No. 620 Squadron RAF

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No 620 Squadron RAF
620 Badge JPEG.jpg
Official Squadron badge of No 620 Squadron RAF
Active 17 June 1943 – 1 September 1946
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Bomber
Airborne forces
Transport
Part of No 3 Group RAF, Bomber Command
No 38 Group RAF, Fighter Command[1]
No 38 Group RAF, Transport Command[2]
Motto Latin: Dona ferentes adsumus
(Translation: "We are coming bringing gifts")[3]
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry In front of a demi-pegasus couped, a flash of lightning[3][4]
Squadron Codes QS (Jun 1943 – 1946)[5][6]
D4 (Nov 1943 – 1946)[7][8]

No 620 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force during World War II. During its existence it served as a bomber squadron, airborne forces and a transport squadron.

History[edit]

No 620 Squadron was formed at RAF Chedburgh on 17 June 1943 as a heavy bomber squadron equipped with the Short Stirling. It was a part of No.3 Group of RAF Bomber Command and carried out night bombing missions until November 1943 when it was transferred to No 38 Group RAF and moved to RAF Leicester East in preparation for airborne forces operations. By March 1944 the squadron had been moved to RAF Fairford to prepare for D-Day and completed many practice missions in Gloucestershire area such a parachuting and glider towing.

On D-Day itself, the squadron took part in Operation Tonga and dropped paratroopers of the 6th Airborne Division near Caen. After these events, the squadron was used to resupply Allied forces in France, mainly SOE and the French Resistance. No 620 Squadron also took part in Operation Market Garden, where they towed gliders and dropped paratroopers belonging to the 1st Airborne Division. They also flew operations to resupply the struggling ground forces in and around Arnhem. After these operations the squadron flew some missions in support of the resistance in the Netherlands and in Norway.[3]

Throughout Operation Varsity in March 1945 the squadron towed 30 gliders, carrying anti tank and artillery weapons to their destination near the Rhine.

After VE Day, the squadron helped to transport ex-POWs, troops and supplies around Europe. The Stirlings which they had used throughout the war began to be replaced in May 1945 by Halifaxes, and the sphere of operations was changed from Western-Europe to Greece, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Italy and Palestine. In December 1945 the squadron was moved to Tunisia and shortly thereafter to Palestine and Egypt and the squadron began missions in the Middle East. By June 1946 it received also some Dakotas, but on 1 September 1946 the squadron was disbanded at RAF Aqir, Palestine by being renumbered to No. 113 Squadron RAF.

Aircraft operated[edit]

Stirling Mk.IVs of 620 Squadron, RAF during Operation Market Garden in September 1944
Aircraft operated by No 620 Squadron RAF, data from[4][9][10]
From To Aircraft Version
June 1943 August 1943 Short Stirling Mk.I
August 1943 February 1944 Short Stirling Mk.III
February 1944 July 1945 Short Stirling Mk.IV
May 1945 September 1946 Handley Page Halifax Mks.III, VII
June 1946 September 1946 Douglas Dakota C.4
August 1946 September 1946 Handley Page Halifax A.9

Squadron Stations[edit]

Stations and airfields used by No 620 Squadron RAF, data from[3][4][9]
From To Station Remark
17 June 1943 23 November 1943 RAF Chedburgh, Suffolk
23 November 1943 18 March 1944 RAF Leicester East, Leicestershire Det. at RAF Hurn, Dorset
18 March 1944 17 October 1944 RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire
17 October 1944 December 1945 RAF Great Dunmow, Essex
December 1945 15 January 1946 El Aouina, Tunisia
15 January 1946 6 March 1946 RAF Aqir, Palestine
6 March 1946 14 June 1946 RAF Cairo West, Egypt Det. at RAF Shallufa, Egypt, Apr–Jun 46
14 June 1946 1 September 1946 RAF Aqir, Palestine

Commanding officers[edit]

Officers commanding No 620 Squadron RAF, data from[11][12]
From To Name
17 June 1943 4 October 1944 W/Cdr. D.H. Lee, DFC
4 October 1944 1 July 1945 W/Cdr. G.T. Wynne-Powell, DFC
1 July 1945 27 July 1945 W/Cdr. G.H. Briggs, DFC
27 July 1945 September 1945 W/Cdr. K.R. Slater, AFC
September 1945 1946 W/Cdr. R.I. Alexander, DFC
1946 September 1946 W/Cdr. M. Thomas

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Delve 1994, pp. 69–70.
  2. ^ Delve 1994, p. 81.
  3. ^ a b c d Rawlings 1982, p. 241.
  4. ^ a b c Halley 1988, p. 437.
  5. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, pp. 86–87.
  6. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 99.
  7. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 32.
  8. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 68.
  9. ^ a b Jefford 2001, p. 102.
  10. ^ Rawlings 1982, pp. 241–242.
  11. ^ Rawlings 1982, p. 242.
  12. ^ http://www.raf38group.org/620squadron

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 Ltd., 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Patient, Joe. Pilot: a Tale of High Adventure. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen & Sword/Leo Cooper, 1997. ISBN 0-85052-544-6.
  • 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.
  • Williams, Dr. Dennis J. Stirlings in Action with the Airborne Forces: Air Support for SAS and Resistance Operations During WWII. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen & Sword, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84415-648-1.

External links[edit]