No. 213 Squadron RAF

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No. 213 Squadron RAF
Active 1 April 1918 - 31 December 1919
8 March 1937 - 30 September 1954
1 September 1955 - 31 December 1969
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Nickname The Hornets (1918); Ceylon
Motto Irritatus Lacessit Crabro
Latin: "The Hornet Attacks When Roused"
Battle honours Western Front 1914-1948*; Channel and North Sea 1939-1940; France and the Low Countries 1939-1940*; Dunkirk*; Battle of Britain 1940*; Home defence 1940-1945; Egypt and Libya 1940-1943*; Syria 1941*; El Alamein*; Mediterranean 1942-1943; South East Europe 1942-1945*
Honours marked with an asterisk are emblazoned on the Squadron Standard[1]
Insignia
Squadron Badge A Hornet
Squadron Codes AK (Apr 1939 - Jan 1950)[2]

No. 213 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. The squadron was formed on 1 April 1918 from No. 13 (Naval) Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service.[3] This RNAS squadron was itself formed on 15 January 1918 from the Seaplane Defence Flight which, since its creation in June 1917, had had the task of defending the seaplanes which flew out of Dunkirk.

History[edit]

World War I[edit]

Formed originally from the Seaplane Defence Flight, which was itself founded in June 1917 at Dunkirk, it was reorganized as No. 13 Squadron RNAS on 15 January 1918. As the SDF, it operated Sopwith Pups. When the Royal Naval Air Service merged with the Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force, it was renumbered as 213 Squadron.[4] In this incarnation, it flew Sopwith Baby floatplanes and transitioned to Sopwith Camels. It was during this time that the squadron derived its Hornet insignia and motto for the squadron badge, after overhearing a Belgian General refer to the squadron's defence of his trenches, "Like angry hornets attacking the enemy aircraft". The Hornet became affectionately known as "Crabro," latin for hornet. The squadron's official motto became, "Irritatus Lacessit Crabro" (The Hornet Attacks When Roused).[5] In March 1919 the squadron went back to the UK where it disbanded on 31 December 1919.[3]

During its wartime existence, the squadron had 11 flying aces serve with it, including such notables as John Edmund Greene, Colin Brown, George Chisholm MacKay, Leonard Slatter, Maurice Cooper, Miles Day, Ronald Graham, John Paynter, John Pinder, and[4] George Stacey Hodson.[6]

A 213 Sqn Hurricane I over Cyprus, circa 1941.

Second World War[edit]

The squadron was reformed on 8 March 1937 flying Gloster GauntletIIs, converting to Hawker Hurricanes in January 1939 and flew throughout the war. It participated as part of the British Expeditionary Force; then at Dunkirk; the Battle of Britain and finally in the Middle East as part of the Desert Air Force. It also flew Supermarine Spitfires and North American Mustangs.

Post-Second World War[edit]

After the war, the squadron remained in the Middle East, first flying Hawker Tempests and then de Havilland Vampires. It was stationed at Deversoir in the Suez Canal Zone from October 1948 till its disbandment there on 30 September 1954.

With Bomber Command to RAF Germany[edit]

The squadron reformed once again on 1 September 1955 as an English Electric Canberra squadron, specialising in low level interdiction missions. It was the only squadron to fly the Canberra B(I).6 variant, still with the "Crabro" insignia adorning the tail fin, first from RAF Ahlhorn and later form RAF Bruggen, while a detachment was for a short time in 1956 stationed at Valkenburg Naval Air Base in the Netherlands.[7] The squadron finally disbanded on 31 December 1969.[3]

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft of 213 Squadron[3][8][9]
From To Aircraft Version
April 1918 December 1919 Camel F1
March 1937 February 1939 Gauntlet Mk.II
January 1939 February 1942 Hurricane Mk.I
August 1941 March 1944 Hurricane Mks.IIa, IIc
February 1944 May 1944 Spitfire Mk.Vc
February 1944 June 1944 Spitfire Mk.IX
May 1944 February 1947 Mustang Mk.III
February 1945 February 1947 Mustang Mk.IV
January 1947 January 1950 Tempest F.6
November 1949 April 1952 Vampire FB.5
April 1952 September 1954 Vampire FB.9
March 1956 December 1969 Canberra B(I).6

Commanding officers[edit]

Commanding Officers of 213 Squadron[10][11]
From To Name
3 July 1917 21 November 1918 S/Cdr. R. Graham
21 November 1918 31 December 1919 Maj. A.G. Tayler
3 May 1937 27 May 1940 S/Ldr. J.H. Edwardes Jones
27 May 1940 25 August 1940 S/Ldr. H. McGregor, DSO
25 August 1940 14 November 1941 S/Ldr. D.S. MacDonald
14 November 1941 16 January 1942 S/Ldr. R. Lockhart
16 January 1942 18 May 1942 S/Ldr. G.V.W. Kettlewell
18 May 1942 12 October 1942 S/Ldr. M.H. Young, DFC
12 October 1942 1 January 1943 S/Ldr. P. Olver
1 January 1943 24 August 1943 S/Ldr. V.C. Woodward, DFC
24 August 1943 16 September 1944 S/Ldr. S.R. Whiting, DFC
16 September 1944 17 December 1944 S/Ldr. C.S. Vos, DFC
17 December 1944 17 January 1946 S/Ldr. P.E. Vaughan-Fowler, DFC & Bar
17 January 1946 4 November 1946 S/Ldr. R.S. Nash, DFC
4 November 1946 2 January 1947 S/Ldr. M.C. Wells
2 January 1947 18 March 1948 S/Ldr. D.C. Colebrook
18 March 1948 18 April 1949 S/Ldr. P.J. Kelley, DFC
18 April 1949 14 September 1951 S/Ldr. D.J.A. Roe, DSO, DFC
14 September 1951 31 March 1954 S/Ldr. D.M. Finn, DFC
31 March 1954 30 September 1954 S/Ldr. A.J.H. Kitley
1 September 1954 29 December 1957 W/Cdr. H.J. Dodson, AFC
29 December 1957 10 August 1959 W/Cdr. I.R. Campbell, AFC
10 August 1959 7 June 1961 W/Cdr. P.T. Bayley
7 June 1961 24 April 1964 W/Cdr. S. Slater, DSO, OBE, DFC & Bar
24 April 1964 13 June 1966 W/Cdr. R.H. Arscott
13 June 1966 23 May 1968 W/Cdr. T.E. Benson
23 May 1968 31 December 1969 W/Cdr. M.R.T. Chandler

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leeson 1998, p. 194.
  2. ^ Bowyer & Rawlings 1979, pp. 14, 16.
  3. ^ a b c d Halley 1988, p. 278.
  4. ^ a b http://www.theaerodrome.com/services/gbritain/raf/213.php Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  5. ^ Squadrons of the Battle of Britain. Aircraft, badges and history - 213 to 236 Squadrons on the UK Ministry of Defense Website
  6. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/hodson.php Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  7. ^ Moyes 1976, p. 201.
  8. ^ Rawlings 1978, pp. 327-328.
  9. ^ Jefford 2001, p. 73.
  10. ^ Rawlings 1978, p. 328.
  11. ^ Leeson 1998, p. 195.
Bibliography
  • Bowyer, Michael J.F and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937-56. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, 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: Airlif Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918-1988. 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: Airlife Publishing, 1998 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Leeson, Frank M. The Hornet Strikes: the Story of 213 Squadron Royal AIr Force. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: AIr-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1998. ISBN 0-85130-272-6.
  • Lewis, Peter. Squadron Histories: R.F.C, R.N.A.S and R.A.F., 1912-59. London: Putnam, 1959.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1964 (new edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (new edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.

External links[edit]