No. 228 Squadron RAF

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No. 228 Squadron RAF
Active 20 Aug 1918 - 30 Jun 1919
15 Dec 1936 - 4 Jun 1945
1 Jun 1946 - 30 Sep 1946
1 Jul 1954 - 6 Mar 1959
1 Sep 1959 - 28 Aug 1964
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role anti-submarine, reconnaissance and air-sea rescue
Motto Latin: Auxilium a caelo
(Translation: "Help from the sky")[1][2]
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry A winged helmet[1][2]
Squadron Codes TO (Apr 1939 - May 1939)
BH (May 1939 - Sep 1939)
DQ (Sep 1939 - Aug 1943)
UE (Jul 1944 - Jun 1945)
L (Jul 1954 - 1956)
228 (1956 - May 1959)

No. 228 Squadron RAF was a unit that during the greatest part of its existence flew over water, doing so in World War I, World War II and beyond, performing anti-submarine, reconnaissance and air-sea rescue tasks.

History[edit]

Formation and World War I[edit]

A Curtiss H.12 used by the RNAS

The squadron formed on 20 August 1918 at Great Yarmouth during the re-organisation of the former RNAS stations of Nos. 324, 325 and 326 Flights.[1] The squadron was initially equipped with both Felixstowe F.2A and Curtiss H.16 aircraft and was involved in anti-submarine patrols. The last patrol was flown on 24 October 1918 and the squadron disbanded on 30 June 1919 at RAF Killingholme.[1][2]

A Supermarine Stranraer as flown by 228 Squadron

Reformation[edit]

The squadron reformed on 15 December 1936 at RAF Pembroke Dock, and was initially equipped with a variety of aircraft including Short Singapores, a Supermarine Scapa, a Saro London and a Supermarine Stranraer.[2] However by September 1938 the squadron was just operating Stranraers.[3][4] In November 1938 the squadron received its first Short Sunderland, and by April 1939 the squadron was completely re-equipped with Sunderlands.[3][4]

A Short Sunderland

World War II[edit]

When World War II began the squadron was at Alexandria in Egypt. The squadron immediately returned to Pembroke Dock and sent detachments to Invergordon and Sullom Voe. In June 1940 the squadron returned to Egypt following Italy's declaration of war on Britain. In June 1941 the squadron moved to Gambia, West Africa, returning in August 1941 to Pembroke Dock and then Stranraer to be re-equipped. In March 1942 at Oban, the squadron became operational again, moving to Lough Erne in December 1942 and then back to Pembroke Dock in May 1943, where it remained until disbanding on 4 June 1945.[3][4]

On Liberators[edit]

On 1 June 1946 the squadron reformed at RAF St Eval when No. 224Y Squadron was renumbered. The squadron was equipped with Consolidated Liberators GR.6 and GR.8s and performed passenger and freight services with the Liberators to Ireland, Gibraltar, the Azores and Morocco, but also had reconnaissance, air-sea rescue and meteorlogical tasks. It disbanded on 30 September 1946 at RAF St Eval.[1][4]

Avro Shackleton with Saunders-Roe airborne lifeboat

On Shackletons[edit]

The squadron reformed again on 1 July 1954 at St Eval, equipped with the Avro Shackleton as a maritime reconnaissance unit, moving in November 1956 to RAF St Mawgan and in January 1958 back to St Eval, where is disbanded on 1 April 1959.[1][4]

On Helicopters[edit]

In September 1959 the squadron reformed again via the renumbering of No. 275 Squadron at RAF Leconfield. The squadron was now a helicopter search and rescue unit, flying Bristol Sycamores -passing them on to 118 sqn- and Westland Whirlwinds.

On 28 August 1964 the squadron was disbanded at Leconfield, when it was renumbered to No. 202 Squadron.[1][4]

Aircraft operated[edit]

A Felixtowe F2A
A Whirlwind used in the air-sea rescue role
Aircraft operated by no. 228 Squadron RAF, data from[3][4]
From To Aircraft Version
August 1918 April 1919 Felixstowe F.2 a
August 1918 March 1919 Curtiss Model H 16
February 1937 August 1938 Supermarine Scapa
February 1937 September 1938 Saro London Mk.I
April 1937 September 1937 Short Singapore Mk.III
April 1937 April 1939 1937 Supermarine Stranraer
November 1938 August 1941 Short Sunderland Mk.I
November 1941 March 1943 Short Sunderland Mk.I
November 1941 March 1943 Short Sunderland Mk.II
March 1942 April 1945 Short Sunderland Mk.III
February 1945 June 1945 Short Sunderland Mk.V
June 1946 September 1946 Consolidated Liberator Mk.VIII
July 1954 March 1959 Avro Shackleton MR.2
September 1959 March 1960 Avro Anson T.21
September 1959 June 1960 Bristol Sycamore HR.14
September 1959 December 1962 Westland Whirlwind HAR.2
September 1959 December 1962 Westland Whirlwind HAR.4
September 1962 August 1964 Westland Whirlwind HAR.10

Squadron airfields[edit]

Airfields used by no. 228 Squadron RAF, data from[3][4]
From To Base Remark
20 August 1918 30 April 1919 RAF Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
30 April 1919 5 June 1919 RAF Brough, East Riding of Yorkshire
5 June 1919 30 June 1919 RAF Killingholme, Lincolnshire
15 December 1936 29 September 1938 RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
29 September 1938 9 October 1938 RAF Invergordon, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
9 October 1938 5 June 1939 RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
5 June 1939 10 September 1939 RAF Alexandria, Egypt
10 September 1939 10 June 1940 RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
10 June 1940 19 July 1940 RAF Alexandria, Egypt Detachment at RAF Kalafrana, Malta
19 July 1940 13 September 1940 RAF Aboukir, Egypt Detachment at RAF Kalafrana, Malta
13 September 1940 25 March 1941 RAF Kalafrana, Malta Detachment at RAF Alexandria, Egypt
25 March 1941 16 June 1941 RAF Alexandria, Egypt
16 June 1941 28 August 1941 En route to West Africa
28 August 1941 26 September 1941 RAF Bathurst, Gambia
26 September 1941 9 October 1941 En route to UK
9 October 1941 10 March 1942 RAF Stranraer, Wigtownshire, Scotland re-established here
10 March 1942 11 December 1942 RAF Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
11 December 1942 4 May 1943 RAF Castle Archdale, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland (Lough Erne)
4 May 1943 4 June 1945 RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
1 June 1946 30 September 1946 RAF St Eval, Cornwall
1 July 1954 29 November 1956 RAF St Eval, Cornwall
29 November 1956 14 January 1958 RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall
14 January 1958 6 March 1959 RAF St Eval, Cornwall
1 September 1959 28 August 1964 RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire Dets. at RAF Acklington, Northumberland;
RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland;
RAF Horsham St Faith, Norfolk and
RAF Coltishall, Norfolk

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Halley 1988, p. 294.
  2. ^ a b c d Rawlings 1982, p. 154.
  3. ^ a b c d e Halley 1988, pp. 294-295.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Jefford 2001, p. 76.
Bibliography
  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937-56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Evans, John. Help from the Heavens: A History of No. 228 Squadron RAF. Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, UK: Paterchurch Publications, 1998. ISBN 1-870745-06-X.
  • 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 1918-1988. 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, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.

External links[edit]