No. 295 Squadron RAF


No. 295 Squadron RAF
No. 295 Squadron RAF
Active 3 August 1942 - 21 January 1946
21 January 1946 - 31 March 1946
10 September 1947 - 31 October 1948
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Airborne forces and Transport
Part of No 38 Group RAF
Motto Latin: In caelo auxilium
(Translation: "Aid from the skies")[1][2]
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry A hand manacled and couped at the wrist holding a sword in its scabbard in bend sinister[1][2]
Squadron Codes PX (Aug 1942 - Nov 1943)[3]
8Z (Nov 1943 - Jan 1946 ('A' Flt))[4][5]
8E (Feb 1944 - Jan 1946 ('B' Flt))[6][7]

No 295 Squadron RAF was an airborne forces and transport squadron of the Royal Air Force during World War II. It was the first unit to be equipped with the Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle transport and glider tug aircraft.

Contents

History

With the Airborne Forces

An Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V like the ones used by 295 sqn.

No 295 Squadron was formed on 3 August 1942 at RAF Station Netheravon as an airborne forces unit, equipped with Whitley Mk.Vs. These were from November 1942 used in leaflet dropping mission over France, supplemented in February 1943 with Halifax Mk.Vs, which they used in Operation Beggar. By October 1943 the squadron converted to the Albemarle Mk.I. With these aircraft the squadron shared - with 570 sqn.- the honour of being the first to drop troops over Normandy on the eve of D-Day, while other aircraft of the squadron towed gliders to the landing zones.

An example of the Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle as used by No 295 Sqn.

The Albemarles gave way in July 1944 to the Stirling Mk.IV, the squadron used these aircraft during the Battle of Arnhem during Operation Market Garden, again towing gliders.

In early October 1944, Short Stirlings of the RAF's No 295 Squadron took up residence at RAF Station Rivenhall, with most of its operations consisting of supply drops to Norwegian resistance forces and similar activities over Holland and Denmark. The last assault action with the Stirlings was on 24 March 1945, when the unit took part in Operation Varsity, the crossing of the Rhine. The Stirlings further provided service carrying troops to Norway to disarm the Germans there when the war was over. The squadron was disbanded at RAF Station Rivenhall on 21 January 1946[2][8], whereupon the station was held on a care and maintenance basis.

A Short Stirling bomber taking off from RAF Harwell, Oxfordshire with a Horsa glider in tow - Operation Market-Garden, 17 September 1944

With Transport Command

On that same day 190 squadron was renumbered to 295 squadron as a Transport Squadron (Rawlings claims 1 February, and does not mention the renumbering[1]), flying Halifaxes of the A.7 type. It was soon disbanded however, on 31 March 1946 at RAF Station Tarrant Rushton, the same airfield where it had been reformed,[2] and renumbered to 297 Squadron[8]

With the Airborne Forces again

The squadron was reformed again as an airborne forces squadron on 10 September 1947 at RAF Station Fairford, again flying Halifaxes, but of the type A.9 now. After a little more than a year it disbanded again, at Fairford, on 1 October 1948,[1] on 31 October 1948,[2][9] or on 1 November 1948.[8][10]

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by no. 295 Squadron RAF, data from[1][2][8]
From To Aircraft Variant
August 1942 November 1943 Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V
February 1943 November 1943 Handley Page Halifax Mk.V
October 1943 July 1944 Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Mk.I
November 1943 July 1944 Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Mk.I
April 1944 July 1944 Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Mk.V
June 1944 January 1946 Short Stirling Mk.IV
January 1946 March 1946 Handley Page Halifax A.7
September 1947 October 1948 Handley Page Halifax A.9

Squadron airfields

Airfields used by No 295 Squadron RAF, data from[1][2][8] From To Station Remark
3 August 1942 1 May 1943 RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire Det. at RAF Hurn, Dorset
1 May 1943 30 June 1943 RAF Holmsley South, Hampshire
30 June 1943 15 March 1944 RAF Hurn, Dorset
15 March 1944 11 October 1944 RAF Harwell, (then) Berkshire Det. at RAF Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland
11 October 1944 21 January 1946 RAF Rivenhall, Essex
21 January 1946 1 April 1946 RAF Tarrant Rushton, Dorset
10 September 1947 1 November 1948 RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire

Commanding officers

Officers Commanding No 295 squadron RAF, data from[1][10]
From To Name
3 August 1942 29 August 1942 Sqn Ldr A.B Wilkinson, DFC(US) (Acting)
29 August 1942 1 January 1943 Wg Cdr G.P. Marvin
1 January 1943 19 February 1943 Wing Commander P.V.M. Lysaght (acting) KIA
19 February 1943 March 1943 Squadron Leader L.C. Bartram (acting)
March 1943 14 September 1944 Wing Commander B.R. Macnamara, OPW2(USSR)
14 September 1944 November 1945 Wing Commander H.E. Angell
November 1945 21 January 1946 Wing Commander R.N. Stidolph

References

Notes

Bibliography

  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937-56. Cambridge, 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 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, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • 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.

External links

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