fighter crew, Wing Commander W P Green (pilot, right Commanding Officer of No. 219 Squadron RAF, and his radar-operator, Flight Lieutenant D A Oxby, head towards their De Havilland Mosquito NF Mark XXX for a sortie at B48/Amiens-Glisy, France. On their previous night sortie, they shot down a Junkers Ju 87, constituting Green’s 14th victory, and the 22nd enemy aircraft which Oxby had helped to destroy, – more than any other operator during the war. On 1 March 1945, Green took off from Amiens-Glisy to air-test a Mosquito but crashed and was killed.

278 Squadron

Being an island nation at war, it was essential to have air sea rescue facilities. Both patrol boats and aircraft were used. Amphibious aircraft like the Walrus enabled aircrew to be rescued and flown to safety. Other aircraft like the spitfire were used for their speed and were used as spotter aircraft to direct boats to the rescue. 278 squadron were formed at Matlask, in Norfolk, as an Air Sea Rescue Squadron.

1st October 1941                 Formed at Matlask from3 ASR Flight

October 1941                        Equipped with Lysander lllA and Walrus.

                                                Det North Coates

21st April 1942                     Moved to Coltishall. Dets to North Coates, Woolsington, Acklington, Hutton Cranswick, Ayr, Drem, Castletown, Peterhead, Sumburgh.

Feb 1943                               Equipped with Anson l

21st April 1944                    Moved to Bradwell Bay

Apr 1944                                Re-equipped with Spitfire llA and Warwick l

May 1944                              Re-equipped with Spitfire VB   Det Martlesham Heath

27th September 1944         Moved to Martlesham Heath   Det Hornchurch

15th February 1945             Moved to Thorney Island   Det Hawkinge, Beccles, Exeter

May 1945                              Re-equipped with Sea Otter

15th October 1945               Squadron disbanded

                         © IWM CH 6152            © IWM CH 6153

© IWM CH 6152

Original wartime caption: The dinghy is seen in the distance. Owing to the swell it is a difficult job to paddle close.

© IWM CH 6153

At last the dinghy is close alongside

126 Squadron

28th June 1941                    Formed at RAF Ta Kali Malta. Nucleus from 46 Squadron

June 1941                             Equipped with Hurricane llA and Hurricane llB

March 1942                           Equipped with Spitfire VB and Spitfire VC

6th April 1942                       Moved to Luqua

Mar 43                                    Equipped with Spitfire lX

1st April 1944                        Left Malta for UK

30th April 1944                     Moved to Sawbridgeworth

April 1944                              Equipped with Spitfire 1XB

22nd May 1944                    Moved to Culmhead

3rd July 1944                        Moved to Harrowbeer

30th August 1944                Moved to Bradwell Bay

Dec 1944                               Equipped with Mustang lll

30 December 1944              Moved to Bentwaters

August 1945                         Equipped with Mustang lV

5th September 1945            Moved to Hethel

15th September 1945        Moved to Bradwell Bay

5th October 1945                 Moved to Hethel

February 1946                      Equipped with Spitfire LF XVlE

10th March 1946                  Squadron Disbanded

© IWM A 9589

Operation PICKET I: Supermarine Spitfire Mark VB(T), BP850, equipped with a 90-gallon ferry fuel tank, taxies along the deck of HMS EAGLE before taking off to reinforce the RAF on Malta, watched by some of the crew. Nine Spitfires, intended for the re-equipment of No. 126 Squadron RAF, were successfully flown to Ta Kali during this operation. BP850 however, flew with No. 249 Squadron RAF before crash-landing after a glycol leak at Siggiewi on 24 April 1942

124 Squadron

10th May 1941                      Squadron re-formed at Castletown

May 1941                              Equipped with Spitfire l

October 1941                        Equipped with Spitfire llB

November 1941                    Equipped with Spitfire VA and Spitfire VB

17th November 1941           Moved to Biggin Hill

3rd May 1942                        Moved to Gravesend

30th June 1942                    Moved to Eastchurch

5 July 1942                            Moved to Martlesham Heath

13 July 1942                         Moved to Gravesend

July 1942                               Equipped with Spitfire Vl

29th July 1942                      Moved to Debden

25th September 1942         Moved to Tangmere

29th October 1942               Moved to Westhampnett

7th November 1942             Moved to North Weald

January 1943                        Equipped with Spifire lX

1st March 1943                    Moved to Croughton

5th March 1943                    Moved to Duxford

12th March 1943                  Moved to North Weald

March 1943                           Equipped with Spitfire VB and Spitfire Vll

                                                Dets to Colerne, Exeter, Ibsley, and Fairwood Common.

26th July 1943                      Moved to Northolt

20th September 1943         Moved to West Malling

5th January 1944                 Moved to Southend

18th January 1944               Moved to West Malling

18th March 1944                  Moved to Church Fenton

23rd April 1944                   Moved to Bradwell Bay

26th July 1944                      Moved to Detling

July 1944                               Equipped with Spitfire HF lXE

9th August 1944                   Moved to Westhampnett

25th September 1944         Moved to Manston

10th February 1945             Moved to Coltishall

7th April 1945                       Moved to Hawkinge

10th April 1945                     Moved to Hutton Cranswick

15th July 1945                     Moved to Bradwell Bay

10th August 1945                Moved to Hutton Cranswick

20th August 1945                Moved to Molesworth

August 1945                         Equipped with Meteor F.3

5th October 1946                 Moved to Bentwaters

18th February 1946             Moved to Fairwood Common

20th March 1946                  Moved to Bentwaters

1st April 1946                                    Squadron Disbanded

© IWM ATP 10976C

Spitfire Mark VII, BS142 on the ground at Eastleigh, Hampshire, after modification by Cunliffe Owen Aircraft Ltd., and shortly before joining the High-Altitude Flight (renamed the Sub Stratosphere Flight) at Northolt, Middlesex. In January 1943, BS142 went to No. 124 Squadron RAF with whom it claimed the units first high-altitude victory, a Focke Wulf Fw 190, on 15 May. It later also served with No. 331 Squadron RAF.

501 Squadron

14th June 1929                    Formed at Filton as a special reserve Squadron. In May 1936 transferred to Auxiliary Air Force. We will take up their movements from March 1939 when they were re-equipped with Hurricane 1 aircraft. 501 squadron was heavily involved in the evacuation from France and the Battle of Britain.

27th November 1939           Moved to Tangmere

10th May 1940                      Moved to Bétheniville   France

16th May 1940                      Moved to Anglure    France

2nd June 1940                     Moved to Le Mans   France

16th June 1940                    Moved to Dinard    France

19th June 1940                    Moved to St Helier   Channel Islands

21st June 1940                    Moved to Croydon

4th July 1940                        Moved to Middle Wallop

25th July 1940                      Moved to Gravesend

10th September 1940         Moved to Kenley

17th December 1940           Moved to Filton

9th April 1941                       Moved to Colerne

April 1941                              Equipped with Spitfire l

June 1941                             Equipped with Spitfire llA

25th June 1941                    Moved to Chilbolton

5th August 1941                   Moved to Ibsley

September 1941                  Equipped with Spitfire VB

25th January1942               Moved to Warmwell

7th February 1942               Moved to Ibsley

May 1942                              Equipped with Spitfire VC

3rd July 1942                        Moved to Tangmere

7th July 1942                        Moved to Ibsley

24th August 1942                Moved to Middle Wallop

8th October 1942                 Moved to Hawkinge

10th October 1942               Moved to Middle Wallop

19th October 1942               Moved to Ballyhalbert det Eglington

30th April 1943                     Moved to Westhampnett

17th May 1943                      Moved to Martlesham Heath

5th June 1943                      Moved to Woodvale

12th June 1943                    Moved to Westhampnett

21st June 1943                    Moved to Hawkinge

June 1943                             Equipped with Spitfire lX

21st January 1944               Moved to Southend

4th February 1944               Moved to Hawkinge

30th April 1944                     Moved to Friston

2nd July 1944                       Moved to Westhampnett

July 1944                               Equipped with Tempest V

2nd August 1944                  Moved to Manston

22nd September 1944       Moved to Bradwell Bay

3rd March 1945                    Moved to Hunsdon

20th April 1945                     Squadron Disbanded

© IWM CH 2825

Spitfire F Mk.2. Six aircraft of 501 Squadron in flight above the cloud layer.

151 Squadron

4th August 1936                   Reformed at North Weald, From B Flight 46 Squadron

Dec 1939                               Equipped with Hurricane l   Det Martlesham Heath

13th May 1940                      Moved to Martlesham Heath

17th May 1940                      Moved to Abbeville

18th May 1940                      Moved to Vitry-en-Artois

18th May 1940                      Moved to Manston

20th May 1940                      Moved to North Weald   Dets Manston, Rochford

29th August 1940                Moved to Stapleford

1st September 1940            Moved to Digby   Det Wittering

28th November 1940           Moved to Bramcote   Det Wittering

Dec 1940                               Equipped with Defiant 1

22nd Dec 1940                     Moved to Wittering   Det Coltishall

June 1941                             Equipped with Hurricane llC

September 1941                  Equipped with Defiant ll

April 1942                              Equipped with Mosquito ll   Det Coltishallééé

17th November 1943           Moved to Colerne   Det Coltishall

Dec 1943                             Equipped with  Mosquito Xlll

25th March 1944                  Moved to Predannack

July 1944                               Equipped with Mosquito Vl

August 1944                         Equipped with Mosquito XXX

8th October 1944                 Moved to Castle Camps

19th November 1944           Moved to Hunsdon

1st March 1945                   Moved to Bradwell Bay

17th May 1945                      Moved to Predannack

Post war the Squadron moved between Predannack, Lübeck, Exeter and Weston Zoyland. The Squadron was disbanded 10th October 1946.

© IWM ATP 13735B

Mosquito NF Mark 30, RK953, equipped with SCR.720/729 (AI Mark X) radar in a universal radome, at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire. This version is fitted with 1.690hp Rolls Royce Merlin 113 engines. RK953 subsequently served with No. 151 Squadron RAF.

287 Squadron

Formed on 19th November 1941, at Croydon, as an anti-aircraft co-operation squadron from 11 Group AAC Flt. Detachments were sent to Debden, Hornchurch, Merston, Martlesham Heath, Fairlop, Biggin Hill, Northolt, Ipswich, Ford, Honiley, Hunsdon, Southend, and Farnborough. Some of their work entailed imitating V1 and V2 rockets to guide the ground artillery where to fire!

November 1941        Equipped with Blenheim lV, Hudson lll, Lysander lll, Hurricane l, llB, lV

February 1942          Equipped with Blenheim lV

March 1942               Equipped with Defiant l and Oxford

January 1943            Equipped with Defiant lll

July 1943                   Equipped with Martinet

November 1943        Equipped with Spitfire VB

3rd July 1944            Moved to North Weald dets Farnborough and Gatwick

27th August 1944    Moved to Gatwick    Det North Weald

September 1944      Equipped with Beaufighter Vl

November 1944        Equipped with Spitfire lX and Tempest V

20th January 1945   Moved to Redhill   Det North Weald

3rd May 1945            Moved to Hornchurch   dets Hunsdon, North Weald

15th June 1945        Moved to Bradwell Bay

August 1945             Equipped with Spitfire XVl

10th Sept 1945         Moved to West Malling

15th June 1946        Squadron Disbanded

The V1 flying bomb was powered by an Argus 109-014 pulse-jet engine, carried a warhead of approximately 850kg, and was guided to its target by an autopilot. The maximum range was typically 149 miles (240km), with a maximum speed of 400mph (645kph), and this particular version has a span of 5.3m. Although some V1s were air-launched, most were catapulted from specially constructed ramps.

3 Squadron

This was a pre-war squadron, that is pre The Great War. In fact, squadrons 1, 2 and 3 were formed from the Royal Engineers Air Battalions on 13th May 1912 to become squadrons of the Military Wing of the Royal Flying Corps. 3 Squadron was formed at Larkhill. 3 Squadron were immediately sent to France on the outbreak of The Great War, taking off to cross the Channel from a field close to Dover Castle. The squadron was in the thick of the fighting in France for the whole duration of the war. Moving on to The Second World War from May 1939, when tensions were high with the rise of The Nazi party in Germany. Flying Ace James McCudden was originally in 3 Squadron as a mechanic and observer.

1st May 1939                                    Moved to Biggin Hill

May 1939                                          Equipped with Hurricane l

2nd September 1939                       Moved to Croydon

10th September 1939                     Moved to Manston

17th September 1939                     Moved to Croydon

12th October 1939                           Moved to Manston

13th October 1939                           Moved to Croydon   Det Hawkinge

28th January 1940                           Moved to Kenley

10th May 1940                                  Moved to Merville

20th May 1940                                  Moved to Kenley

30th May 1940                                  Moved to Wick

3rd September 1940                       Moved to Castletown

14th September 1940                     Moved to Turnhouse   Dets Montrose, Dyce

13th October 1940                           Moved to Castletown

7th January 1941                             Moved to Skaebrae   Dets Sumburgh

3rd April 1941                                   Moved to Martlesham Heath        

April 1941                                          Equipped with Hurricane llB and Hurricane llC

23rd June 1941                                Moved to Stapleford Tawney        

9th August 1941                               Moved to Hunsdon   dets Manston and Shoreham

February 1943                                  Equipped with Typhoon lB

6th March 1944                               Moved to Bradwell Bay

6th April 1944                                   Moved to Ayr

14th April 1944                                Moved to Bradwell Bay

28th April 1944                                 Moved to Newchurch

21st September 1944                      Moved to Matlask

28th September 1944                     Moved to Continental Europe.

2020 Squadron Still operational flying Typhoon FGR4 Aircraft

© IWM H(am) 1111

Captain J B T McCudden sitting in the cockpit of Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a, B4863 ‘G’, while serving as a flight commander with No. 56 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, at Estree-Blanche, France. Note the four-bladed propeller which McCudden fitted to this aircraft, and in which he scored nine victories over the Western Front between 19 September and 21 October 1917.

Hurricanes of 3 Squadron

Page content researched and written by Eric Simonelli. Page content converted and added to website by Paul Webb