No. 141 Squadron RAF
|No. 141 Squadron RAF|
|Active||1 January 1918 - 1964|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Motto||"We slay by night"|
No. 141 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed on 1 January 1918 at Rochford, for home defence in the London Area. The Squadron moved to RAF Biggin Hill in February and giving up its mixed collection of types in favour of Bristol F.2 Fighters during March. In March 1919, it moved to Ireland, and was disbanded the following year, on 1 February 1920.
The first operational patrol was flown on 29 June before moving to RAF West Malling in July. Following an unsuccessful encounter with the enemy a few days later, the squadron changed from a day- to night-fighter role, more suited to the Defiant. In September, a detachment was sent back to southern England but this time for night patrols and the whole squadron moved there in October. In April 1941, No. 141 returned to Scotland where it converted to Beaufighters for the defence of central Scotland and north-east England. In June 1942 it moved to Tangmere for local defence and in February 1943 to south-west England where it began flying intruder missions over north-west France. At the end of April 1943, it was transferred to Wittering and began flying intruder sorties over German airfields in support of Bomber Command in June. Mosquitoes began to replace the Beaufighters in October and in December the Squadron joined No. 100 Group, sending aircraft with Bomber Command's main force to attack enemy night-fighters and their bases. This type of operation continued until the German surrender and on 7 September 1945 the Squadron was disbanded.
On 17 June 1946, No. 141 reformed at Wittering, again as a Mosquito night-fighter Squadron. In September 1951, it began to convert to Meteors and replaced these with Venoms in 1955. Javelins began to arrive in February 1957 and were flown until the Squadron was renumbered 41 Squadron on 1 February 1958. On 1 April 1959, No. 141 was reformed as a Bloodhound anti-aircraft missile unit at Dunholme Lodge, disbanding on 31 March 1964.
The Squadron motto Caedimus noctu (Latin: "We slay by night") derives from this period.
Notes and references
- Battle of Britain MoD Records Retrieved 14 July 2007
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