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[RAF Elsham Wolds] [Fighter Command Lincolnshire] [264 Squadron]

No 264 (Madras Presidency) Squadron

264 Squadron

 

Formed on 27 September 1918 from No's 439 and 440 Flight at Suda Bay and Syria, its Short 184s provided anti-submarine patrols over the Aegean Sea. The Squadron was disbanded on 1 March 1919.

Short 184

Short 184

Reformed on 30 October 1939 as a fighter unit, it was the first squadron to be equipped with the Boulton Paul Defiant turret fighter. Lacking any forward firing armament, the squadron soon worked out suitable tactics, which initially proved successful, but losses soon mounted and in August it was transferred to night fighter duties. The Defiant proved much more suitable for night fighting and the squadron continued operating this aircraft until the spring of 1942. During its night fighter role the Squadron was based for a time at RAF Kirton in Lindsey, Lincolnshire moving to RAF Colerne, Wiltshire in May 1942 where it remained for one year

Boulton Paul Defiant N1536_PS-R 264 Squadron Kirton in Lindsey 40

Boulton Paul Defiant N1536 264 Squadron Kirton in Lindsey 1940

In May 1942 the Squadron began conversion to the De Havilland Mosquito II night fighter and from January 1943 began intruder operations. Re-equipping with various marks of Mosquito, the squadron alternated between offensive intruder operations from bases in the south and defensive operations from bases along the East Coast until the end of the war. From January 1945, the squadron moved onto the continent as part of 2nd Tactical Air Force and disbanded at Twente on 25 August 1945.

De Havilland Mosquito NF II

De Havilland Mosquito NF II

The squadron was reformed on 20 November 1945 at RAF Church Fenton when 125 Squadron was renumbered. It continued as a Mosquito night fighter unit moving to various bases until December 1951 when Armstrong Whitworth Meteor night fighters began to arrive. From 11 February 1949 79 Squadron was linked to 264 but this ended on 14 November 1951. The squadron operated all of the Meteor night fighter models, except the Mk 13 which was a tropicalised version for use in the Middle East, until being disbanded by being renumbered 33 Squadron on 1 October 1957 at RAF Leeming having been based at RAF Middleton St George between February and September 1957.

Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF Mk 14

Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF Mk 14

Gloster Javelin Colour

Gloster Javelin

The squadron was reformed for the last time as a Bristol Bloodhound surface-to-air- missile unit on 1 December 1958 at RAF North Coates disbanding there on 30 November 1962.

Bloodhound-North-Coates-Duke-of-Edinburgh

 Bristol Bloodhound SAM - RAF North-Coates

Compiled by David Fell with photos from IWM, WWP and my archive

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