No. 209 Squadron RAF
|No. 209 Squadron RAF|
Official squadron crest for no. 209 Squadron RAF
|Active||1 February 1917 (RNAS) – 24 June 1919
15 January 1930 – 1 January 1955
1 November 1958 – 31 December 1968
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Role||Ground support (World War I)
Maritime patrol (World War II & Korea)
Liaison and transport (Malaya)
|Motto(s)||Might and Main|
|Squadron Badge heraldry||An eagle volant recursant descendant in pale, wings overture|
WQ (Sep 1939 – Mar 1942 and 1950 – 1951)
No. 209 Squadron of the British Royal Air Force was originally formed from a nucleus of "Naval Eight" on 1 February 1917 at Saint-Pol-sur-Mer, France, as No. 9 Squadron Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and saw active service in both World Wars, the Korean War and in Malaya. The use of the squadron number ceased in 1968 and has not been reused since by an RAF squadron.
However the number, Crest and motto is in current service within the RAF Air Cadets at 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron ATC in Nottinghamshire.
Formation and World War I
The Squadron was formed as a Royal Air Force Squadron on 1 April 1918, from No. 9 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service at Clairmarais. (All former RNAS squadrons were renumbered by the addition of 200 to their RNAS number.) During the remainder of World War I, 209 Squadron flew Sopwith Camels over the Western Front on fighter and ground support missions. The Squadron badge, the falling eagle, symbolizes the destruction of Baron Manfred von Richthofen who, in the 1914–1918 War, was credited to the guns of a pilot, Roy Brown from No. 209 Squadron. On 21 January 1919, the squadron was reduced to a skeleton organization and disbanded in the UK on 24 June 1919 at RAF Scopwick, Lincolnshire.
No. 209 reformed at the flying boat base at RAF Mount Batten, Plymouth on 15 January 1930. It was first equipped with Blackburn Iris flying boats and then from January 1934 by Blackburn Perth but neither of these types were built in sufficient quantities to equip the squadron fully. In July 1936, however, the squadron was fully equipped with Short Singapore Mk.IIIs and it was transferred to RAF Kalafrana, Malta in September 1937 for three months. In December 1938, No 209 began to convert to yet another flying boat type, the Supermarine Stranraer.
World War II
When the Second World War broke out, No.209 moved to Invergordon to patrol the North Sea between Scotland and Norway. From October 1939 it patrolled the Atlantic from Oban. Two further re-equipments occurred, in December 1939 (Saro Lerwicks) and then in April 1941 (Consolidated Catalinas). Familiarisation with the U.S. supplied Catalinas was aided by the secondment of U.S. military personnel who also flew on active service patrols, despite the U.S. being a neutral power at the time. Anti-submarine patrols were flown over the Atlantic from RAF Castle Archdale on Lough Erne, in Northern Ireland, using the Donegal Corridor over neutral Eire. During this time, in May 1941, a patrol by No.209 (with an American crewman) located the German battleship Bismarck.
In August 1941, the squadron moved to Iceland for two months. From March 1942 until July 1945, No.209 was stationed in East Africa. It flew patrols over the Indian Ocean with detached bases in South Africa, Madagascar, Oman and the Seychelles to extend its cover. In July 1945 the squadron moved to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), with recently acquired Short Sunderland MkVs, with a detachment at Rangoon (now Yangon), to harass Japanese shipping along the coast from Burma (now Myanmar) to Malaya.
Hong Kong and Seletar
After the Japanese surrender in August 1945, a detachment was sent to Hong Kong in September, followed by the rest of the squadron in October. In April 1946 the squadron moved to Singapore. A detachment remained at RAF Kai Tak and became No.1430 flight and then No.88 Squadron. The squadron headquarters was established at RAF Seletar (sometimes referred to as "Seltar"), on Singapore Island on 18 May 1946 and No.209 and was named "City of Hong Kong" Squadron on 23 January 1947.
Operation Firedog missions during the Malayan Emergency began on 7 July 1948. In September 1950, during the Korean War, the aircraft were moved to Iwakuni, Yamaguchi, Japan to patrol off the Korean coast from 15 September. On 1 January 1955 the squadron merged with No. 205 Squadron.
209 is still in use today with the Air Cadet Organisation. 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron Air Training Corp in Nottinghamshire have taken over the old Squadron Number and Crest.
The Squadron itself has a great history and is currently a strong and active unit.
With Pioneers in the transport role
On 1 November 1958 No. 267 Squadron at RAF Kuala Lumpur was renumbered 209 Squadron and flew Scottish Aviation Pioneers and Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneers on liaison and transport duties in Malaysia. No.209 Squadron was finally disbanded on 31 December 1968 at RAF Seletar.
- Fred Everest Banbury - 1917-1918 with No. 9 Naval Squadron
- Arthur Roy Brown
- Stearne Tighe Edwards
- Chief Air Marshal Robert Foster - 1918 
- John Hales
- Wilfrid May
- Air Vice Marshal Francis Mellersh
- John Paynter - 1917 with No. 9 
- Oliver Redgate - 1917-1918
- Merrill Samuel Taylor - 1917-1918 with No. 9 and No. 209
|February 1917||June 1917||Nieuport 17|
|February 1917||July 1917||Sopwith Pup|
|February 1917||July 1917||Sopwith Triplane|
|July 1917||February 1919||Sopwith Camel|
|January 1930||December 1932||Blackburn Iris||Mk. III|
|February 1932||July 1932||Saro A.7|
|June 1932||June 1934||Blackburn Iris||Mk. V|
|August 1932||November 1932||Short Singapore||Mk.II|
|February 1933||June 1934||Supermarine Southampton||Mk.II|
|January 1934||December 1934||Blackburn Perth|
|October 1934||November 1934||Supermarine Southampton||Mk.II|
|October 1934||November 1934||Saro London||Mk.I|
|December 1934||August 1935||Supermarine Scapa|
|January 1935||February 1935||Supermarine Southampton||Mk.II|
|January 1935||February 1936||Saro London||Mk.I|
|February 1935||September 1935||Supermarine Stranraer||Mk.I|
|April 1935||September 1935||Short Knuckleduster|
|July 1935||May 1936||Blackburn Perth|
|January 1936||July 1936||Supermarine Southampton||Mk.II|
|February 1936||April 1939||Short Singapore||Mk.III|
|November 1938||April 1940||Supermarine Stranraer||Mk.I|
|December 1939||April 1941||Saro Lerwick||Mk.I|
|April 1941||April 1945||Consolidated Catalina||Mks.I|
|July 1942||April 1945||Consolidated Catalina||Mk.IIa|
|February 1945||December 1954||Short Sunderland||GR.5|
|November 1958||March 1959||Auster AOP||6|
|November 1958||November 1959||Douglas Dakota||C.4|
|November 1958||February 1960||Percival Pembroke||C.1|
|November 1958||December 1968||Scottish Aviation Pioneer||CC.1|
|March 1959||December 1968||Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer||CC.1|
|October 1960||December 1968||Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer||CC.2|
|1 February 1917||15 May 1917||Saint-Pol-sur-Mer, France|
|15 May 1917||15 June 1917||Veurne (Furnes), Belgium|
|15 June 1917||5 July 1917||Flez-Cuzy, France|
|5 July 1917||10 July 1917||Izel-lès-Hameau, France|
|10 July 1917||25 July 1917||Bray-Dunes, France||Frontier Aerodrome|
|25 July 1917||28 September 1917||Leffrinckoucke, France|
|28 September 1917||10 October 1917||Bray-Dunes, France||Frontier Aerodrome|
|10 October 1917||16 February 1918||Bray-Dunes, France||Middle Aerodrome|
|16 February 1918||20 March 1918||RNAS Dover, Kent||Guston Road|
|20 March 1918||23 March 1918||Bray-Dunes, France||Middle Aerodrome|
|23 March 1918||27 March 1918||Cappelle-la-Grande, France|
|27 March 1918||29 March 1918||Bailleul, France||Asylum Ground|
|29 March 1918||7 April 1918||Clairmarais-North, France|
|7 April 1918||20 July 1918||Bertangles, France|
|20 July 1918||6 August 1918||Quelmes, France|
|6 August 1918||14 August 1918||Bertangles, France|
|14 August 1918||24 October 1918||Izel-lès-Hameau, France|
|24 October 1918||22 November 1918||Bruille-lez-Marchiennes, France|
|22 November 1918||11 December 1918||Saultain, France|
|11 December 1918||14 February 1919||Froidmont, Belgium|
|14 February 1919||24 June 1919||RAF Scopwick, Lincolnshire|
|15 January 1930||1 May 1935||RAF Mount Batten, Devon|
|1 May 1935||22 September 1937||RAF Felixstowe, Suffolk|
|22 September 1937||31 September 1937||RAF Kalafrana, Malta|
|31 September 1937||17 December 1937||Arzew, Algeria|
|17 December 1937||27 September 1938||RAF Felixstowe, Suffolk|
|27 September 1938||8 October 1938||RAF Invergordon, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland|
|8 October 1938||22 May 1939||RAF Felixstowe, Suffolk|
|22 May 1939||17 June 1939||RAF Stranraer, Wigtownshire|
|17 June 1939||12 August 1939||RAF Felixstowe, Suffolk|
|12 August 1939||22 August 1939||RAF Invergordon, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland||Dets. at Sullom Voe, Shetland, Scotland and Falmouth, Cornwall|
|22 August 1939||30 August 1939||RAF Felixstowe, Suffolk|
|30 August 1939||7 October 1939||RAF Invergordon, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland|
|7 October 1939||12 July 1940||RAF Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland||Det. at Falmouth, Cornwall|
|12 July 1940||3 January 1941||RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales||Det. at RAF Stranraer, Wigtownshire|
|3 January 1941||23 March 1941||RAF Stranraer, Wigtownshire|
|23 March 1941||26 July 1941||RAF Castle Archdale||(Lough Erne)|
|26 July 1941||10 October 1941||RAF Reykjavik, Iceland|
|10 October 1941||30 March 1942||RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|30 March 1942||15 June 1942||En route to East Africa|
|15 June 1942||21 July 1945||Kipevu, Kenya||Dets. at Kisumu, Kenya; Kilindini, Kenya;
RAF Khormaksar, Aden; Masirah, Oman;
Congella, South Africa; Seychelles
and Diego Suarez, Madagascar
|21 July 1945||17 September 1945||RAF Koggala, Ceylon|
|17 September 1945||28 April 1946||RAF Kai Tak, Hong Kong|
|28 April 1946||1 January 1955||RAF Seletar, Singapore|
|18 May 1946||5 August 1946||RAF Kai Tak, Hong Kong||Detachment|
|11 September 1950||18 December 1950||Iwakuni, Yamaguchi, Japan||Detachment|
|1 November 1958||1 October 1959||RAF Kuala Lumpur, Singapore||Det. at Penang, Malaysia|
|1 October 1959||31 December 1968||RAF Seletar, Singapore||Dets. at Kuching, Labuan and Bayan Lepas in Malaysia|
- Halley 1988, p. 272.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 14.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 50.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 109.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, pp. 117 + 159.
- Rawlings 1978, p. 324.
- "History of No. 209 Squadron". www.raf.mod.uk. Royal Air Force. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
- Halley 1988, p. 272
- Jefford 2001, p. 72.
- Rawlings 1982, p. 139.
- Halley 1988, p. 273
- Ludovic 1975, p. 137.
- Rawlings 1982, p. 140.
- Shores et al., p. 61.
- Shores et al., p. 147.
- Shores et al., p. 159.
- Shores et al., p. 181.
- Shores et al., p. 264.
- Shores et al., p. 280.
- Shores et al., pp. 229–230.
- Shores et al., p. 314.
- Shores et al., p. 359.
- Halley 1988, p. 273.
- Jefford 2001, pp. 216–219.
- Bowyer, Michael J.F and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd, 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
- 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, 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), 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: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
- Kennedy, Ludovic. Pursuit: The Sinking of the "Bismarck". London: Book Club Associates, 1975.
- Lewis, Peter. Squadron Histories: R.F.C, R.N.A.S and R.A.F., 1912–59. London: Putnam, 1959.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company, 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers), 1969 (new edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
- Shores, Christopher; Franks, Norman; Guest, Russel. Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915–1920. Oxford: Grub Street, 1990. ISBN 0-948817-19-4, ISBN 978-0-948817-19-9.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to No. 209 Squadron RAF.|
- McNeill, Ross. "No.209 (City of Hong Kong) Squadron RAF". www.rafcommands.com. Retrieved 28 March 2011. No. 209 Squadron Coastal Command deployments