Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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No 281 - 285 Squadron Histories

No 281 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed at Ouston on 29 March 1942 in the Air-Sea Rescue role, it was equipped with Defiants.  Walrus amphibians joined the squadron in January 1943 and Ansons in March of the same year.  The last Defiant lef tin June 1943 and on 22 November the squadron was absorbed into No 282 Squadron.

A new 281 Squadron formed the same day at Thornaby equipped with Warwick Is.  Again an ASR squadron, Sea Otters were added in April 1944, having moved to Tiree in February.  The unit operated a number of detachments around the coast of the British Isles. 

A further move came in February 1945 when it relocated to Northern Ireland, although a detachment remained at Tiree.  In September 1945 some Wellington XIVs were taken on strength, but on 24 October 1945 the squadron disbanded.



Squadron Codes used: -  

SR Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
FA Mar 1942 - Oct 1945

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


No 282 Squadron

This Air-Sea Rescue unit was formed at Castletown on 1 January 1943 to provide ASR cover around the coasts of Northern Scotland.  Initial equipment was Walrus amphibians but Ansons were added in March.  On 22 November 1943 it absorbed No 281 Squadron but on 12 January 1944 it was absorbed by No 278 Squadron.

A new 282 Squadron was formed at Davidstow Moor on 1 February 1944 equipped with Warwick Is.  It was still in the ASR role but its area of operations was now the South-West of England.  Sea Otters were also taken on strength in Mar 1945 but on 9 July 1945 the squadron disbanded.

No Badge Authorised

Squadron Codes used: -  

VA Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
B4 Jan 1943 - Jul 1945

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


No 283 Squadron


Click here to go to badgesFormation began in February 1943 at Algiers, but it was April before the CO arrived and the squadron officially came into existence.  Equipped with Walrus amphibians it operated in the Air-Sea Rescue role along the North Africa coast.  In August the unit moved to Sicily from where it operated detachments from Sardinia and Italy.

In December 1943 the squadron moved to Corsica where it could operate in support of units operating over both Italy and Southern France.  Warwicks were added to the strength in March 1944 and the Walruses left in April, when the squadron transferred to Malta, from where it operated in the anti-submarine role as well as carrying out its usual ASR duties.

Detachments were sent to Greece, Italy and Libya in October and in January 1945 a further detachment was sent to the Crimea to cover aircraft travelling to and from the Yalta conference.  With the end of the war the squadron returned to Malta where it disbanded on 31 March 1946.


Squadron Codes used: -

JV  Allocated Apr - Sep 1939

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]

e-mail: - No 283 Squadron Association


No 284 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed at Gravesend on 7 May 1943 from various detachments of other ASR squadrons, 284 was destined for the Mediterranean.  Leaving in June it arrived at Hal Far in Malta in July and immediately began operations with its Walrus amphibians.  In August the aircraft moved to Sicily to join the ground echelon.

In September the squadron relocated to Southern Italy, although it continued to operate around Sicily until November.  It also covered the seas around Sardinia, Tunisia and the southern coast of France.   Warwicks were added to the establishment in March 1944 and the following September the Walruses were transferred to No 293 Squadron but received Hurricanes in their place.  The squadron disbanded in Corsica on 21 September 1945.

The squadron reformed on 15 October 1956 at Nicosia in Cyprus, equipped with Sycamore HR Mk 14s in the ASR and support helicopter role.  In November 1956, some Whirlwind HAR Mk 2s were received and both types were operated until July 1959, when the Sycamores were retired.  However, the following month the squadron was disbanded when it was re-numbered No 103 Squadron.


Squadron Codes used: -  

BE  Allocated Apr - Sep 1939

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


No 285 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed at Wrexham on 1 December 1941 from No 9 Group Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Flight.  It was initially equipped with various types of aircraft including Lysanders, Blenheims, Hudsons.

It role was to provide target towing and to carry out attack simulations in order to provide continuation train for anti-aircraft units in its area, which changed quite a bit during its career, Honiley in October 1942, Woodvale from August 1943, Andover from November 1944, North Weald in 4 January 1945 and finally Weston Zoyland from 20 January 1945. 

Later types taken on strength included Defiants, Oxfords (both March 1942), Martinets (July 1943), Beaufighters (September 1943), Hurricanes (January 1944 ) and Mustang Is (March 1945).  The squadron finally disbanded on 26 June 1945.



Squadron Codes used: -  

GH Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
VG Dec 1941 - Jul 1945

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]

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 08/06/17 using FrontPage 2003

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