No. 274 Squadron RAF
|No. 274 Squadron RAF|
|Active||15 June 1919 - 30 January 1920
19 August 1940 - 7 September 1945
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Squadron Badge heraldry||Eight arrows in saltire|
|Squadron Codes||YK (Aug 1940 - Sep 1940)
NH Allocated but no evidence of being carried
JJ (Apr 1944 - Sep 1945)
No. 274 Squadron RAF existed briefly in 1918 and 1919 as a patrol and bomber squadron, and served in World War II as a fighter squadron.
The squadron began to form as a patrol squadron, intended to fly Vickers Vimys, at Seaton Carew in November 1918 a few days before the end of World War I. The squadron formation was then cancelled. It was reformed on 15 June 1919 as a bomber squadron, flying Handley Page V/1500s, but disbanded on 30 January 1920.
On 19 August 1940, No.274 reformed at Amriya as a fighter squadron and consisted of A Flight with Hurricanes and B flight with Gladiators also attached was the French Flight transferred from No.80 Squadron with two Morane 406S and two Potez 63-11s. The latter left on 28 September and during October No.274 became completely equipped with Hurricanes. In December fighter sweeps over the Western Desert began and continued with short breaks for fighter defence in Egypt, until May 1942, when the squadron's Hurricanes were modified for fighter-bombing duties. It was active in a ground attack role during the Battle of El Alamein and began moving forward through Libya as the 8th Army captured airfields. After the army reached Tunisia, No.274 was given an air defence, covering convoys along the Libyan coast, receiving some Spitfires in April 1943, and completely re-equipping with this type shortly after moving to Cyprus in September. In February 1944 the squadron moved to Italy for two months and took part in sweeps over Yugoslavia and Albania before leaving for the UK.
On 24 April 1944, No.274 re-assembled at Hornchurch with Spitfires and began fighter sweeps over Northern France in preparation for the invasion of Europe. After covering the Normandy landings, it converted to Tempests in August which it used against flying bombs until their launching sites were captured by the army. At the end of September it joined Second TAF in the Low Countries and flew sweeps over Germany until the end of the war. Early in September 1945 it returned to Warmwell for an armament training course, leaving its ground echelon in Germany and while so engaged was renumbered 174 Squadron on 7 September 1945.
- Halley 1988, p. 340.
- 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. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1969 (second edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
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