No. 89 Squadron RAF

No. 89 Squadron RAF
No. 89 Squadron RAF
Active 1 Sep 1917 - 4 Jul 1918
25 Sep 1941 - 1 May 1946
15 Sep 1955 - 30 Nov 1958
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Motto Latin: Dei Auxilio Telis Meis
("By the help of God with my own weapons")[1]
Squadron Badge heraldry A wyvern pierced by a flash of lightning[2]
Squadron Codes WP (May 1942 - Jun 1942)[3]

No. 89 Squadron was a Royal Air Force squadron, mainly active in the fighter role during its existence.



Formation and World War I

No. 89 squadron was formed on 1 September 1917 as a training unit at Netheravon. The squadron was not used for operations and remained a training unit. It was disbanded on 4 July 1918.

Reformation and World War II

The squadron was formed again on 25 September 1941 at RAF Colerne. The squadron was equipped with the Bristol Beaufighter night fighters. The squadron moved out to Middle East to defend the Nile delta and the Suez Canal. On 3 March 1942 the squadron scored its first victory when it shot down a German Luftwaffe Heinkel He 111. The squadron was active in the Mediterranean area and sent aircraft to Malta and Algiers and in 1943 sought targets over Crete and later Sicily. With the withdrawal further north of the German night fighter units the squadron moved to Ceylon. A further move in the summer of 1944 to Burma on intruder missions. The aircraft withdrew from operations to convert to the de Havilland Mosquito. Apart from leaflet dropping from Singapore there was little for the squadron to do and it was disbanded on 1 May 1946 when it was re-numbered as 22 Squadron.

On jets

With the expansion of RAF Fighter Command in the mid-1950s the squadron was reformed on 15 September 1955 at RAF Stradishall equipped with the de Havilland Venom night fighter. Two years later these were replaced with the Gloster Javelin. It only flew for a year as an all-weather fighter squadron and was disbanded on 30 November 1957 when it was re-numbered as 85 Squadron.

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Variant
Sep 1917 Jul 1918 Various, including Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5
Sep 1941 Oct 1944 Bristol Beaufighter Mk.If
Jul 1942 Apr 1945 Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIf]
Feb 1945 Apr 1945 de Havilland Mosquito Mk.VI
Apr 1945 Mar 1946 de Havilland Mosquito Mk.XIX
Mar 1946 Apr 1946 Supermarine Walrus Mk.II
Dec 1955 Nov 1957 de Havilland Venom NF.3
Oct 1957 Nov 1958 Gloster Javelin FAW.2
Oct 1957 Nov 1958 Gloster Javelin FAW.6


Commanding officers

From To Name
Oct 1941 Sep 1942 Wg Cdr G H Stainforth, AFC
Sep 1942 Jun 1943 Wg Cdr J A Leathart, DSO
Jun 1943 Mar 1944 Wg Cdr W D David, DFC, AFC
Mar 1944 Nov 1944 Wg Cdr A F McGhie
Nov 1944 Jul 1945 Wg Cdr F Collingridge
Jul 1945 Sep 1945 Sqn Ldr A E Browne
Sep 1945 May 1946 Sqn Ldr A G A Good
1957 Nov 1958 Wg Cdr G A Martin, DFC, AFC




  1. ^ Rawlings 1978, p. 214.
  2. ^ Halley 1988, p. 161.
  3. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 117.
  4. ^ a b Rawlings 1978, p. 216.
  5. ^ Halley 1988, p. 162.
  6. ^ Jefford 2001, p. 54.


  • 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. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald & Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (2nd edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.

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