No. 294 Squadron RAF

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No. 294 Squadron RAF
Active 24 Sep 1943 - 8 Apr 1946
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Air-sea rescue
Part of RAF Middle East Command
Motto Latin: Vita ex undix abrepta
(Translation: "Life snatched from the waves")[1]
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry An eagle volant, carrying in the claws a lifebelt[1]
Squadron Codes FD (Sep 1943 - Apr 1946)[2]

No. 294 Squadron was a Royal Air Force air search and rescue (ASR) squadron active under RAF Middle East Command. During the second world war the unit operated rescue missions for Allied aircraft and aircrew over the eastern Mediterranean and later the Persian Gulf and Arabian sea.

History[edit]

No. 294 Squadron was formed at Berka, near Benghazi, Libya on 24 September 1943 from the former air-sea rescue Flight. Equipped with the Vickers Wellington and Supermarine Walrus in the air search and rescue (ASR) role. The squadron aircraft were detached to various airfields around the eastern Mediterranean. In October 1943 the squadron moved to LG.91 (Landing Ground 91), but still provided detachments to other airfields. In March 1944 the squadron moved to Idku, still in Egypt, and re-equipped with the Wellington Mk.XI and later also the Wellington Mk.XIII and the Vickers Warwick. In June 1945 the squadron moved to RAF Basra, Iraq to provide rescue cover in the Persian Gulf and Arabian sea until it was disbanded on 8 April 1946.

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft operated by no. 294 Squadron RAF, data from[1][3][4]
From To Aircraft Variant Notes
September 1943 March 1944 Vickers Wellington Mk.Ic Twin-engined bomber operated in the search and rescue role.
September 1943 April 1946 Supermarine Walrus Mks.I, II Single pusher-engined biplane rescue amphibian
March 1944 November 1944 Vickers Wellington Mk.XI Twin-engined bomber operated in the search and rescue role.
May 1944 April 1946 Vickers Wellington Mk.XIII Special ASR version of the twin-engined bomber
November 1944 April 1946 Vickers Warwick Mk.I Twin-engined bomber operated in the search and rescue role.

Squadron bases[edit]

Bases and airfields used by No. 294 Squadron RAF, data from[1][3][4][5]
From To Base Remark
24 September 1943 5 October 1943 Berka, Libya Dets. at RAF Limassol, RAF Lakatamia Cyprus; LG.07; Mellaha, Libya; Derna, Libya; Gambut, Libya
5 October 1943 29 March 1944 LG.91/Amriya South, Egypt Dets. at RAF Lakatamia Cyprus; Berka III, Libya; Derna, Libya; Mellaha, Libya;
RAF Castel Benito, Libya; LG.07; RAF St Jean, Palestine and RAF Hergla, Tunisia
29 March 1944 6 June 1945 RAF Idku, Egypt Dets at Gambut 3, Libya; Berka III, Libya; RAF El Arish, Egypt and RAF Nicosia, Cyprus
6 June 1945 8 April 1946 RAF Basra, Iraq Dets. at RAF Sharjah, Trucial States; RAF Masirah, Oman and RAF Muharraq, Bahrain

Commanding officers[edit]

Officers commanding No. 294 Squadron RAF, data from[5]
From To Name
September 1943 December 1943 F/Lt. S.A.M. Morrison
January 1944 February 1945 W/Cdr. R.G.M. Walker, DFC
February 1945 June 1945 W/Cdr. D.B. Bennett, DFC

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Halley 1988, p. 351.
  2. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 71.
  3. ^ a b Rawlings 1982, p. 252.
  4. ^ a b Jefford 2001, p. 86.
  5. ^ a b Franks 2003, p. 183.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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.
  • Franks, Norman. Beyond Courage: Air Sea Rescue by Walrus Squadrons in the Adriatic, Mediterranean and Tyrrhenian Seas, 1942-1945. London: Grub Street, 2003. ISBN 1-904010-30-X.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force and 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, 1988. ISBN 1853100536. (second revised edition 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.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 

External links[edit]