No. 122 Squadron RAF

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No. 122 Squadron RAF
Active 1918-1918
1941-1946
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Motto Victuri volamus ("we fly to conquer")

No. 122 (Bombay) Squadron was a Royal Air Force fighter squadron during the first and second world wars.

History[edit]

Squadron Leader H J L Hallowes, CO of No. 122 Squadron, with his Supermarine Spitfire Mk V at Scorton in Yorkshire, December 1941

The squadron was formed on 1 January 1918 at Sedgeford as a day bomber unit with the Airco DH.4, the intention was to train the squadron for operations on the de Havilland DH.9 but the squadron disbanded without seeing action on 17 August 1918. The squadron was reformed at RAF Upper Heyford in October 1918 with the intent to operate the de Havilland DH.10 but the Armistice was declared before the squadron had any aircraft and it was disbanded without being operational on the 20 November 1918.

No. 122 was reformed in 1941 at RAF Turnhouse with the Supermarine Spitfire I to operate convoy patrols in the Firth of Forth, it soon moved south into England to become part of the Hornchurch Wing with cannon-equipped Spitfires and it flew sweeps over northern France and participated in the Dieppe operations. In 1942 František Fajtl became the squadron commander, the first Czech to lead a RAF squadron. In October 1942 it was reequipped with the Spitfire IX and continued operations over France.

In January 1944 it re-equipped with the North American Mustang to operate long-range bomber escort duties and it also attacked targets in France and the Low Countries. Within a few months the Mustangs were converted into fighter-bombers and the squadron started long-range ground-attack sorties into continental Europe. It was heavily involved in D-Day operations and within a few weeks had moved to France to support the invasion. After three-months of intense operations the squadron was withdrawn to England and continued till the end of the war providing long-range escorts to both Bomber Command and the United States 8th Air Force.

After the end of the war the squadron was re-equipped with the Spitfire F21 but was disbanded at RAF Dalcross on the 1 April 1946 when it was renumbered No. 41 Squadron.

Aircraft operated[edit]

Dates Aircraft Variant Notes
1941 Supermarine Spitfire I
1941–1942 Supermarine Spitfire IIA and IIB
1941–1942
1943
Supermarine Spitfire VB
1942-1943
1943-1944
1945-1946
Supermarine Spitfire IX
1944–1945 North American Mustang III
1945 North American Mustang IV
1946 Supermarine Spitfire F21

References[edit]

  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 
  • Jefford, C.G. (1988). RAF Squadrons. Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85310-053-6. 

External links[edit]