No. 114 Squadron RAF

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
No. 114 (Hong Kong) Squadron RAF
Active 27 Sep 1917 - 1 Apr 1920
1 Dec 1936 – 1 Sep 1946
1 Aug 1947 – 31 Dec 1957
5 May 1959 – 29 Sep 1961
30 Sep 1961 – 31 Oct 1971
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Motto "With speed I strike".
Insignia
Squadron Heraldry A Cobra head
Squadron Codes 114 (Mar 1937 - Apr 1939)
FD (Apr 1939 - Sep 1939)
RT Sep 1939 - Sep 1946)

No. 114 Squadron was a squadron of the British Royal Air Force. It was first formed in India during the First World War, serving as a light bomber squadron during the Second World War and as a transport squadron post-war. It was last disbanded in 1971.

History[edit]

Formation and World War I[edit]

No. 114 Squadron Royal Flying Corps was formed at Lahore, India in September 1917, by splitting off part of No. 31 Squadron, becoming part of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918. Equipped with the B.E.2, the squadron carried out patrol operations over the North-West Frontier, flying from Quetta, with a detachment at Khormaksar, Aden.[1][2] The squadron partly re-equipped with Bristol Fighters in October 1919, but was disbanded on 1 April 1920, by renumbering the squadron to No. 28 Squadron.[1][3]

Reformation and World War II[edit]

View from a 114 Squadron Blenheim bomber on a raid on Herdla, Norway.

The squadron reformed on 1 December 1936 at Wyton, initially equipped with Hawker Hind single-engined biplane light bombers.[2] It joined No. 2 Group of RAF Bomber Command on 1 March 1937,[4] receiving more modern Bristol Blenheim I twin-engined monoplanes later that month, being the first RAF squadron to operate the Blenheim, while briefly operated a few Hawker Audaxes as trainers while transitioning to the Blenheim.[5][6] The squadron received improved Blenheim IVs from April 1939,[7] carrying out long-range navigation flights over France in July and participating in the annual home defence exercise in August 1939.[8]

The squadron flew its first operations of the Second World War on 13 October 1939, when two aircraft, operating as a detachment from France, carried out reconnaissance flights over the Ruhr, with one of the two Blenheims not returning.[9] The squadron was allocated to join the Advanced Air Striking Force (AASF), moving to France in December 1939.[10] On 10 May 1940, Germany invaded Belgium and the Netherlands, and on the next day, a German air attack against 114 Squadron's airfield at Vraux destroyed six of the squadron's Blenheims, with the rest of aircraft being damaged.[11] Although the squadron did fly a few bombing missions against the German advance, its losses meant it was soon evacuated back to the UK, with its remaining Blenheims (along with those of 139 Squadron) being used to reinforce the British Expeditionary Force Air Component's reconnaissance squadrons.[12][13]

The squadron rejoined 2 Group on 10 June 1940,[4] attacking concentrations of barges in the German-held channel ports and Luftwaffe airfields by night.[14][15] In March 1941, the squadron was loaned to RAF Coastal Command for convoy escort duties and patrols over the North Sea from RAF Thornaby in Yorkshire and RAF Leuchars in Fife, Scotland, returning to Bomber Command control at RAF West Raynham in July 1941.[16][12] On 12 August 1941, the squadron took part in a large-scale low-level attack by 2 Group Blenheims against two power stations at Knapsack and Quadrath near Cologne. 114 Squadron contributed 12 Blenheims against the Knapsack power station, losing one aircraft to anti-aircraft fire, while in total 12 Blenheims were lost of the 54 deployed on the raid.[17][18] It was moved to Algeria in November 1942 and took part in Operation Torch, it then operated from Sicily and Italy, having been re-equipped with Douglas Boston aircraft, which it retained until the end of the war when they were replaced with the De Havilland Mosquito.

Post War[edit]

114 Squadron Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy in RAF Air Support Command markings in 1971

The squadron reformed in Egypt in 1947, Equipped with Dakota transport aircraft. It then operated Vickers Valettas and De Havilland Chipmunks. The squadron's final equipment was the Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy tactical transport aircraft, which was flown from their RAF Benson base from 1962 until 1971, when the squadron was finally disbanded.[19]

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft operated by No. 114 Squadron RAF
From To Aircraft Variant
Sep 1917 Oct 1919 B.E.2
Oct 1919 Apr 1920 Bristol F2 b
Sep 1936 Feb 1937 Hawker Hind Mk.I
Mar 1937 May 1939 Bristol Blenheim Mk.I
May 1939 Mar 1943 Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV
Apr 1943 Sep 1945 Douglas Boston
Sep 1945 Sep 1946 De Havilland Mosquito
Apr 1947 Aug 1949 Douglas DC3 Dakota
Apr 1947 Dec 1957 Vickers Valetta C1
Dec 1958 Mar 1959 De Havilland Chipmunk T10
May 1959 Sep 1961 Handley Page Hastings
Oct 1961 Oct 1971 Armstrong Whitworth Argosy

[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Historic Squadrons: 114 Squadron". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b Rawlings 1982, p. 100.
  3. ^ "No 111 - 115 Squadron Histories". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b Bowyer 1974, p. 486.
  5. ^ Bowyer 1974, pp. 41–42.
  6. ^ Mason 1994, p. 269.
  7. ^ Bowyer 1974, p. 51.
  8. ^ Bowyer 1974, p. 52.
  9. ^ Bowyer 1974, p. 64.
  10. ^ Bowyer 1974, pp. 64, 68.
  11. ^ Ellis, L.F. "Advance Into Belgium". The War in France and Flanders 1939–1940. Hyperwar. [Originally published HMSO: London, 1954].
  12. ^ a b Moyes 1964, pp. 158, 160.
  13. ^ Richards 1953, p. 126.
  14. ^ Moyes 1964, p. 158.
  15. ^ Bowyer 1974, pp. 123, 125.
  16. ^ Richards 1953, p. 341.
  17. ^ Bowyer 1974, pp. 173–174, 183–184, 188–189.
  18. ^ "Obituaries: Wing Commander Tom Baker". The Daily Telegraph, 10 April 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  19. ^ Halley, 1988, p. 191
  20. ^ C.G.Jefford (1988). RAF Squadrons. UK Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-053-6. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bowyer. Michael J. F. 2 Group R.A.F.: A Complete History 1936–1945. London: Faber and Faber, 1974. ISBN 0-571-094991-0.
  • Halley, J.J., The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918-1988, 1988, Air-Britain (Historians) Limited, ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber since 1914. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald & Co, 1964.
  • Rawlings, John D. R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company, 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
  • Richards, Denis. Royal Air Force 1939–1945: Volume I The Fight at Odds. London: HMSO, 1953.

External links[edit]