No. 156 Squadron RAF

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No. 156 Squadron RAF
Active 12 October 1918 – 9 December 1918
14 February 1942 – 25 September 1945
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Part of No. 3 Group RAF, Bomber Command (Feb 42-Aug 42)
No. 8 Group RAF, Bomber Command (Aug 42-Sep 45)
Motto We light the way[1][2]
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry A figure of Mercury holding a torch[1][2]
Squadron Codes GT (Feb 1942 - Sep 1945)[3][4]

No. 156 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron that was active as a bomber unit in World War II.

History[edit]

Formation and World War I[edit]

No. 156 Squadron Royal Air Force was first formed on 12 October 1918 at RAF Wyton[2][5] and equipped with DH 9 aircraft, but was disbanded on 9 December 1918 without becoming operational.[6]

Reformation in World War II[edit]

HM Queen Elizabeth inspects flight and ground crews at RAF Warboys, February 1944, in front of an Avro Lancaster of No. 156 Squadron

The squadron reformed in February 1942 from the home echelon of 40 sqn[1] at RAF Alconbury, in the Huntingdonshire area of Cambridgeshire, as part of No. 3 Group RAF and was equipped with Wellingtons.[2] In August 1942 it joined No. 8 Group RAF it became one of the original pathfinder squadrons, converting to Lancasters in January 1943. It continued in the pathfinder role until the end of the war, being based at RAF Warboys, RAF Upwood and finally its original founding base, RAF Wyton, where it disbanded on 25 September 1945.[2][5]

Notable pilots[edit]

Memorials[edit]

There is a memorial to the crash of Avro Lancaster ED840, 156 Squadron, which crashed in the town in Lier, Belgium on 17th June 1943. It was on a mission to Cologne when it was shot down by anti-aircraft fire.

Memorial to ED840, Lier, Belgium

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft operated by no. 156 Squadron RAF, data from[1][2][5]
From To Aircraft Variant
November 1918 November 1918 Airco DH.9 A
February 1942 January 1943 Vickers Wellington Mk.Ic
March 1942 January 1943 Vickers Wellington Mk.III
January 1943 September 1945 Avro Lancaster Mks.B.I & B.III

Squadron bases[edit]

Bases and airfields used by no. 156 Squadron RAF, data from[1][2][5]
From To Base Remark
12 October 1918 9 December 1918 RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire Formed here
14 February 1942 15 August 1942 RAF Alconbury, Cambridgeshire No. 3 Group RAF
15 August 1942 5 March 1944 RAF Warboys, Cambridgeshire No. 8 Group RAF
5 March 1944 27 June 1945 RAF Upwood, Cambridgeshire
27 June 1945 25 September 1945 RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire Disbanded here

Commanding officers[edit]

Officers commanding no. 156 squadron RAF, data from[7]
From To Name Remark
14 February 1942 30 May 1942 W/Cdr. P.G.R. Heath KIA
30 May 1942 29 July 1942 W/Cdr. H.L. Price KIA
30 July 1942 28 October 1942 W/Cdr. R.N. Cook
28 October 1942 8 June 1943 W/Cdr. T.S. Rivett-Carnac, DFC
17 January 1943 13 February 1943 S/Ldr. S.G. Hookway, DFC (acting) KIA
8 June 1943 22 January 1944 G/Cpt. R.W.P. Collings, AFC
22 January 1944 27 April 1944 W/Cdr. E.C. Eaton, DFC KIA
28 April 1944 7 May 1944 S/Ldr. T.W.G. Godfrey (acting)
7 May 1944 21 November 1944 W/Cdr. T.L. Bingham-Hall, DFC
21 November 1944 30 December 1944 W/Cdr. D.B. Falconer, DFC, AFC KIA
30 December 1944 10 April 1945 W/Cdr. T.E. Ison DSO, DFC
10 April 1945 25 September 1945 W/Cdr. A.J.L. Craig

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Moyes 1976, p. 179.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Halley 1988, p. 229.
  3. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 46.
  4. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 77.
  5. ^ a b c d Jefford 2001, p. 66.
  6. ^ Jefford 2001, pp. 112-113.
  7. ^ Riley, Robin (2007). "Commanding Officers of 156 Squadron". www.156squadron.com. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937-56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918-88. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
  • Wadsworth, Michael P. They Led the Way: the Story of Pathfinder Squadron 156. Beverley: Highgate Publications Ltd., 1992. ISBN 0-948929-58-8.

External links[edit]