No. 298 Squadron RAF

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No. 298 Squadron RAF
Active 24 Aug 1942 – 19 Oct 1942
4 Nov 1943 – 21 Dec 1946
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Special Operations
Transport
Part of No. 38 Group RAF
Motto Silent We Strike[1][2]
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry A hand holding a dagger in bend sinister thrusting to the dexter[1][2]
Squadron Codes 8A (May 1944 – Jun 1945; 'A' Flt)[3][4]
8T (May 1944 – Jun 1945; 'B' Flt)[5][6]

No. 298 Squadron was a Royal Air Force special operations squadron during the Second World War. Later in that war it changed to the transport role, disbanding after the end of the hostilities.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

No. 298 Squadron was formed on 24 August 1942 at RAF Thruxton from a nucleus of 297 Squadron as a special operations squadron, equipped with the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley. The squadron was however not required for operations, so the formation was suspended and the squadron was disbanded on 19 October 1942.[7]

Gliders and Special Operations[edit]

Operation Varsity. General Aircraft Hamilcars and Airspeed Horsas, flanked by Handley Page Halifax A Mark VII glider tugs of Nos. 298 and 644 Squadrons RAF, lined up and ready for take-off at RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk, March 1945

The squadron was re-formed on 4 November 1943 at RAF Tarrant Rushton, from 'A' Flight of 295 Squadron, with the Handley Page Halifax. It trained to air-tow the big General Aircraft Hamilcar glider, but began operations in February 1944 in its original role, dropping SOE agents. On 16 March 1944 298 Squadrons 'C' Flight split off, to form 644 squadron.

During the Normandy landing the squadron air-towed both the Airspeed Horsas and the Hamilcars to landing-zones around the beach head. An unusual operation involved parachuting jeeps which had been carried underneath the Halifax. The squadron then returned again to SOE duties. In between the SOE duties the squadron air-towed Hamilcar and Horsa gliders for the Arnhem landing (Operation Market Garden). The squadron moved in March 1945 to RAF Woodbridge, England to air-tow gliders for the Rhine crossing (Operation Varsity). After Operation Varsity the squadron flew normal supply and transport duties.

Transport in British India[edit]

In July 1945 the squadron moved to Raipur, British India to provide transport support to the Army. In March 1946 the squadron was involved in rice-dropping sorties from Meiktila, Burma to the starving population in the jungle areas. The squadron disbanded at Mauripur, Sindh, British India (Now Pakistan Air Force Base Masroor) on 21 December[2][7] or 30 December 1946.[1]

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft operated by no. 298 Squadron RAF, data from[2][7][8]
From To Aircraft Version
August 1942 October 1942 Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V
November 1943 November 1944 Handley Page Halifax Mk.V
September 1944 July 1945 Handley Page Halifax Mk.III
March 1945 December 1946 Handley Page Halifax A.7

Squadron bases[edit]

Bases and airfields used by no. 298 Squadron RAF, data from[1][2][7]
From To Base Remark
24 August 1942 19 October 1942 RAF Thruxton, Hampshire
4 November 1943 21 March 1945 RAF Tarrant Rushton, Dorset
21 March 1945 24 March 1945 RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk
24 March 1945 5 July 1945 RAF Tarrant Rushton, Dorset
5 July 1945 15 July 1945 en route to British India
15 July 1945 9 December 1945 RAF Raipur, Chhattisgarh, British India Dets. at RAF Akyab, Burma and RAF Alipore, Bengal, British India
9 December 1945 20 May 1946 RAF Digri, Sindh, British India Dets. at RAF Negombo, Ceylon; RAF Meiktila, Burma and RAF Chaklala, Punjab, British India
20 May 1946 24 July 1946 RAF Baroda, Gujarat, British India
24 July 1946 21 December 1946 RAF Mauripur, Sindh, British India Det. at RAF Risalpur, North-West Frontier Province, British India

Commanding officers[edit]

Officers commanding no. 298 Squadron RAF, data from[9][10]
From To Name
24 August 1942 19 October 1942 S/Ldr. L.C. Bartram
4 November 1943 4 December 1943 S/Ldr. C.H. Briggs
4 December 1943 January 1945 W/Cdr. D.H. Duder, DSO, DFC
January 1945 17 April 1945 W/Cdr. Law-Wright, DSC, DFC
17 April 1945 1945 W/Cdr. J. Stewart, DFC
1945 January 1946 W/Cdr. A.G. Norman, DFC
January 1946 21 December 1946 W/Cdr. W.G. Gardiner, DFC, AFC

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Rawlings 1982, p. 196.
  2. ^ a b c d e Halley 1988, p. 354.
  3. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 21.
  4. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 60.
  5. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 100.
  6. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 61.
  7. ^ a b c d Jefford 2001, p. 86.
  8. ^ Rawlings 1982, pp. 196–197.
  9. ^ Rawlings 1982, p. 197.
  10. ^ "298 Squadron, 38 Group : History". Raf38group.org. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Delve, Ken. The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
  • 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, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • 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]