No. 121 Squadron RAF
|No. 121 (Eagle) Squadron RAF|
121 (Eagle) Squadron, RAF, 1940
|Active||1 April 1918 - 17 August 1918
14 May 1941 – 29 September 1942
|Allegiance|| United Kingdom
United States (September 1942)
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Squadron Badge heraldry||An Indian warrior's head with head dress|
|Squadron Codes||AV (May 1941 - September 1942)|
No. 121 Squadron was a Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft squadron that during the Second World War was one of the three Eagle Squadrons manned by American volunteers. The squadron today is part of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets in Nuneaton.
First World War
No. 121 Squadron Royal Flying Corps (Royal Air Force from 1 April 1918) was formed at Narborough on 1 January 1918 as a day bomber squadron to operate the Airco DH.9. The squadron was equipped with Airco DH.4s for training, but due to delays with the DH.9 and the end of the war approaching, the squadron was disbanded on 17 August 1918 without becoming operational.
Second World War
The squadron was reformed on 14 May 1941 as No. 121 (Eagle) Squadron at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey, the second of three Eagle Squadrons manned by American volunteers. Equipped with the Hawker Hurricane, the squadron then converted to the Supermarine Spitfire and moved south to RAF North Weald to begin operations on channel sweeps and Rhubarb operations. On 15 November 1941 the squadron claimed its first enemy aircraft destroyed. The squadron then upgraded to cannon-armed Spitfire VBs and carried out offensive operations over the channel and providing bomber escorts.
To the USAAF
In September 1942, the squadron moved to RAF Debden to be with the other Eagle squadrons. The squadron was transferred to the United States Army Air Forces as the 335th Fighter Squadron and officially disbanded as a RAF unit on 29 September 1942. The new squadron became part of the 4th Fighter Group of the Eighth Air Force.
|Jan 1918 - Aug 1918||Airco DH.4|
|May 1941 - Jul 1941||Hawker Hurricane||Mk.I|
|Jul 1941 - Nov 1941||Hawker Hurricane||Mk.IIb|
|Oct 1941 - Nov 1941||Supermarine Spitfire||Mk.IIa|
|Nov 1941 - Sep 1942||Supermarine Spitfire||Mk.Vb|
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- Childers, James Saxon. War Eagles: The Story of the Eagle Squadron. Windmill Press, 1943.
- Donahue, Arthur Gerald. Tally-Ho! Yankee in a Spitfire. McMillan & Company, 1942.
- Dunn, William R. Fighter Pilot: The First American Ace of World War II. University of Kentucky Press, 1982. ISBN 0-8131-1465-9.
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- Fydenchuk, W. Peter. Immigrants of War: Americans Serving With the RAF and RCAF During World War II. WPF Publications, 2005. ISBN 0-9737523-0-0.
- Goodson, James A. and Norman Franks. Over-Paid, Over-Sexed and Over-Here. Wingham Press Ltd., 1991. ISBN 1-873454-09-0.
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- Haughland, Vern. The Eagle Squadrons: Yanks in the RAF, 1940-1942. Ziff-Davis Flying Books, 1979.
- Haughland, Vern. The Eagles' War: The Saga of the Eagle Squadron Pilots, 1940-1945. Jason Aronson, Inc., 1982. ISBN 0-87668-495-9.
- Holmes, Tony. American Eagles: American Volunteers in the R.A.F., 1937-1943. Classic Publications, 2001. ISBN 1-903223-16-4.
- 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.
- Kershaw, Alex. The Few. Da Capo Press, 2006. ISBN 0-306-81303-3.
- Morris, John T. The Lives of an American Eagle. Mulberry River Press, 1999. ISBN 0-9636529-9-0.
- Nelson, Kenneth James, CD. Spitfire RCW: The Wartime Exploits of Wing Commander Royce Clifford Wilkinson OBE, DFM & Bar, C.de G.(France). Hignall Printing Ltd., 1994.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (new edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
- Sweeny, Charles and Colonel James A. Goodson. Sweeny: The autobiography of Charles Sweeny. Harrop Press Ltd., 1990. ISBN 1-872809-00-6.
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft(Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing.
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