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No 246 - 250 Squadron Histories

No 246 Squadron


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Formed in August 1918 from No's 402, 403, 451 and 495 Flts at Seaton Carew, it was equipped Short 184 and Sopwith Baby seaplanes as well as FE2b and Kangaroo landplanes, the only RAF unit to operate the latter.  These were used for anti-submarine patrols along the Durham coast, disbanding in either March or May 1919.

It reformed at Bowmere as a Sunderland squadron on 1 September 1941, beginning operations in December, but on 30 April 1943 it was disbanded, its aircraft being passed onto Nos 228, 330 and 422 Squadrons.

A new 246 Squadron was formed on 11 October 1944 at Lyneham as a Liberator transport unit and eight days later it began flying long distance routes to the Middle and Far East.  From November 1944, it received some Halifaxes and in December it also received Yorks, which were initially used for VIP work.  From April to July 1945, it operated a few Skymasters, but these were transferred to No 232 Squadron, leaving it equipped with Liberators and Yorks, the Halifaxes having left in February 1945.  In November 1945 the Liberators left and the squadron continued to operate the Yorks on routes to the middle East and India until  being disbanded when it was merged with No 511 Squadron on 15 October 1946.

Squadron Codes used: -  

MP Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
VU Dec 1944 - Oct 1946

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]

No 247 (China-British) Squadron

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Formed on 20 August from No's 336, 337 and 338 Flts at Felixstowe, equipped with Felixstowe F2As, which were used for anti-submarine patrols over the North Sea.  It disbanded on 22 January 1919.

The only squadron to be equipped with Gladiators throughout the Battle of Britain, having been formed on 21 August 1940, when the Fighter Flight at Sumburgh having moved south to Roborough, on 1 July 1940, for defensive duties in the South-West of England and particularly around Plymouth was raised to squadron status.  Hurricanes began to arrive in December but it was February 1941, before the last Gladiator was retired and these were flown on convoy patrols and both day and night defensive duties until September 1942.  In that month it began to use its Hurricanes on night intruder operations over France.

In January 1943, it received its first Typhoon and by the following month was fully equipped with the new type.  In June it joined the newly formed 2nd Tactical Air Force and began attacks against enemy airfields, lines of communications and other targets in preparation for the forthcoming invasion.  Having supported the actual landings on 6 June 1944, the squadron moved to France two weeks later and continued flying armed reconnaissance operations in support of the advancing Allied armies through France, Belgium, Holland and into Germany. 

In August 1945 the squadron returned to Britain and converted to Tempest IIs, but in June 1946, it was moved to Odiham, where it became the first unit to receive the De Havilland Vampire jet fighter.  These remained its equipment , being progressively upgrade to the F Mk 3 in 1948 and the FB Mk 5 in 1949, until May 1951, when it began to re-equip with Meteors.  The F Mk 8 variant was operated until June 1955, when it received Hunters and these were used until the squadron disbanded on 31 December 1957.  The squadron reformed once more on 1 July 1960 as a Bloodhound surface-to-air missile unit at Carnaby.  Here it tasked with the protection of the the three Thor IRBM sites in the area at Carnaby, Driffield and Catfoss.  It disbanded shortly after the three Thor units on 31 December 1963.

Squadron Codes used: -  

HP Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939

Aug 1940 - 1942

ZY 1942 - Dec 1949


No 247 Squadron - September 1949

Photo courtesy - Russ Gray

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]

No 248 Squadron
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Formed in August 1918 from No's 404, 405 and 453 Flights at Hornsea Mere, it operated Short 184s and Sopwith Babys on anti-submarines patrols along the East Yorkshire coast.  It disbanded on 6 March 1919.

The squadron reformed at Hendon at Hendon on 30 October 1939 as a Blenheim night fighter unit, but it was a December before any aircraft were received.  However at that time the resources for successful night fighting (airborne radar) were in very short supply and as a result it was transferred to Coastal Command in February 1940.  Initially based at North Coates it moved to Thorney Island in April and Gosport a week later.  In May a move  to Scotland brought it back to Fighter Command for patrols over the North Sea, but in Jun e it was again transferred to Coastal Command.

Still based in Scotland, it now began anti-shipping attacks along the Norwegian coast as well as escort patrols and reconnaissance missions.  In June 1941 a move to Bircham Newton occurred and a month later its Blenheims were replaced by Beaufighters.  For three months at the end of the year it operated a detachment at in Cornwall for similar operations over the Channel and Western Approaches.  It continued in its anti-shipping role from Bircham Newton until February 1942, when it returned to Dyce in Scotland.  Here it carried out long range patrols over the North Sea, but in August it was sent to Malta, where it conducted similar operations over the Mediterranean.

In September 1942 it left its aircraft in Malta and returned to the UK, where it collected new aircraft and resumed operations from Talbenny in Pembrokeshire.  In December 1943 the Beaufighters were replaced by Mosquito VIs  and its main task now was fighter reconnaissance over the Channel and along the French coast in preparation for Operation Overlord. Following the invasion, the squadron was moved to Banff in Scotland to join the Banff Strike Wing.  It operated as part of this wing until the end of war and from January 1945 it operated Mosquito XVIIIs, equipped with a Molins 6-pdr gun in the nose.   After the war it moved to Chivenor, where it was disbanded by being renumbered No 36 Squadron on 30 September 1946.

Squadron Codes used: -

QK Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939

Oct 1939 - Oct 1943

DM Oct 1943 - 1945

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]

Enquiries for this squadron can be sent to: - 235 Squadron Registrar, 71 Wantage Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG30 2SN Tel: 01189 57 15 32 (eve) (change AT to @)

No 249 (Gold Coast) Squadron

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Formed on 18 August 1918 from No's 400, 401, 419 and 450 Flights at Dundee, its Short 184 and Sopwith Baby seaplanes provided anti-submarine patrols along the East Coast of Scotland.   It disbanded on 8 October 1919.

The squadron reformed as a fighter unit on 16 May 1940 at Church Fenton.  It was equipped with Spitfires for the first month but these were changed to Hurricanes in June.  In August it moved south to Boscombe Down and on the 16th of the month Flight Lieutenant J B Nicholson, one of the flight commanders, became the only Fighter Command pilot to be awarded the Victoria Cross during World War Two, when he continued to attack and destroy a Bf110 despite his aircraft being on fire from which he suffered severe burns.

With the Battle of Britain over, it began offensive operations over France in December from North Weald, to where it had moved in September, and continued these until May 1941, when it moved to Malta.  It remained a part of Malta's air defences throughout the Axis onslaught against the island, re-equipping with Spitfires in February 1942.  From November of that year it moved over to the offensive, when it began attacks against targets in Sicily.  The squadron left Malta for Italy in October 1943 and began operations over the Balkans.  Mustangs replaced the Spitfires in September 1944 and in April 1945 it moved to Yugoslavia and then back to northern Italy in May, disbanding at Brindisi on 16 August 1945.

Just over two months later on 23 October 1945, the squadron was reformed when No 500 Squadron at Eastleigh in Kenya was renumbered.  Initially equipped with Baltimores, these were replaced by Mosquitoes in March 1946, which it used to conduct survey flights of the region.  Once completed the squadron moved Habbaniya in Iraq in June, where it re-equipped with Tempest Vs and VIs in December, at the same becoming a fighter unit.  In April 1949, it moved to Egypt receiving Vampires in the following February, remaining there until June 1954, when it moved to Jordan.  It operated from Amman for the next two and a half years before moving to Akrotiri in Cyprus in January 1957.  In September it re-equipped with Canberras, operating various marks of this aircraft until being disbanded on 24 February 1969.


Standards Battle Honours*
Award of Standard originally announced on 5 Oct 1965, effective from 1 Apr 1965 but presented:-


Home Waters, 1918: Battle of Britain, 1940: Home Defence: Fortress Europe, 1941: Malta, 1941-42: Mediterranean, 1942-43: North Africa, 1942: Sicily: Italy, 1943-45: South-East Europe, 1943-45:  


Squadron Codes used: -  


VY Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939


May 1940 - May 1941, Jun 1943 - Sep 1944, Oct 1945 - Mar 1950

 T Mar 1942 - Jun 1943

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]

No 249 Squadron Association: - Honorary Secretary:  Mr Tommy Cullen, 12 Bywell Avenue, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 6RP, Tel: 01914550229, Email:

No 250 (Sudan) Squadron

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Formed 1 May 1918 from No's 494, 500, 501 and 502 Flights at Padstow with DH6 and DH9 aircraft, which it used for anti-submarine patrols along the Bristol Channel.  It disbanded on 15 May 1919.

The squadron reformed on 1 April 1941 when 'K' Flight at Aqir was raised to squadron status.  It was equipped with Tomahawks, which it used on defensive duties in Palestine with a detachment operating over Syria until June when the squadron moved to the Western Desert.   A return to defensive duties, this in Egypt came in February 1942 and in April, it converted to Kittyhawks, which it took back on operations in the Western Desert the same month.

Operating in the fighter-bomber role it continued to provide support to the 8th Army, up to and during the Battle of El Alamein after which it moved forward through Egypt, and Libya until the end of North African campaign.  From July 1943, the squadron was operating from Malta against targets in Sicily moving there after the invasion.  It now began operations against Italian targets and in September moved over to the Italian mainland.  It continued to operate in the fighter-bomber role for the rest of the war and when No 260 Squadron was disbanded in August 1945, No 250 took over its Mustangs.  These were operated until the squadron disbanded on 2 January 1947 at Treviso.

Squadron Codes used: -  

YE Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939

Apr 1941 - Dec 1946

[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 09/05/24

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