No. 102 Squadron RAF


No. 102 Squadron RAF
No. 102 Squadron RAF
RAF 102 Sqn crest.png
Active 9 Aug 1917 - 3 Jul 1919
1 Oct 1935 - 28 Feb 1946
20 Oct 1954 - 20 Aug 1956
1 Aug 1959 - 27 Apr 1963[1]
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Nickname "Ceylon"[2]
"Morecambe's 'own' Squadron"[3] (Unofficial)
Motto Latin: Tentate et Perficite
("Attempt and achieve")[2][3]
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry On a demi-terrestrial globe a lion rampant guardant holding in the forepaws a bomb[2][3]
Squadron Codes TQ (Apr 1939 - Sep 1939)[4][5]
DY (Sep 1939 - May 1945)[6][7]
EF (May 1945 - Feb 1946)[8][9]

No. 102 Squadron was a Royal Air Force night bomber squadron in World War I and a heavy bomber squadron in World War II. After the war it flew briefly as a transport squadron before being reformed a light bomber unit with the Second Tactical Air Force within RAF Germany. Its last existence was as a Thor strategic missile unit.

Contents

History

Formation in World War 1

No. 102 squadron was formed in August 1917 as a night bomber unit at Hingham, Norfolk with the RAF F.E.2b and F.E.2ds. It moved to France and specialised in night attacks behind the German lines and in particular railway stations, railway lines, and railway trains. With the end of the first world war the squadron returned to England in March 1919. It disbanded at RAF Lympne on 3 July 1919.

World War 2

102 squadron was formed again on 1 October 1935 at RAF Worthy Down, using men and equipment from 'B' Flight of 7 Squadron. Still in its original role as a night bomber squadron 102 squadron first used the Handley Page Heyford.

A combat-damaged Whitley V, November 1940.

In October 1938 the squadron became part of the newly formed No 4 Group (Bomber Command) based at RAF Driffield, Yorkshire and was re-equipped with the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley. The squadron was active from the second day of the Second World War, dropping leaflets in the night from 4 to 5 September 1939 over Germany. From 1 September till 10 October 1940 the squadron was loaned to RAF Coastal Command and spent six weeks carrying out convoy escort duties from RAF Prestwick, before resuming bomber raids. Operations Record Books seen at the Public Record Office in Kew show that 2 Whitley Mk.Vs flew out of Topcliffe on 27 November 1940 to bomb "docks and shipping" at Le Havre. One of these planes "was not heard from after take off" but the other returned safely having dropped its 2x500lb and 6x250 lb bombs successfully. By February 1942 the Whitleys were replaced by the Handley Page Halifax. The squadron continued for the next thirty-six months to fly night sorties (including the thousand bomber raids) over Germany. In 1944 the squadron attacked rail targets in France in preparation for the invasion.

To Transport Command

On 8 March 1945[2] the squadron was transferred to Transport Command and in September 1945 re-equipped with Consolidated Liberators. Based as RAF Bassingbourn. Its main role was the return of troops and POWs from India. With this work finished the squadron transferred on 15 February 1945 to RAF Upwood where it disbanded on 28 February 1946 by being renumbered to 53 Squadron.[1] From 1 February 1949 to 19 October 1954 the squadron's numberplate was linked with that of 49 squadron, as 49/120 squadron.[10]

Conversion to nuclear strike bomber squadron

On 20 October 1954 the squadron was reformed as part of RAF Germany as a nuclear strike bomber squadron with the English Electric Canberra based at RAF Gütersloh. It was disbanded again on the 20 August 1956 when it was renumbered to 59 Squadron.[2]

On missiles

The squadron was last reformed as No. 102 (SM) Squadron RAF (SM standing for "Strategic Missile") in August 1959, equipped with three Thor ballistic missiles, carrying a 1.4 megaton W-49 nuclear warhead, as part of the UK-US strategic deterrent, Project Emily. It was based at RAF Full Sutton in Yorkshire until it was disbanded, along with the other Thor squadrons, on 27 April 1963.[11]

Aircraft operated

Heyford Mk.II of 102 sqn, late 1936[12]
A Handley Page Halifax Mk.III, as used by 102 sqn.
From To Aircraft Variant
Aug 1917 Jul 1919 Royal Aircraft Factory FE.2 FE.2b and 2d
Oct 1935 Apr 1937 Handley Page Heyford Mk.II
Dec 1935 May 1939 Handley Page Heyford Mk.III
Oct 1938 Jan 1940 Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.III
Nov 1939 Feb 1942 Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V
Dec 1941 May 1944 Handley Page Halifax Mk. II
May 1944 Sep 1945 Handley Page Halifax Mks.III and IIIa
Jul 1945 Sep 1945 Handley Page Halifax Mk.VI
Sep 1945 Feb 1946 Consolidated Liberator Mks.VI and VIII
Oct 1954 Aug 1956 English Electric Canberra B.2
Aug 1959 Apr 1963 Thor Intermediate-range ballistic missile SM.75

[1][2][3]

Trivia

The squadron was adopted by the island of Ceylon in February 1942, which paid for aircraft for use by the squadron.

Leonard Cheshire was a Pilot Officer with 102 Squadron from July 1940. In November 1940 he was awarded the DSO for flying his badly damaged Whitley back to base.

The log book of Flight Lieutenant Leonard Todd DFC from August 1943 shows the frequency and range of the missions flown by the 102 squadron[13]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Jefford 2001, p. 57.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Halley 1988, p. 176.
  3. ^ a b c d Moyes 1976, pp. 139-142.
  4. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 13.
  5. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 51.
  6. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 32.
  7. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 69.
  8. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 34.
  9. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 150.
  10. ^ Moyes 1976, p. 141, footnote.
  11. ^ RAF Thor Missile Units 1959-63, Ravi Rikhye. In History at Orbat.com, vol 4, no. 46.
  12. ^ Moyes 1976, p. 139.
  13. ^ http://www.flickr.com/photos/stripedtiger/2025678547/sizes/o/in/set-72157603182664627/

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.
  • Goss, Chris. It's Suicide but It's Fun, The Story of 102 (Ceylon) Squadron 1917-1956. Crécy Books, 1995. ISBN 0-947554-59-9.
  • 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.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 2nd edition 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.

External links

Related content


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • No. 617 Squadron RAF — 617 Squadron crest. Lightning striking a dam, with water flowing from the breach Active 21 March 1943 1955 1958 81 1983 present C …   Wikipedia

  • No. 7 Squadron RAF — Official Squadron Crest Active 1 May 1914 8 August 1914 29 September 1914 31 December 1919 1 June 1923 8 April 1940 1 August 1940 1 January 1956 1 November 1956 3 …   Wikipedia

  • No. 75 Squadron RAF — No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron RAF Active 1 October 1916 13 June 1919 15 March 1937 4 April 1940 4 April 1940 15 October 1945 Country …   Wikipedia

  • No. 616 Squadron RAF — No. 616 (South Yorkshire) Squadron RAF Official squadron crest for No. 616 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force, formed at RAF Doncaster, November 1938 A …   Wikipedia

  • No. 605 Squadron RAF — No. 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron RAF Active 5 October 1926 March 1942 7 June 1942 31 August 1945 10 May 1946 10 March 1957 Country …   Wikipedia

  • No. 651 Squadron RAF — Active 1 Aug 1941 1 Nov 1955 1 Nov 1955 1 Sep 1957 Country United Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • No. 27 Squadron RAF — Active 5 November 1915 22 January 1920 1 April 1920 18 February 1942 19 September 1942 1 February 1946 1 November 1947 10 November 1950 15 June 1953 31 De …   Wikipedia

  • No. 666 Squadron RAF — No. 666 (Scottish) Squadron RAuxAF Active 1 May 1949 10 March 1957 Country United Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • No. 620 Squadron RAF — No 620 Squadron RAF Official Squadron badge of No 620 Squadron RAF Active 17 June 1943 1 September 1946 Country …   Wikipedia

  • No. 622 Squadron RAF — Active 10 Aug 1943 15 Aug 1945 15 Dec 1950 30 Sep 1953 Country United Kingdom …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.