Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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No 276 - 280 Squadron Histories

No 276 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed at Harrowbeer on 21 October 1941from various detachments of ASR Lysanders and Walrus amphibians around the South-West of England.  Spitfires were added in February 1942, Defiants in May and Ansons in April 1943.

Warwicks replaced the Ansons from April 1944, being equipped to drop airborne lifeboats, but in October these were handed over to No 277 Squadron.

Following the Normandy landing a detachment was sent to France in August 1944 and the remainder of the squadron followed in September.  As the Allied armies advanced the squadron re-located to Belgium covering the seas between the Flanders coast and the UK.

In August 1945, the squadron moved to Norway, operating detachments along the Norwegian coast until November when it returned to Dunsfold in the UK, disbanding there on 14 November 1945.


Squadron Codes used: -  

QM Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
AQ Oct 1941 - Nov 1945


Photo of Anson, Spitfire and Walrus of No 276 Squadron Photo of 276 Squadron personnel in front of a Lysander
Photos of No 276 Squadron - courtesy Sue Wakeford

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


No 277 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed on 22 December 1941 at Stapleford Tawney from various ASR detachments in the south of England covering the South-East coast and English Channel.

It operated Lysanders and Walruses throughout its career, adding Defiants in May 1942, Spitfires in December 1942 and Sea Otters in November 1943.  In November 1944 it took over the Warwicks of No 276 Squadron and these were used to drop airborne lifeboats to survivors.

The squadron was disbanded on 15 February 1945 at Hawkinge but remained on standby until 26 February when its duties were transferred to No 278 Squadron.




Squadron Codes used: -  

TP Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
BA Dec 1941 - Feb 1945

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


No 278 Squadron


Click here to go to badgesFormed at Matlaske on 1 October 1941 from No 3 ASR Flight, its area of operations extended along the East Anglian coast.  Equipped with Lysanders and Walruses, the Lysanders were replaced by Ansons in February 1943.

By December 1943 it had extended its operational area to include North-East England and by February 1944 into Scotland, although these detachments were transferred in April 1944 and 278 reverted to its original area of coverage.

At the same toime Spitfires were added to the squadron strength and a month later Warwicks arrived, but in February 1945 all types except the Walrus left leaving the squadron operating a single type.  Some Sea Otters were received in May 1945 and these two types continued to be operated until the squadron disbanded on 14 October 1945 at Thorney Island, to where it had moved in February 1945.


Squadron Codes used: -

RY Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
MY Oct 1941 - Oct 1945

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


No 279 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed at Bircham Newton on 16 November 1941 as an ASR unit, it was equipped with Hudsons.  It was the first unit to employ the airborne lifeboat and it operated its aircraft in detachments in the South-West to cover the Western Approaches and Bay of Biscay areas from April 1942 until December 1943.

It moved to Thornaby in October 1944 and stationed detachments up into Scotland in order to give ASR support to the strike units operating in the area.  Warwicks replaced the Hudsons in November 1944 and remained the squadron's only equipment until April 1945 when some Hurricanes were received.  These left in June but the following month some Sea Otters were taken on strength but in September both the Warwicks and the Sea Otters were replaced by Lancaster ASR IIIs.

In September 1945 the squadron had moved to Beccles and as well as its normal area of operations around the UK it also provided a detachment in Burma from December 1945 until disbanding on 10 March 1946.


Squadron Codes used: -  

AU Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
OS Nov 1941 - Nov 1944
RL Nov 1944 - Mar 1946

[Aircraft & Markings | Commanding Officers]


No 280 Squadron

Click here to go to badgesFormed on 10 December 1941 at Thorney Island as an ASR unit.  It was planned to equip the squadron with Hudsons but it was February 1942 before it received any aircraft and these were Ansons.

At the same time it moved to Detling and began operations over the South-East coast of Britain and East Anglia.  Warwicks equipped with airborne lifeboats replaced the Ansons in October 1943.  The squadron operated from a number of bases in its career including Lkangham, Bircham Newton, Thornaby, Strubby and Beccles as well as proving detachments to Cornwall, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Iceland.

The squadron finally disbanded on 21 June 1946 at Thornaby.



Squadron Codes used: -  

FX Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
YF Feb 1942 - Aug 1943
3 Aug 1943 - Jul 1944
ME Jul 1944 - Jun 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 08/06/17 using FrontPage 2003

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