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Lancaster ED888

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103 Squadron RAF - Sept 1917 to Aug 1975

Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force - WW1 - WW2 - Indonesian Confrontation - Noli me Tangere

103 Squadron Crest  103 Squadron was prominent during the later stages of WW1, throughout WW2 and post war during the Indonesian Confrontation

The Squadron was formed at Beaulieu in Hampshire UK on 1st September  1917 as a day bomber squadron. In 1918 during the last stages of WW1 the Squadron was employed on day bombing and  reconnaissance duties on the Western Front flying DH9 bi-plane bombers with conspicuous success.

Whilst in France 103 Squadron were based at mainly at Serny but also

Floringhem,

Ronchin and

Maisoncelle.

Disbanded in 1919 103 Squadron was re-formed in August 1936, as No 103 (Bomber) Squadron  with Hawker Hinds at RAF Andover and moved to RAF Usworth in Co Durham in Feb 1937.

During the Second World War No 103 Squadron was sent to France as part of the AASF. In May 1940 103 Squadron was based at Betheniville later withdrawing across France until recalled to England. 

During the Battle of France 103 Squadron made  short-range day and night-bombing attacks with Fairey Battle single engined bombers  including attacks on the Meuse bridges at Sedan.

On return 103 Squadron became part of 1 Group RAF Bomber Command and was based at RAF Newton in Nottinghamshire and later RAF Elsham Wolds in Lincolnshire. Only one other Bomber Command Squadron had a longer association with one airfield during WW2 than 103 Squadron as it was stationed at RAF Elsham Wolds for 4 years until disbanding six months after VE Day.

From RAF Newton and RAF Elsham Wolds 103 Squadron took part in many medium and long range attacks against Germany and occupied Europe flying Vickers Wellington,  Handley Page Halifax and finally  Avro Lancaster bombers

Prominent amongst these attacks in August 1943, 103 Squadron contributed 24 Lancasters to the force of over 600 Bomber Command "heavies" which was sent to attack the German V-weapons experimental station at Peenemunde.

Another notable attack in which 103 Sqn participated was on the 25th April 1945 against Hitler’s Mountain Retreat at Berchtesgaden. This was the last WW2 bomber operation undertaken by the Squadron.

At the end of WW2 103 Squadron was active in the Operation Manna food drops to Dutch civilians. They also took part in  the repatriation of POWs from Europe and Operation Dodge - the repatriation of service personnel from Italy.

103 Squadron was disbanded in Dec 1945 and reformed in 1954 flying English Electric Canberra jet bombers at RAF Gutersloh in Germany.

Disbanded in Aug 1956 they were reformed again  in Aug 1959 in Cyprus at RAF Nicosia as a helicopter unit flying the Bristol Sycamore helicopter and were disbanded yet again in in July 1963. 103 Squadron was immediately  reformed in  Singapore flying Westland Whirlwind helicopters and later Westland Wessex helicopters.

 From 1963 to 1969 103 Squadron was based at

 RAF Seletar, and later RAF Changi and RAF Tengah.

Whilst in the Far East the Squadron played a very active part in the Indonesian Confrontation.

Prominent among the aircraft on the strength of the Squadron during WW2 was Lancaster ED888 - the top scoring heavy bomber that served with Bomber Command which enjoyed such a long and productive association with both 103 Squadron and 576 Squadron, all at RAF Elsham Wolds

103 Squadron played a significant roll in all the major Royal Air Force Bomber Command offensives in WW2

Invasion Ports, 1940

Fortress Europe, 1940-44

Biscay Ports, 1941-43

Baltic, 1941-45

German Ports, 1941-45

The Thousand Bomber Raids 1942

The Battle of the Ruhr, 1943

The Battle of Berlin, 1943-44

France and Germany, 1944-45

103 Squadron was finally disbanded in Aug 1975 after a long, varied and distinguished service career.

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103 Squadron History Booklet.

I wrote this up 25 years ago and it needs updating and rewriting but it is not bad even so.

This is in Flipbook which is a Flash based interactive format.

To open the file click the book cover below.

103 Sq History Cover

David Fell

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Destruction

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Sources and Books page.

Contact - D W Fell at e mail on the link below

103 Squadron RAF

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Featured Page of the Month

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Latest additions to this site

1st July 2024 - Boklaschuk Profile

1st July 2024 - Ullinger Profile

1st July 2024 - Light Flak

1st June 2024 - RAF Bombsights

1st June 2024 - Armstrong NH Profile

1st June 2024 - Marsden JTA Profile

1st June 2024 - Flak Scrapbook

1st May 2024 - Fairey Battle Photo Gallery

1st May 2024 - Barratt Profile

1st May 2024 - Remy and Crew Profile

1st May 2024 - Breen Profile

* 1st April 2024 - 80 Wing

1st April 2024 - Shields Profile

1st April 2024 - Anderson Profile

1st April 2024 - Cavanagh Profile

* 1st March 2024 - Advanced Air Striking Force

1st March 2024 - Riches Profile

* 1st February 2024 - Kilvington Profile

1st February 2024 - Garton Profile

1st February 2024 - Holland Profile

* 1st January 2024 - Pamplin Profile

1st January 2024 - Milan - 24/25 October 1942

* 1st December 2023 - Photos of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st December 2023 - Bremen – 2/3rd July 1942

1st December 2023 - Skinner Profile

* 1st November 2023 - Memoirs of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st November 2023 - Mine laying Biarritz / Biscay coast - 21 November 1942

1st November 2023 - Billie - Lancaster - W4364 - 103 Squadron

1st November 2023 - Curtin Twins Profile

*1st October 2023 - Dusseldorf - 1 August 1942

1st October 2023 - RAF Usworth Photo Album - 103 Squadron Era 1937/38

1st October 2023 - Mills Profile

*1st September 2023 - Tilley Profile

1st September 2023 - Ostend docks and barges - 22 December 1940

* 1st August 2023 - Defensive Armament - 103 Squadron and 576 Squadron

1st August 2023 - Chesterton Profile

1st August 2023 - Targets in Holland - 21/22 July 1940

1st August 2023 - Numerous additions and updates throughout the site

Also of local RAF Bomber Command interest are the

166 Squadron website

and the

550 Squadron and North Killingholme website.