WW2 Bomber Squadrons 76 – 109

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109 SQUADRON

From December 1940 was a radio countermeasures unit until transferred to Bomber Command in August 1942. Served with 8 Group as an Oboe Mosquito squadron until the end of the war, being based at Wyton, Marham and Little Staughton.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown Mosquitoes – 522 bombing, mostly using Oboe Sorties and Losses Mosquitoes – 5,421 sorties, 18 aircraft lost (0.3 percent)

POINTS OF INTEREST

Introduced Oboe to Bomber Command service. Carried out most raids and flew most sorties in 8 Group. Victoria Cross: Squadron Leader R. A. M. Palmer, D.F.C., posthumously, Cologne, 23 December 1944; Squadron Leader Palmer was flying in a Lancaster of 582 Squadron in this raid.

 

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14152-14162). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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76 SQUADRON

​​ After several false starts early in the war, the squadron became operational in 4 Group at Middleton St George in June 1941 and commenced operations with Halifaxes. Most of the squadron was sent to the Middle East in July 1942 and became absorbed into other units, but that part of the squadron which had remained in England was built up again and continued to fly Halifaxes in 4 Group until the end of the war, being based at Linton-on-Ouse and Holme-on-Spalding Moor.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown Halifaxes – 376 bombing, 17 minelaying, 3 leaflet = 396 raids. Sorties and Losses Halifaxes – 5,123 sorties, 139 aircraft lost (2.7 percent), 16 destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Carried out more bombing raids than any other Halifax squadron. Dropped Bomber Command’s first 8,000-lb bomb, on Essen, 10/ 11 April 1942. Aircrew casualties: 787 killed in action or died of​​ wounds, 278 prisoners of war, 27 evaders.* Contained a flight with Norwegian aircrew during the Halifax period.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13892-13904). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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77 SQUADRON

In 4 Group from the outbreak until the end of the war but with detachments to Coastal Command at various times between October 1939 and May 1940 and with the whole squadron detached to Coastal Command from May to October 1942. Flew Whitleys and Halifaxes; based at Driffield, Linton-on-Ouse, Topcliffe, Leeming, Elvington and Full Sutton.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown Whitleys – 223 bombing, 13 leaflet, 3 reconnaissance Halifaxes – 220 bombing, 27 minelaying Total – 446 bombing and recce, 27 minelaying, 13 leaflet = 486 raids Sorties and Losses Whitleys – 1,687 sorties, 56 aircraft lost (3.3 percent) Halifaxes – 3,692 sorties, 75 aircraft lost (2.0 percent) Total – 5,379 sorties, 131 aircraft lost (2.4 percent)

POINTS OF INTEREST

An original squadron on the outbreak of the war; flew leaflet operations over the Ruhr on the third night of the war. Carried out most bombing raids by a Whitley squadron. Suffered most losses in Whitley squadrons.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13910-13918). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

 

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82 (UNITED PROVINCES) SQUADRON

​​ In 2 Group from the outbreak of the war until March 1942, flying Blenheims from Watton and suffering heavy losses. Sent to India in the spring of 1942 and operated from there until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown Blenheims – 200 bombing and sweeps, 10 photo and weather recces Sorties and Losses Blenheims – 1,436 sorties, 62 aircraft lost (43 percent), 11 destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

An original squadron on the outbreak of war, flying photo-recce sorties to Germany before the end of September 1939. Flew most bombing raids and sweeps and suffered most losses in Blenheim squadrons. Sank U-31 off Borkum on 11 March 1940. (The U-boat was later salvaged and returned to service but was depth-charged and sunk by the destroyer H.M.S. Antelope in the Atlantic on 2 November 1940.)

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13939-13943). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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83 SQUADRON

​​ In 5 Group at the outbreak of the war and flew Hampdens, Manchesters and Lancasters from Scampton, with a short detachment to Coastal Command at Lossiemouth in February/ March 1940. Transferred to 8 Group in August 1942 and flew Pathfinder operations from Wyton until returned to 5 Group for that group’s own marker force in April 1944 and flew from Coningsby until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown 5 Group Hampdens – 205 bombing, 72 minelaying, 6 ‘night-fighter’ over English cities 5 Group Manchesters – 21 bombing, 10 minelaying, 2 leaflet 5 Group Lancasters (May to August 1942) – 26 bombing, 8 minelaying, 1 leaflet 8 Group Lancasters – 167 bombing 5 Group Lancasters (April 1944 to May 1945) – 105 bombing Total – 524 bombing, 90 minelaying, 6 ‘night-fighter’, 3 leaflet = 623 raids Sorties and Losses 5 Group Hampdens – 1,987 sorties, 43 aircraft lost (2.2 percent) 5 Group Manchesters – 152 sorties, 9 aircraft lost (5.9 percent) 5 Group Lancasters (May to August 1942) – 262 sorties, 4 aircraft lost (15 percent) 8 Group Lancasters – 1,740 sorties, 56 aircraft lost (3.2​​ percent) 5 Group Lancasters (April 1944 to May 1945) – 1,380 sorties, 31 aircraft lost (2.2 percent) Total – 5,521 sorties, 143 aircraft lost (26 percent) 25 Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

An original squadron on the outbreak of war; 6 Hampdens flew a sweep over the North Sea on the first day of the war. Victoria Cross: Sergeant John Hannah, Antwerp, 15/ 16 September 1940. An original Pathfinder squadron.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13943-13963). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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85 SQUADRON

Came from Air Defence of Great Britain (Fighter Command) on 1 May 1944 for ‘bomber support’ work with 100 Group as a Mosquito Intruder squadron. Based at Swannington until the end of the war, except when detached to West Mailing in the summer of 1944 for anti-flying bomb operations.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Carried out 170 bomber support, 48 anti-flying bomb and 2 anti-Intruder operations. Flew 1,190 sorties – 864 bomber support, 326 anti-flying bomb, etc. Lost 7 aircraft, all on bomber-support work. Claimed 71 German aircraft destroyed – 30 Me 110s, 27 Ju 88s, 8 Ju 188s, 4 He 219s, 2 FW 190s and 6 others damaged. This total of claims is greater than that of any other Mosquito squadron in 100 Group. Also claimed 30 flying bombs destroyed and many attacks on railways.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13970-13971). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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88 (HONG KONG) SQUADRON

Came to 2 Group in July 1941 after service with the Advanced Air Striking Force in France and with Coastal Command in Northern Ireland. Flew Blenheims and Bostons from Swanton Morley (twice), Attlebridge and Oulton until 2 Group left Bomber Command in May 1943.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown Blenheims – 15 bombing Bostons – 47 bombing Total – 62 bombing Sorties and Losses Blenheims – 96 sorties, 5 aircraft lost (5.2 percent) Bostons – 559 sorties, 6 aircraft lost (1.1 percent) Total – 655 sorties, 11 aircraft lost (1.7 percent)

POINTS OF INTEREST

Introduced the Boston to Bomber Command operations and flew more Boston sorties than any other squadron.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13971-13981). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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90 SQUADRON

A training squadron on the outbreak of war and later absorbed into an O.T.U. Reformed in 2 Group on 7 May 1941 and flew Fortresses in the daylight role but this was not successful and the Fortresses were phased out later in the year; the squadron was disbanded in February 1942. Re-formed again on 7 November 1942, this time in 3 Group, and flew Stirlings and Lancasters in 3 Group until the end of the war. Based at Watton, West Raynham and Polebrook while with 2 Group and at Ridge-well, West Wickham (renamed Wratting Common in August 1943) and Tuddenham while with 3 Group.​​ 

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown 2 Group Fortresses – 20 bombing 3 Group Stirlings – 111 bombing and Resistance operations, 100 minelaying 3 Group Lancasters – 162 bombing, 19 minelaying Total – 293 bombing, etc., 119 minelaying = 412 raids Sorties and Losses 2 Group Fortresses – 52 sorties, 3 aircraft lost (5.6 percent) 3 Group Stirlings – 1,937 sorties, 58 aircraft lost (3.0 percent) 3 Group Lancasters – 2,624 sorties, 25 aircraft lost (1.0 percent) Total – 4,613 sorties, 86 aircraft lost (1.9 percent) 26 Stirlings and 12 Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Introduced the B-17 Flying Fortress to R.A.F. service and the only squadron to operate the Fortress in the daylight-bombing role.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13982-13997). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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97 (STRAITS SETTLEMENTS) SQUADRON

A training squadron on the outbreak of war and lost its identity in April 1940. Reformed in May 1940 as a Whitley squadron in 4 Group but never operated and was disbanded before the end of that month. Again re-formed, in February 1941, this time in 5 Group, where Manchesters and Lancasters were flown. Transferred to 8 Group in April 1943 and flew Pathfinder operations for a year, suffering heavy losses. Returned to 5 Group in April 1944 as part of 5 Group’s own marker force until the end of the war. Based at Waddington, Coningsby and Woodhall Spa in the first spell with 5 Group, at Bourn with 8 Group and at Coningsby again on the return to 5 Group.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown 5 Group Manchesters – 33 bombing, 3 minelaying 5 Group Lancasters (to 14 April 1943) – 135 bombing, 42 minelaying 8 Group Lancasters – 96 bombing 5 Group Lancasters (April 1944 to May 1945) – 111 bombing, 4 minelaying Total – 375 bombing, 49 minelaying = 424 raids (In July 1941, the squadron’s Manchesters were grounded and, in the next six weeks, 97 Squadron aircrew flew operations in 106 Squadron Hampdens; these raids, sorties and losses have been included in​​ 106 Squadron’s totals.) Sorties and Losses 5 Group Manchesters – 151 sorties, 8 aircraft lost (5.3 percent) 5 Group Lancasters – (to 14 April 1943) – 998 sorties, 23 aircraft lost (2.3 percent) 8 Group Lancasters – 1,465 sorties, 58 aircraft lost (40 percent) 5 Group Lancasters (April 1944 to May 1945) – 1,320 sorties, 20 aircraft lost (1.5 percent) Total – 3,934 sorties, 109 aircraft lost (2.8 percent) 26 Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

The squadron broke no records but performed a valuable bombing and pathfinding service over a long period. It was not a lucky squadron and often suffered heavy losses until the last few months of the war.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 13998-14018). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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98 SQUADRON

98 Squadron was re-formed as a day-bomber squadron in 2 Group on 12 September 1942, after having served as a training squadron, with the Advanced Air Striking Force in France and with Coastal Command in Iceland. Flew Mitchells from West Raynham and Foulsham until 2 Group left Bomber Command in May 1943.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

98 Squadron flew 70 Mitchell sorties and lost 2 aircraft (2.9 percent) in 5 bombing raids and 7 air-sea rescue searches.

POINTS OF INTEREST

With 180 Squadron, introduced the Mitchell to Bomber Command service.

 

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14018-14025). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.