|No. 515 Squadron RAF|
|Active||1 Oct 1942 – 10 Jun 1945|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
No. 11 Group RAF, Fighter Command|
No. 100 Group RAF, Bomber Command
Latin: Cleriter ferite ut hostes nacesit|
(Translation: "Strike quickly to kill the enemy")
|Squadron Badge heraldry||A gauntlet holding a winged dagger in bend sinister, trusting to the dexter|
|Squadron Codes||3P (Feb 1944 – Jun 1945)|
No. 515 Squadron RAF was a squadron of the Royal Air Force formed during the Second World War. It ushered in Electronic countermeasures (ECM) warfare, jamming enemy radar installations from October 1942 as the only such squadron in the RAF initially. Later in the war 515 Sqn was joined by other squadrons as part of No. 100 Group RAF. The squadron disbanded after VE day, when the need for such a specialised squadron had reduced.
History[edit | edit source]
Fighter Command[edit | edit source]
The squadron was formed from Defiant Flight, also known as Special Duties Flight, at RAF Northolt on 1 October 1942, equipped with Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.II redundant night-fighters. As part of No. 11 Group RAF 515 Sqn performed radar jamming duties with Moonshine and Mandrel, moving to RAF Heston later that month, and was re-equipped with Bristol Beaufighter Mk.IIf aircraft from May 1943.
Bomber Command[edit | edit source]
The squadron transferred to No. 100 Group RAF in December 1943 as part of Bomber Command, and moved to RAF Little Snoring in Norfolk. There they re-equipped with de Havilland Mosquito Mk.VIs in March 1944, and operated these for the remainder of the war. At the time of its disbandment on 10 June 1945, 515 squadron had carried out 1,366 operational sorties with the Mosquito with a loss of 21 aircraft, with most of its aircrew transferring to No. 627 Squadron RAF. T
Moonshine[edit | edit source]
Moonshine was the code-name for ARI TR1427, (Airborne Radio Installation Transmitter Receiver), a British airborne spoofer/jammer installed in the 20 modified Boulton Paul Defiants of No. 515 Squadron RAF to defeat Freya radar and was developed at the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE).
Mandrel[edit | edit source]
Mandrel was the code-name for a jammer deployed against Freya and Würzburg radars used by aircraft of 515 sqn and 100 Group. Developed at the TRE, Mandrel was also built in the United States as AN/APT-3.
Aircraft operated[edit | edit source]
|October 1942||December 1943||Boulton Paul Defiant||Mk.II|
|June 1943||April 1944||Bristol Beaufighter||Mk.IIf|
|February 1944||April 1944||de Havilland Mosquito||Mk.II|
|March 1944||June 1945||de Havilland Mosquito||Mk.VI|
Squadron bases[edit | edit source]
|1 October 1942||29 October 1942||RAF Northolt, Middlesex||dets. at RAF Coltishall, RAF West Malling,|
RAF Tangmere and RAF Exeter
|29 October 1942||31 May 1943||RAF Heston, Middlesex|
|31 May 1943||15 December 1943||RAF Hunsdon, Hertfordshire|
|15 December 1943||10 June 1945||RAF Little Snoring, Norfolk|
Commanding officers[edit | edit source]
|October 1942||July 1943||S/Ldr. S.R. Thomas, DFC, AFC|
|July 1943||January 1944||W/Cdr. J.F. Inkster|
|January 1944||December 1944||W/Cdr. F.F. Lambert, DSO, DFC|
|December 1944||June 1945||W/Cdr. H.C. Kelsey, DFC|
See also[edit | edit source]
- List of Royal Air Force aircraft squadrons
- Boulton Paul Defiant Operational history
- Freya radar, the German early-warning radar that was jammed using "Moonshine" and "Mandrel"
- List of World War II electronic warfare equipment
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.
- Brew, Alec. The Defiant File. Tundbridge Wells, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1996. ISBN 0-85130-226-2.
- Falconer, John. Bomber Command Handbook 1939–1945. Stroud, UK: Sutton Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 0-7509-3171-X.
- 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, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald & Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (2nd edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
[edit | edit source]
- Squadron history 1 on MOD site
- Squadron history 2 on MOD site
- No. 515 Squadron RAF movement and equipment history
- squadron histories for nos. 500–520 sqn on RafWeb's Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation
- unofficial website for no. 515 Sqn
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