No. 226 Squadron RAF

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No. 226 Squadron RAF
Active 1 Apr 1918 - 18 Dec 1918
15 Mar 1937 - 20 Sep 1945
1 Aug 1959 - 9 Mar 1963
Role Strategic Missile Force
Garrison/HQ Pizzone, Italy
Taranto, Italy
RAF Upper Heyford 16 Apr 1937 - 2 Sep 1939[1]
Reims/ Champagne (France) 2 Sep 1939 - 16 May 1940
Faux-Villecerf (France) 16 May - 15 Jun 1940
Artins (France) 15 - 16 Jun 1940
RAF Thirsk 18 - 27 Jun 1940
RAF Sydenham 27 Jun 1940 - 26 May 1941
RAF Wattisham 26 May - 9 Dec 1941
RAF Swanton Morley 9 Dec 1941 - 13 Feb 1944
RAF Hartfordbridge 13 Feb - 17 Oct 1944
B.50 Vitry-en-Artois 17 Oct 1944-22 Apr 19450
B.77 Gilze-Rijen 22 Apr - 20 Sep 1945 RAF Catfoss 1 Aug 1959 - 9 Mar 1963[1]
Equipment Airco D.H.4
Airco D.H.9
Sopwith Camel
Hawker Audax
Fairey Battle
Bristol Blenheim
de Havilland Mosquito
Douglas Havoc
Douglas Boston
North American Mitchell
Airspeed Oxford
Thor (IRBM)[1]
Squadron Mitchell Bombers

First formed on 1 April 1918 at Pizzone, Italy, by re-designating the Bombing School Pizzone, No. 226 Squadron RAF operated fast bombers and fighter aircraft and formed No. 472, 473 and 474 (Fighter) Flights within it in September 1918. after the Armistice the squadron was dis-banded at Taranto, Italy.

As part of the re-armament plan 226 Squadron was reformed at RAF Upper Heyford, as a light bomber squadron, on 15 Mar 1937, flying Fairey Battle light bombers. Deployed to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) 226 Squadron suffered heavy losse during the Battle of France, retreating westwards and evacuating from Brest in mid-June 1940.

The squadron was re-assembled at RAF Sydenham, moving to East Anglia and re-equipping with Douglas Havoc, Douglas Boston and North American Mitchell medium bombers, whilst carrying out attacks on German ports and anti-shipping strikes.

No. 226 Squadron began the war as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force, making it one of the first squadrons to be sent to France. The Fairey Battle suffered very heavy loses during the Battle of France. No.226 Squadron was forced to retreat west, and had to be evacuated from Brest in mid-June, reforming at RAF Sydenham in Northern Ireland.

Operation Overlord saw 226 Squadron become part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, supporting the invasion in Normandy and the allied advance to Germany. The squadron was disbanded shortly after hostilities ceased, at Gilze-Rijen airfield, on 20 September 1945.

The Squadron was reformed in 1959 as one of 20 Strategic Missile (SM) squadrons associated with Project Emily equipped with three Douglas PGM-17 Thor Intermediate range ballistic missiles, based at RAF Catfoss in Yorkshire as part of the Driffield group of Thor launch sites.

During the Cuban missile crisis, the squadron was kept at full readiness, with the missiles aimed at strategic targets in the USSR. Resolution of the missile crisis included the de-activation of the Thor and Jupiter IRBMs in the United Kingdom, Italy and Turkey. The squadron was disbanded with the termination of Project Emily in 1963.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lake, Alan. "Flying Units of the RAF". Airlife Publishing. Shrewsbury. 1999. ISBN 1-84037-086-6
  • Lake, Alan. "Flying Units of the RAF".Airlife Publishing. Shrewsbury. 1999. ISBN 1-84037-086-6

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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, C.G. RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.

External links[edit]