No. 605 Squadron RAF
|No. 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron RAF|
|Active||5 October 1926 – March 1942
7 June 1942 – 31 August 1945
10 May 1946 – 10 March 1957
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||Royal Auxiliary Air Force|
|Motto||Latin: Nunquam Dormio
(Translation: "I Never Sleep")
Battle of Britain, 1940*
Eastern Waters, 1942*
Fortress Europe, 1942–1943*
Home Defence, 1944*
France and Germany, 1944–1945*
Honours marked with an asterisk* are those emblazoned on the Squadron Standard
|Honorary Air Commodore||Viscount Bearsted (1928–1937)
William Lindsay Everard (1937–1947)
J.A.C. Wright (1947–1957)
|Archie McKellar, Eric William Wright, Peter Townsend, Bertie R. O'Bryen "Sammy" Hoare|
|Squadron Badge heraldry||On a mount, a bear supporting a ragged staff|
|Squadron Codes||HE (Apr 1939 – Sep 1939)
UP (Jan 1942 – Aug 1945)
RAL (May 1946 – 1949)
NR (1949 – Apr 1951)
No 605 Squadron was formed as an Auxiliary Air Force Squadron. Initially formed as a bomber unit, it was one of the most successful participants of the Battle of Britain. It also had the distinction of being active during World War II at two fronts at a time, when the squadron was split up between Malta and the Duch East Indies. In its last incarnation so far the squadron served as the first jet fighter unit in the post-war Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 616 already having flown Gloster Meteors during World War II).
Formation and early years
No. 605 Squadron was formed on 5 October 1926 at RAF Castle Bromwich as a day bomber unit of the Auxiliary Air Force, recruiting in the Birmingham area. Initially equipped with DH.9As, it received Westland Wapitis in April 1930 and Hawker Harts in October 1934. The latter were replaced by Hawker Hinds in August 1936. On 1 January 1939 No. 605 squadron was redesignated as a fighter squadron and re-equipped with Gloster Gladiators.
World war II
Hawker Hurricanes began to arrive a few weeks before the outbreak of World War II and the squadron took up its war station at RAF Tangmere with a mixture of six Hurricanes and ten Gladiators, completing re-equipment during October 1939. In February 1940 the squadron moved to Scotland, but returned south in May to fly patrols over northern France for a week before moving back to Scotland at RAF Drem. It again moved south again in September for the closing stages of the Battle of Britain. It then continued to operate from bases in the south, carrying out escort duties and fighter sweeps until posted overseas.
To the middle and far east
In November 1941, the squadron flew off the carrier HMS Argus to Malta, where it was retained as part of the island's defences, prior to continuing its journey to the Far East. Arriving in Singapore too late to prevent its capture, it moved to Sumatra and then to Java, in the event caught up in the Japanese invasion. It operated any aircraft it could fly until it ceased to exist with its personnel either escaping in small groups or being captured. In the meantime, a small detachment of the squadron had been left on Malta during the transit journey to the Far East and a unit there which began operations on 10 January 1942 used the squadron number in its reports, which ended the following month, on being absorbed into No. 185 Squadron RAF.
Reformation as night intruders
A new No. 605 squadron was formed at RAF Ford on 7 June 1942, equipped with Douglas Boston and Havocs in the intruder role. These were replaced with de Havilland Mosquitoes from February 1943 and it continued to operate this type until the end of the war, moving to Belgium in March 1945 and the Netherlands in April. The squadron disbanded by being re-numbered to No. 4 Squadron RAF on 31 August 1945 at Volkel Air Base.
After the war
With the reactivation of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, No. 605 squadron was reformed on 10 May 1946 at RAF Honiley as a night fighter squadron, though its initial equipment of Mosquito NF.30s did not arrive until April 1947. In July 1948 the squadron's role was changed to that of a day fighter squadron, for which it received de Havilland Vampire F.1s, replacing them with Vampire FB.5s in May 1951. A little short of six years later the squadron was disbanded, along with all the flying units of the RAuxAF, on 10 March 1957.
|October 1926||June 1930||Airco DH.9||DH.9A|
|April 1930||December 1934||Westland Wapiti||Mk.IIa|
|February 1934||August 1936||Hawker Hart|
|August 1936||February 1939||Hawker Hind|
|February 1939||October 1939||Gloster Gladiator||Mks.I, II|
|August 1939||December 1940||Hawker Hurricane||Mk.I|
|December 1940||August 1941||Hawker Hurricane||Mk.IIa|
|August 1941||March 1942||Hawker Hurricane||Mk.IIb|
|July 1942||October 1942||Douglas Havoc||Mks.I, II|
|July 1942||March 1943||Douglas Boston||Mk.III|
|February 1943||July 1943||de Havilland Mosquito||Mk.II|
|July 1943||August 1945||de Havilland Mosquito||Mk.VI|
|April 1947||January 1949||de Havilland Mosquito||NF.30|
|July 1948||May 1951||de Havilland Vampire||F.1|
|April 1951||March 1957||de Havilland Vampire||FB.5|
|5 October 1926||27 August 1939||RAF Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire||First formation|
|27 August 1939||11 February 1940||RAF Tangmere, Sussex|
|11 February 1940||27 February 1940||RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland|
|27 February 1940||21 May 1940||RAF Wick, Caithness, Scotland|
|21 May 1940||28 May 1940||RAF Hawkinge, Kent|
|28 May 1940||7 September 1940||RAF Drem, Lothian, Scotland|
|7 September 1940||26 February 1941||RAF Croydon, Surrey|
|26 February 1941||31 March 1941||RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk|
|31 March 1941||1 July 1941||RAF Ternhill, Shropshire|
|1 July 1941||4 September 1941||RAF Baginton, Warwickshire|
|4 September 1941||31 October 1941||RAF Honiley, Warwickshire||Left to Far East from here on HMS Argus|
|5 November 1941||12 November 1941||RAF Gibraltar||to Malta via HMS Argus and HMS Ark Royal|
|12 November 1941||18 March 1942||RAF Hal Far, Malta||Dets. at RAF Luqa and RAF Ta Qali, 605 personnel joining No. 185 Squadron on 18 March|
|3 February 1942||10 February 1942||Batavia, Java, Netherlands East Indies|
|10 February 1942||14 February 1942||Palembang, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies||605 personnel joined forces with Nos. 238 and 242 Squadron RAF on 14 Feb.|
|14 February 1942||February 1942||Tjililitan, Java, Netherlands East Indies|
|February 1942||March 1942||Tasik Malaya, Java, Netherlands East Indies||Dispersed from here|
|7 June 1942||15 March 1943||RAF Ford, Sussex||Second formation|
|15 March 1943||6 October 1943||RAF Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire|
|6 October 1943||7 April 1944||RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex|
|7 April 1944||21 November 1944||RAF Manston, Kent|
|21 November 1944||15 March 1945||RAF Hartford Bridge, Hampshire||Airfield name changed to RAF Blackbushe, December 1944|
|15 March 1945||28 April 1945||B.71/Koksijde, Belgium|
|28 April 1945||31 August 1945||B.80/Volkel, the Netherlands|
|10 May 1946||11 March 1957||RAF Honiley, Warwickshire||Third formation and last disbandment|
|October 1926||March 1936||S/Ldr. J.A.C. Wright, AFC, TD|
|March 1936||December 1939||S/Ldr. Lord Willoughby de Broke, MC, AFC|
|December 1939||May 1940||S/Ldr. G.V. Perry|
|May 1940||June 1940||F/Lt. R.G. Grant-Ferris, MP (acting)|
|June 1940||September 1940||S/Ldr. W.M. Churchill, DSO, DFC|
|September 1940||November 1940||S/Ldr. A.A. McKellar, DSO, DFC|
|November 1940||November 1940||F/Lt. C.F. Currant, DFC (acting)|
|November 1940||September 1941||S/Ldr. G.R. Edge, DFC|
|September 1941||January 1942||S/Ldr. R. Reid|
|January 1942||February 1942||S/Ldr. S.E. Andrews, DFM (Malta)|
|February 1942||March 1942||F/Lt. D.W.A. Stones, DFC (Malta)|
|February 1942||March 1942||S/Ldr. E.W. Wright, DFM (Batavia)|
|June 1942||August 1942||W/Cdr. P.W. Townsend, DSO, DFC|
|August 1942||May 1943||W/Cdr. G.L. Denholm, DFC|
|May 1943||September 1943||W/Cdr. C.D. Tomalin, AFC|
|September 1943||April 1944||W/Cdr. B.R.O'B. Hoare, DSO, DFC & Bar|
|April 1944||September 1944||W/Cdr. N.J. Starr, DFC|
|September 1944||March 1945||W/Cdr R.A. Mitchell, DFC & Bar|
|March 1945||April 1945||S/Ldr A.G. Woods, DFC (acting)|
|April 1945||July 1945||W/Cdr A.W. Horne, DFC, AFC|
|July 1945||August 1945||S/Ldr I.F. McCall, DFC (acting)|
|June 1946||December 1947||S/Ldr R.J. Walker, DSO|
|December 1947||July 1949||S/Ldr R.C.T. Goodwin, TD|
|July 1949||August 1951||S/Ldr J.A. Timmis|
|August 1951||November 1955||S/Ldr P.M.R. Walton, BSc|
|November 1955||March 1957||S/Ldr R.E. Tickner|
- Halley 1988, p. 422.
- Rawlings 1978, p. 486.
- Moyes 1976, p. 276.
- Piper 1996, p. 223.
- Piper 1996, p. 17.
- Piper 1996, p. 33.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 14.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 102.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 138.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 77.
- Halley 1988, p. 423.
- Jefford 2001, p. 100.
- Thomas 2003, pp. 68–69 and 46.
- Thomas 2003, pp. 29 and 46.
- Moyes 1976, p. 277.
- Piper 2003, pp. 95–96.
- Rawlings 1978, p. 487.
- Moyes 1976, pp. 276–277.
- Piper 1996, pp. 241–242.
- Base overview on 605 website
- Base overview on RAFcommands website
- Piper 1996, pp. 239–240.
- Rawlings 1978, p. 488.
- Piper 2003, p. 94.
- Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
- Ford-Jones, Martyn R. Desert Flyer: The Log and Journal of Flying Officer William Marsh. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2004. ISBN 0-7643-0347-3.
- Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1980. ISBN 0-85130-083-9.
- 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.
- Hunt, Leslie. Twenty-One Squadrons: The History of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 1925–1957. London: Garnstone Press, 1972. ISBN 0-85511-110-0.
- Jefford, W/Cdr. 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.
- Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 2nd edition 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
- Piper, Ian. 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron. Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire, UK: 605 Squadron Association, 2003. ISBN 0-9529516-1-4.
- Piper, Ian. We Never Slept: the Story of 605 County of Warwick, Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 1926–1957. Kingsbury, Tamworth, Staffordshire, UK: Ian Piper, 1996 (reprinted in 1997). ISBN 0-9529516-0-6.
- Rawlings, John. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1969 (second edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
- Thomas, Andrew. Hurricanes Aces: 1941–45. Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84176-610-0.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to No. 605 Squadron RAF.|
- Official 605 Squadron Website
- Squadron histories for nos. 605–610 sqn on RAFweb
- Battle of Britain website page for 605 sqn