No. 123 Squadron RAF


No. 123 Squadron RAF
No. 123 Squadron RAF
Active 1 February 1918 - 17 August 1918
28 November 1918 - 5 February 1920
10 May 1941 - 10 June 1945
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Motto Swift to Strike
Insignia
Squadron Codes XE

No. 123 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was a British aircraft squadron in both the First and Second World Wars.[1][2]

Contents

History

First World War

The squadron was formed at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, England on 1 February 1918, on the 1 March 1918 it moved to RAF Duxford to begin training as an Airco DH.9 unit using various aircraft.[1][2] It was to late to see action so was disbanded on 17 August 1918.[2]

The squadron was formed again on the 20 November 1918 at RAF Upper Heyford as a Canadian-manned unit with the DH.9.[2] It moved to Shoreham in March 1919 and was re-named No. 2 Squadron, Canadian Air Force until it was disbanded in 1920.[2]

Second World War

In May 1941 the squadron was formed again at RAF Turnhouse in Scotland with Supermarine Spitfire with a role to provide escorts and shipping patrols along the Scottish east coast and the Forth estuary.[2] The squadron was also undertook operational training, it took on new pilots and exposed them to operational flying before sending south to squadron in England.[2]

In April 1942 the squadron personnel without any aircraft were shipped to Egypt, although they arrived in June 1942 they did not acquire any aircraft until October when Gloster Gladiators were used for training.[2] The squadron moved on to the Persian Gulf and was re-equpped with the Hawker Hurricane to protect Iranian oilfields against attack.[2] Six months later the squadron moved into the Western Desert of Egypt to undertake convoy patrols.[2] It then changed equipment again and operated the Supermarine Spitfire in the ground-attack role in Crete as part of Operation Thesis.[2] The squadron did manage to keep hold a number of Hurricanes into 1944 when it was moved again to India in the Chittagong area.[2] It was a busy time for the squadron with ground-attack sorties and bomber escorts and in June 1944 it re-equipped with the American Republic Thunderbolts and continued in support of the Army operations and escorting Douglas Dakotas on supply mission behind Japanese lines.[2] On 20 June 1945 the squadron disbanded when it was re-numbered as 81 Squadron.[2]

Aircraft operated

[1]
From To Aircraft Version
1918 1920 Airco DH.9
1941 1941 Supermarine Spitfire I
1942 1942 Supermarine Spitfire] VB
1942 1942 Gloster Gladiator II
1942 1945 Hawker Hurricane IIC
1943 1943 Supermarine Spitfire VC and IX
1944 1945 Republic Thunderbolt I and II

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Jefford 2001, p. 58
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Orbis 1985, p. 3898

Bibliography

  • Jefford, C.G. (1988). RAF Squadrons. Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1 85310 053 6. 
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 1985. 

External links

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