|No. 158 Squadron RAF|
9 May 1918 – 20 Nov 1918|
14 Feb 1942 – 31 Dec 1945
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
No. 4 Group RAF, Bomber Command (Feb 42 – Jun 45)|
No. 4 Group RAF, Transport Command (Jun 45 – Dec 45)
|Motto(s)||Strength in unity|
|Squadron Badge heraldry||
A circular chain of seven links|
The chain is indicative of the combined strength and co-operation of aircrews
NP (Apr 1942 – Jun 1945)|
DK (Jul 1945 – Dec 1945)
Two diagonal yellow stripes|
(Apr 1945 – May 1945)
Handley Page Halifax
No. 158 Squadron RAF was a World War I proposed ground attack squadron that did not became operational in time to see action, and a World War II bomber squadron. After World War II had ended in Europe the squadron operated in the transport role until disbandment in December 1945.
History[edit | edit source]
Formation in World War I[edit | edit source]
No. 158 Squadron RAF was first formed on 9 May 1918, and the squadron was originally to be equipped with Sopwith Snipe fighters, but this was postponed and the squadron eventually formed at Upper Heyford on 4 September 1918, equipped with Sopwith Salamander ground attack aircraft. The squadron arrived too late to see action during the war, and disbanded on 20 November 1918.
Reformation and World War II[edit | edit source]
The squadron reformed at RAF Driffield on 14 February 1942, via the renumbering of No. 104 Squadron, which was equipped with the Vickers Wellington medium bomber and 158 sqn used these on night raids to Germany and occupied France.
In June 1942 the squadron re-equipped with the Halifax B.Mk.II heavy bombers and moved to RAF East Moor. On 6 November 1942 the squadron moved to RAF Rufforth, followed by a move to RAF Lissett on 28 February 1943. In January 1944 the squadron had re-equipped with the Halifax B.Mk.III and the squadrons 'C' flight was used to form No. 640 Squadron at Leconfield.
By 7 May 1945 World War II in Europe had finished, and the squadron was transferred to RAF Transport Command, re-equipped with the Short Stirling Mk.V. The squadron moved to Stradishall on 17 August 1945, where it disbanded on 31 December 1945.
One of the squadrons aircraft, a Handley page Halifax B.Mk.III, serial no. LV907, coded NP-F and nicknamed "Friday the 13th", completed a remarkable 128 operational missions. Incredibly this precious aircraft was not saved from the scrapheap after being displayed on Oxford street in London, only a section of the nose from the aircraft was saved and is exhibited at the RAF Museum Hendon. The Halifax that is displayed at the Yorkshire Air Museum is made up of parts of various aircraft and painted as LV907, in honour of the aircraft and its crew.
On 11 November 1945 a Stirling C.5 operated by the squadron was departing for the United Kingdom when it crashed on take off from RAF Castel Benito in Libya after the wing caught fire, 21 soldiers and five crew were killed, one person survived.
Aircraft operated[edit | edit source]
|February 1942||June 1942||Vickers Wellington||Mk.II|
|June 1942||December 1943||Handley Page Halifax||Mk.II|
|December 1943||May 1945||Handley Page Halifax||Mk.III|
|April 1945||May 1945||Handley Page Halifax||Mk.VI|
|May 1945||December 1945||Short Stirling||Mk.V|
|November 1945||December 1945||Short Stirling||Mk.IV|
Squadron bases[edit | edit source]
|14 February 1942||6 June 1942||RAF Driffield, Yorkshire||Det. at RAF Pocklington, Yorkshire, 14 Feb/5 Mar 1942|
|6 June 1942||6 November 1942||RAF East Moor, Yorkshire||Det. at RAF Beaulieu, Hampshire|
for operations with Coastal Command in October 1942
|6 November 1942||28 February 1943||RAF Rufforth, Yorkshire||Det. at RAF Manston, Kent|
for operations with Coastal Command, 7/25 Nov 1942.
|28 February 1943||17 August 1945||RAF Lissett, Yorkshire|
|17 August 1945||31 December 1945||RAF Stradishall, Suffolk|
Commanding officers[edit | edit source]
|14 February 1942||7 October 1942||W/Cdr. P. Stevens, DFC||Posted to 10 OTU|
|7 October 1942||10 March 1943||W/Cdr. C.G.S.R. Robinson, DFC||Posted to 138 Squadron|
|10 March 1943||10 August 1943||W/Cdr. T.R. Hope, DFC||MIA, 10 August 1943|
|11 August 1943||7 June 1944||W/Cdr. C.C. Calder, DFC||Posted to 1652 HCU|
|7 June 1944||7 March 1945||W/Cdr. P. Dobson, DFC, AFC|
|7 March 1945||12 June 1945||W/Cdr. G.B. Read, DFC|
|12 June 1945||10 July 1945||W/Cdr. F.J. Austin, DFC|
|10 July 1945||30 July 1945||S/Ldr. W.H. Whitty|
|30 July 1945||31 December 1945||W/Cdr. D. Iveson, DSO, DFC|
References[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Delve 1994, pp. 56, 62, 69.
- Delve 1994, p. 81.
- Moyes 1976, p. 180.
- Halley 1988, p. 229.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 77.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 94.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 30.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 68.
- No 152 – 158 Squadron Aircraft & Markings
- Chorley and Benwell 1978, pp. 127–128.
- The Times (London, England), Thursday, Nov 15, 1945; pg. 4; Issue 50300
- Moyes 1976, pp. 180–181.
- Halley 1988, p. 230.
- Jefford 2001, p. 66.
- Chorley and Benwell 1978, p. 126.
- 158 Squadron history – Bases
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
- Chorley, W.R. In Brave Company: 158 Squadron Operations. published by the author, 1990.
- Chorley, W.R. and R.N. Benwell. In Brave Company: The History of 158 Squadron. Taunton, UK: Barnicotts Ltd., 1977 (2nd edition 1978).
- Delve, Ken. The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
- Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A Full Explanation and Listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied Air Force Unit Codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
- Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
- Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
- Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1964 (2nd edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
- Moyes, Philip J.R. Royal Air Force Bombers of World War Two, Volume Two. Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, UK: Hylton Lacy Publishers, 1968. ISBN 0-85064-000-8.
[edit | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to No. 158 Squadron RAF.|
- 158 Squadron association
- Rickard, J (22 March 2007), No. 158 Squadron (RAF): Second World War
- RAF Lissett history
- 158 Squadron history on MOD site
- Squadron histories for nos. 156–160 sqn on RafWeb's "Air of Authority"
- No 152 – 158 Squadron Aircraft & Markings
- No. 158 Squadron on worldwar2exraf
- Flight Officer Norman Tilston DFC RCAF 158 Squadron Tribute website
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