WW2 Bomber Squadrons 7 – 75

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7 SQUADRON

​​ In 3 Group from October 1940; first operation on 10/ 11 February 1941 to Rotterdam. To 8 Group in August 1942 and served as a Pathfinder squadron until the end of the war. Equipped with Stirlings from October 1940 to August 1943 and with Lancasters from July 1943 (there was an overlapping of types in July and August 1943). Based at Oakington throughout its operational service.​​ 

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown 3 Group Stirlings – 167 bombing, 11 minelaying 8 Group Stirlings – 82 bombing, 7 minelaying 8 Group Lancasters – 279 bombing Total – 528 bombing, 18 minelaying = 546 raids Sorties and Losses 3 Group Stirlings – 918 sorties, 41 aircraft lost (4.5 percent) 8 Group Stirlings – 826 sorties, 37 aircraft lost (4.5 percent) 8 Group Lancasters – 3,316 sorties, 87 aircraft lost (26 percent) Total – 5,060 sorties, 165 aircraft lost (3.3 percent) 27 Stirlings were destroyed in crashes.​​ 

POINTS OF INTEREST

Introduced the Stirling to operational service. An original Pathfinder squadron. Introduced (with 35 Squadron) H2S to operations. Suffered third highest percentage losses in Bomber Command. Carried out most bombing raids in 8 Group heavy-bomber squadrons. Suffered highest overall and percentage losses in 8 Group. Suffered highest percentage losses in Stirling squadrons.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13607-13622). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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9 SQUADRON

​​ In 3 Group from the outbreak of the war to August 1942, with a short detachment to Lossiemouth in April 1940 for service with Coastal Command. In 5 Group from August 1942 to the end of the war. Equipped with Wellingtons in 3 Group and with Lancasters in 5 Group. Based at Honington in 3 Group and at Waddington and Bardney in 5 Group.

​​ OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown 3 Group Wellingtons – 272 bombing, 7 minelaying, 8 leaflet 5 Group Lancasters – 289 bombing, 12 minelaying Total – 561 bombing, 19 minelaying, 8 leaflet = 588 raids Sorties and Losses 3 Group Wellingtons – 2,333 sorties, 66 aircraft lost (2.8 percent) 5 Group Lancasters – 3,495 sorties, 111 aircraft lost (3.2 percent) Total – 5,828 sorties, 177 aircraft lost (3.0 percent) 22 Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

​​ POINTS OF INTEREST

Continuous service in Bomber Command throughout the war except for the short detachment to Coastal Command in April 1940. Flew operations and sustained casualties on the second day of the war. Victoria Cross: Flight Sergeant G. Thompson, posthumously, Dortmund– Ems Canal, 1 January 1945.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13622-13636). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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10 SQUADRON

​​ In 4 Group from the outbreak of the war until the end, though with short detachments to Coastal Command and the Middle East. Equipped with Whitleys until December 1941 and then with Halifaxes. Based at Dishforth, Leeming and Melbourne.

​​ OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown Whitleys – 208 bombing, 15 leaflet Halifaxes – 325 bombing, 61 minelaying Total – 533 bombing, 61 minelaying, 15 leaflet = 609 raids Sorties and Losses Whitleys – 1,430 sorties, 47 aircraft lost (3.3 percent) Halifaxes – 4,803 sorties, 109 aircraft lost (2.3 percent) Total – 6,233 sorties, 156 aircraft last (2.5 percent)​​ 

POINTS OF INTEREST

An operational squadron from the outbreak of war, flying night operations in the first week. Made the first flights over Berlin, dropping leaflets on 1/ 2 October 1939. Pioneered what were later​​ known as ‘pathfinder’ techniques in 1941. Carried out most bombing raids in 4 Group and flew only four sorties less than the highest number in 4 Group (by 78 Squadron).

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13638-13652). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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12 SQUADRON

Returned from the Advanced Air Striking Force in France (where the squadron had won two V.C.s, Flying Officer D. E. Garland and Sergeant T. Gray) in June 1940 and posted to 1 Group; remained with 1 Group to the end of the war. Equipped with Battles, Wellingtons and Lancasters. Based at Binbrook (three times), Thorney Island and Eastchurch (both for raids by Battles to the Channel ports) and Wickenby.

​​ OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown - Battles – 8 bombing, Wellingtons – 137 bombing, 24 minelaying, 6 leaflet Lancasters – 282 bombing, 27 minelaying Total – 427 bombing, 51 minelaying, 6 leaflet = 484 raids Sorties and Losses Battles – 36 sorties, 1 aircraft lost (2.8 percent) Wellingtons – 1,242 sorties, 59 aircraft lost (4.8 percent) Lancasters – 3,882 sorties, 111 aircraft lost (29 percent) Total – 5,160 sorties, 171 aircraft lost (3.3 percent) 18 Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Continuous wartime service as a bomber squadron with the Advanced Air Striking Force and Bomber Command. Suffered second highest percentage losses in Bomber Command.​​ Suffered highest percentage losses in 1 Group. Suffered highest losses in 1 Group Wellington squadrons.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13668-13669). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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15 SQUADRON

After flying Battles in the reconnaissance role with the Advanced Air Striking Force in France, returned to England in December 1939 and was re-equipped with Blenheims. Flew with 2 Group in the Battle of France and the invasion-threat period and suffered heavy losses. Transferred to 3 Group in November 1940 and flew Wellingtons, Stirlings and Lancasters until the end of the war. While with Bomber Command, based at Wyton (twice), Alconbury, Bourn and Mildenhall.​​ 

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown 2 Group Blenheims – 97 bombing and reconnaissance 3 Group Wellingtons – 38 bombing 3 Group Stirlings – 263 bombing, 85 minelaying, 5 leaflet 3 Group Lancasters – 208 bombing, 18 minelaying Total – 606 bombing, 103 minelaying, 5 leaflet = 714 raids Sorties and Losses 2 Group Blenheims – 543 sorties, 27 aircraft lost (5.0 percent) 3 Group Wellingtons – 173 sorties, 3 aircraft lost (1.7 percent) 3 Group Stirlings – 2,231 sorties, 91 aircraft lost (4.1 percent) 3 Group Lancasters – 2,840 sorties, 45 aircraft lost (1.6 percent) Total – 5,787 sorties, 166 aircraft lost (2.9 percent) 5 Blenheims, 38 Stirlings and 11 Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Continuous wartime service with the Advanced Air Striking Force and Bomber Command, flying five different types of aircraft on operations. Carried out more bombing raids than any other Stirling squadron. Suffered (with 218 Squadron) the heaviest losses in Stirling squadrons.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13669-13687). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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18 (BURMA) SQUADRON

Returned from the Advanced Air Striking Force in France in May 1940. Served with 2 Group until August 1941 but then posted to the Middle East where the squadron was absorbed into other units and lost its identity. Reformed in 2 Group in August 1942 but only operated in that month before being sent to the Middle East again. Equipped with Blenheims during both spells with 2 Group. Based at Gatwick, West Raynham (twice), Great Massingham, Oulton (twice), Horsham St Faith (twice), Manston and Wattisham.​​ 

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown Blenheims – 170 bombing, 4 reconnaissance, 1 leaflet, 1 fighter escort. (Some of the ‘bombing’ raids were night Intruder raids to airfields in Holland.) Sorties and Losses Blenheims – 1,242 sorties, 40 aircraft lost (3.2 percent), 7 destroyed in crashes.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13687-13696). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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21 SQUADRON

With 2 Group from the outbreak of the war until December 1941 but detached to Coastal Command three times during this period. Sent to Malta in December 1941, disbanded there on 14 March 1942 and re-formed the same day in England to fly with 2 Group again until 2 Group left Bomber Command in May 1943. Equipped with Blenheims and Venturas and based at Watton, Bodney, Methwold and Oulton while with Bomber Command.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown Blenheims – 155 bombing Venturas – 10 bombing Total – 165 bombing raids Sorties and Losses Blenheims – 1,050 sorties, 29 aircraft lost (2.8 percent) Venturas – 369 sorties, 10 aircraft lost (2.7 percent) Total – 1,419 sorties, 39 aircraft lost (2.7 percent) 10 Blenheims were destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

An operational squadron on the outbreak of war; flew photographic reconnaissance sorties over the Ruhr on 27 September 1939. Introduced the Ventura to operational service and flew more Ventura sorties than any other squadron.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13698-13710). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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23 SQUADRON

Returned from duty as a fighter squadron in Italy and posted to 100 Group as a Serrate and Intruder squadron and flew in those roles from July 1944 until the end of the war. Equipped with Mosquitoes and based at Little Snoring.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Carried out 70 Serrate and 125 Intruder operations (although it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between the two types of operation); also carried out 8 daylight bomber-escort operations. Flew 1,067 sorties and lost 8 aircraft (0.7 percent). Claimed 3 enemy aircraft destroyed and 1 damaged in the air and 15 aircraft destroyed on the ground; also carried out numerous bomb and cannon-fire attacks on airfields and railways.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13710-13717). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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35 (MADRAS PRESIDENCY) SQUADRON

​​ A bomber training unit on the outbreak of war, later absorbed into an O.T.U. Reformed as a bomber squadron in 4 Group on 5 November 1940; transferred to 8 Group in August 1942 and served as a Pathfinder squadron for the remainder of the war. Equipped with Halifaxes and Lancasters; based at Leeming and Linton-on-Ouse in 4 Group, and at Graveley in 8 Group.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown 4 Group Halifaxes – 109 bombing, 6 leaflet 8 Group Halifaxes – 146 bombing, 5 minelaying 8 Group Lancasters – 202 bombing Total – 457 bombing, 6 leaflet, 5 minelaying = 468 raids Sorties and Losses 4 Group Halifaxes – 717 sorties, 35 aircraft lost (4.9 percent)​​ 8 Group Halifaxes – 1,776 sorties, 65 aircraft lost (3.7 percent) 8 Group Lancasters – 2,216 sorties, 27 aircraft lost (1.2 percent) Total – 4,709 sorties, 127 aircraft lost (2.7 percent) 6 Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Introduced the Halifax to operational service. An original Pathfinder squadron and suffered 8 Group’s first operational loss, in the group’s first raid to Flensburg on 18/ 19 August 1942. Introduced (with 7 Squadron) H2S into operational service.

 

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13726-13733). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

 

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37 SQUADRON

​​ In 3 Group on the outbreak of war, flying Wellingtons from Feltwell, until posted to the Middle East in November 1940.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

​​ Raids Flown Wellingtons – 80 bombing and shipping sweeps, 8 leaflet Sorties and Losses Wellingtons – 688 sorties, 15 aircraft lost (2.2 percent)

POINTS OF INTEREST

Operated on the first day of the war when 6 Wellingtons carried out a shipping sweep over the North Sea.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13733-13740). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.