|No. 160 Squadron RAF|
|Active||16 Jan 1942 – 30 Sep 1946|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||No. 222 Group RAF, South East Asia Command|
Singhalese: Api soya paragasamu|
(Translated: "We seek and strike")
|Squadron Badge heraldry||A Sinhalese lion rampant holding a Sinhalese sword|
|Squadron Codes||BS (Dec 1944 – Oct 1946)|
No. 160 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force unit during World War II, when it flew for four years in a number of roles including heavy bomber, minelaying, reconnaissance, special operations and transport unit in the Middle East and South-East Asian theatre of World War II.
History[edit | edit source]
World War I: False start[edit | edit source]
No. 160 Squadron was originally proposed on 9 May 1918 as a bomber squadron for deployment to France with DH.9As on 7 October, shortly afterwards amended to 20 October, but formation had not yet taken place when these plans were cancelled on 4 July. The formation was then rescheduled to take place on 20 September at Bristol (Filton) for deployment to France on 20 November, but this plan in its turn was suspended on 29 July and cancelled altogether on 17 August. The squadron thus never effectively formed during World War I.
World War II[edit | edit source]
To India via Palestine[edit | edit source]
No. 160 Squadron RAF was formed at RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire on 16 January 1942 as a heavy bomber/reconnaissance unit equipped with Consolidated Liberator aircraft. The squadron was posted to India on 12 February 1942, but without its aircraft and crews, who remained in England for training at RAF Polebrook, Northamptonshire. In June 1942 the crews and aircraft moved to the Middle East for bomber operations alongside No. 159 squadron. Whilst being based in Egypt and Palestine the squadron flew missions against targets in Libya and Crete. From November 1942 the squadron's crew and aircraft gradually moved to India, this being completed early February 1943, first mission was flown on 6 February over the Bay of Bengal. The squadron moved to Ceylon on 19 February, being based first at Ratmalana and later at Sigiriya, Kankesanturai and Minneriya. At first the squadron was involved in reconnaissance missions and minelaying and later became involved in dropping supplies to units operating behind enemy lines. When the war ended 160 squadron returned to Kankesanturai and served for a while in the transport role.
Back in the UK[edit | edit source]
On 23 June 1946 the squadrons return to the UK was completed and they were based at RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland, operating as a reconnaissance squadron. The squadron converted to Lancaster GR.3s in August 1946, but was disbanded shortly after on 30 September 1946, being renumbered to No.120 squadron.
Aircraft operated[edit | edit source]
|May 1942||January 1943||Consolidated Liberator||Mk.II|
|November 1942||October 1945||Consolidated Liberator||Mk.III|
|June 1943||November 1945||Consolidated Liberator||Mk.V|
|January 1944||January 1945||Consolidated Liberator||Mk.VI|
|October 1945||September 1946||Consolidated Liberator||Mk.VIII|
|August 1946||September 1946||Avro Lancaster||GR.3|
Squadron bases[edit | edit source]
|16 January 1942||12 February 1942||RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire||Ground personnel|
|January 1942||26 April 1942||RAF Polebrook, Northamptonshire||Air echelon, training at 1653 HCU|
|12 February 1942||4 June 1942||Left for India||Ground personnel|
|26 April 1942||7 May 1942||RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire||Air echelon|
|7 May 1942||30 May 1942||RAF Nutts Corner, County Antrim, Northern Ireland||Air echelon|
|30 May 1942||8 June 1942||RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire||Air echelon|
|4 June 1942||17 June 1942||RAF Drigh Road, Karachi||Ground personnel|
|8 June 1942||11 June 1942||Left for Middle East||Air echelon|
|17 June 1942||22 November 1942||RAF Quetta, Balochistan||Ground personnel|
|11 June 1942||16 September 1942||RAF Fayid, Egypt||Air echelon (absorbed into 159 sqn)|
|16 September June 1942||8 November 1942||RAF Aqir, Palestine||Air echelon|
|8 November 1942||15 January 1943||Shandur, Egypt||Air echelon (leftovers absorbed by 178 sqn)|
|22 November 1942||19 February 1943||RAF Salbani, Paschim Medinipur, Bengal||Ground personnel first,|
later joined by greater part of air echelon
|19 February 1943||2 August 1943||RAF Ratmalana, Ceylon||Det. at RAF Sigiriya, Ceylon|
|2 August 1943||31 July 1944||RAF Sigiriya, Ceylon||Dets. at RAF Cuttack, Orissa;|
RAF Ratmalana, Ceylon;
RAF Vavuniya, Ceylon and
RAF Gan (Addu Atoll), the Maldives
|1 August 1944||7 February 1945||RAF Kankesanturai, Ceylon||Dets. at Addu Atoll, the Maldives and|
RAF Kandy (Senkadagalapura), Ceylon
|7 February 1945||17 October 1945||RAF Minneriya, Ceylon||Det. at RAF Ramree Island, Burma|
|17 October 1945||23 June 1946||RAF Kankesanturai, Ceylon|
|23 June 1946||30 September 1946||RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland|
Commanding officers[edit | edit source]
|March 1943||January 1944||W/Cdr. C.A. Butler|
|January 1944||November 1944||W/Cdr. G.R. Brady|
|November 1944||May 1945||W/Cdr. J.N. Stacy, DSO, DFC|
|May 1945||September 1945||W/Cdr. G. MacKenzie|
|September 1945||September 1946||W/Cdr. R.D. Williams|
References[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
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.
- 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.
- Gwynne-Timothy, John R.W. Burma Liberators: RCAF in SEAC. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Next Level Press, 1991. ISBN 1-895578-02-7.
- 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, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
- 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.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
[edit | edit source]
- Burma Star Association: 160 Squadron RAF
- Squadron histories for nos. 156–160 sqn on Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation
- No. 160 Squadron history
- Graves of 160 Sqdn Liberator crew (Cox, Durrant, Ellerker, Harwood, Lawrence, Reilly) killed over Crete, 28 Oct 1942
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