No. 62 Squadron RAF


No. 62 Squadron RAF
No. 62 Squadron RAF
Active 1916 - 1919

1937 - 1942
1942 - 1946
1946 - 1947
1947 - 1949
1960 - 1964

Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Motto Insperato
Latin: "Unexpectedly"

Contents

World War I

No. 62 Squadron RAF was formed on 8 August 1916, at Filton from No. 7 Training Squadron. In May 1917 it equipped with the Bristol F2B, before being posted to France in January 1918. The squadron operated as fighter-reconnaissance unit until disbanding on 31 July 1919.[1] Its wartime record shows claims of 76 enemy aircraft destroyed and 85 driven down out of control.[2] Ten aces served in the unit, including future Air Vice-Marshal William Ernest Staton, George Everard Gibbons, Thomas L. Purdom, Geoffrey F. Hughes, Charles Arnison, Ernest Thomas Morrow, William Norman Holmes, Hugh Claye and Douglas Savage.

Revived for World War II

On 3 May 1937, the squadron was reformed at Abingdon from 'B' Flight of No. 40 Squadron, equipped with Hawker Hinds.[1] In February 1938 the squadron re-equipped with Bristol Blenheims.[3] The squadron was posted to Singapore in August 1939 and moved to Alor Star in northern Malaya in February 1940.[4] Japan invaded Malaya on 8 December 1941 and the squadron was evacuated to Butterworth on 9 December.[5] Later that day, an attack on Singora airfield was planned, but Butterworth was attacked by Japanese aircraft when the British force was preparing to take off, with only one Blenheim, piloted by Squadron Leader Arthur Scarf of 62 Squadron getting away, carrying out a single-handed attack on Singora. His Blenheim was heavily damaged by Japanese fighters and anti-aircraft fire, badly injuring Scarf. Despite his injuries, he managed to make a forced landing at Alor Star, saving the rest of his crew. He died in hospital that evening. Scarf was eventually postumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions that day.[6][7] Butterworth was heavily damaged by the Japanese attack on 9 December, and the squadron moved again, this time to Taiping, Perak.[8] It withdrew again on 19 December, this time to Singapore.[9] Losses, mainly from Japanese attacks on its airfields were heavy, and the Squadron re-equipped with Lockheed Hudsons and moved to Sumatra in January 1942.[10] It moved to Burma in February where it absorbed the remains of No. 139 Squadron.

The squadron withdrew to India in May 1943 and re-equipped as a transport unit equipped with the Douglas Dakota. The squadron disbanded on 15 March 1946 at Mingaladon.

Post World War II

It reformed again, as a Dakota squadron, at Mingaladon on 1 September 1946, when No. 76 Squadron was re-numbered No. 62. The squadron moved to India and disbanded on 10 August 1947. The squadron reformed at Waterbeach on 8 December 1947 to assist in the Berlin Airlift, and remained operational after the Berlin Airlift, until disbanding on 1 June 1949.

From 1 February 1960 to 31 January 1963, the squadron was based at Woolfox Lodge as a Bristol Bloodhound equipped missile unit.

The squadron was disbanded on 30 September 1964.

Aircraft operated

Bristol Blenheim I bombers from 62 Squadron in Malaya, 1941.

References

  1. ^ a b Halley 1980, p. 99.
  2. ^ "62 Squadron RFC/RAF History 1916-18, Page 6". A pilots war 1915-1918. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  3. ^ Halley 1980, p. 100.
  4. ^ Shores, Cull and Izawa 1992, pp. 22, 33.
  5. ^ Shores, Cull and Izawa 1992, p. 99.
  6. ^ Shores, Cull and Izawa 1992, p. 106.
  7. ^ Gillison 1962, p. 244.
  8. ^ Gillison 1962, p. 245.
  9. ^ Shores, Cull and Izawa 1992, p. 140.
  10. ^ Halley 1980, pp. 99–100.

External links


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