Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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No 176 - 180 Squadron Histories

No 176 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed at Dum Dum on 14 January 1943 from a detachment of No 89 Squadron, then based in the Middle East.  Equipped with Hurricanes and Beaufighters, the squadron provided night defence of the Calcutta area.

From September 1943 the squadron operated a detachment in Ceylon and then from January 1944 it began to operate over Burma.  In August the squadron moved to Southern India, returning to the Burma front in April 1945.  In June Mosquitoes began to replace the Beaufighters and was fully equipped by July.

The squadron finally disbanded on 31 May 1946.




  Squadron Codes used: -  

AS  Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


No 177 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed on 28 November 1942, from personnel en-route to India, it was January 1943, before the squadron assembled at Armada Road and then Allahabad, where it was attached to No 308 MU.  Its aircrews operated with No 27 Squadron pending arrival of its own aircraft.

Beaufighters arrived in May 1943 and the squadron began operations in September against shipping, railways and coastal targets.  The squadron returned to India in May 1944 where it trained in the use of rocket projectiles, which it took back on operations over Burma in August.  In May 1945 the squadron gave to the Allied landings at Rangoon but on 5 July it was disbanded. 




Squadron Codes used: -  


Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


No 178 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed at from a detachment of No 160 Squadron Shandur on 15 January 1943, it was equipped with Liberators and began bombing operations immediately. Moving to Libya in March the squadron carried out missions against targets in  North Africa, Italy and the Balkans as well as carrying out supply dropping mission to Northern Italy and Poland.

The squadron moved to Italy in March 1944 and continued to operate from there until the end of the war.  Some Halifaxes were used between May and September 1943 but it was November 1945 before the Liberators were replaced by Lancasters, by which time the squadron was back in Egypt at Fayid, where it was disbanded by being renumbered No 70 Squadron 15 April 1946.




Squadron Codes used: -

UL Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


No 179 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed from a detachment of No 172 Squadron on 1 September 1942 at Skitten as Leigh-Light Wellington unit.  It moved to Gibraltar in November, where it flew anti-submarine patrols over the Mediterranean and its approaches.

In preparation for the Normandy landings, the squadron returned to the UK in April 1944 to cover the Bay of Biscay and the Western Approaches.  In November 1944 the squadron converted to Warwicks and these remained  in use for the rest of the  war and afterwards.

In February 1946, the squadron began to convert to Lancasters and in order to facilitate this, it was split into two parts, 179X and 179Y.  179X underwent conversion, whilst 179Y continued to operate the Warwicks.  Following completion of this process the Warwicks were disposed of and No 179Y was renumbered as No 210 Squadron, allowing No 179X to revert back to just No 179 Squadron.  However, on 30 September the squadron was disbanded and its aircraft transferred to No 210 Squadron.


Squadron Codes used: -  

RH Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
OZ Nov 1944 - Sep 1946

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


No 180 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed on 13 September 1942 at West Raynham, the unit was destined to be a medium bomber squadron in No 2 Group.  Equipped with North American Mitchells, it re-located to Foulsham in October and finally began operations on 22 January 1943.  However, heavy losses on this first raid, including the CO, Wg Cdr C C Hodder AFC, led to it being removed from further operations until May 1943.

Shortly after resuming operations, the squadron, as part of No 2 Group, was transferred to 2nd Tactical Air Force and  together with No's 98 and 320 Squadrons it formed No 139 Airfield (later No 139 Wing).  Moving to Dunsfold in August 1943, it was heavily involved in daylight tactical operations in support of the forthcoming invasion.  Following the D-Day landings, it also flew some night intruder missions in support of the push out of Normandy.

In October 1944 the squadron moved into Belgium, from where it continued to support the advancing armies.  Just before the war ended, in April 1945, the squadron arrived on German soil from where it operated until VE Day.  Mosquitoes replaced the Mitchells in September 1945 and in March 1946 it moved to Wahn as part of the British Air Forces of Occupation.  However, on 31 March 1946 the squadron was disbanded when it was re-numbered No 69 Squadron.


Squadron Codes used: -  

DR Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
EV Sep 1942 - Mar 1946

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


Mitchell III, most likely KJ684, of No 180 Sqn, two of the crew being John Richardson (left) - Navigator and J SanMiguel (centre) - Pilot

Photo courtesy - Michael Tabone, additional info - Ann Howard (John Richardson's daughter)

Squadron badge image on this page is courtesy of Steve Clements

Crown Copyright is reproduced with the permission of the Directorate of Intellectual Property Rights

This page was last updated on 07/01/17 using FrontPage 2003

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