No. 117 Squadron RAF


No. 117 Squadron RAF
Active1 Jan 1918 – 6 Oct 1919
30 Apr 1941 – 17 Dec 1945
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
BranchEnsign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Motto(s)"It shall be done"[1]
Squadron HeraldryA terrestrial globe
Squadron CodesEX (Apr 1937 - Sep 1939)
LD (Jul 1943 - Sep 1943)

No. 117 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron formed to be a bomber unit in World War I and reformed as a transport and communications unit in World War II.


Formation and World War I

No. 117 Squadron Royal Flying Corps was formed as a bomber squadron on 31 January 1918 and was based at RAF Wyton where it was equipped with the DH9. The squadron became part of the Royal Air Force and was stationed in Ireland for a time before it was merged with No. 141 squadron on 6 October 1919.

Reformation in World War II

No. 117 reformed on 30 April 1941 at Khartoum, Sudan and incorporated the Khartoum Communications Flight which already had a captured Italian Caproni Ca.148 aircraft that had been impressed into service in 1940.[2] Needing a long range aircraft, four Bristol Bombays were borrowed from 216 Squadron and in May a flight of ex-Yugoslav Savoia-Marchetti S.79Ks were taken on charge.[2] When the squadron moved to Egypt in November 1941 to provide transport services, the communications aircraft were left in Khartoum and the Bombays were returned. From November 1941 the whole squadron was equipped with the Lockheed Hudson. In 1943 it was involved in Operation Husky as part of No. 216 Group RAF and switched to Dakotas based at RAF Castel Benito, Libya. In October 1943 the squadron moved to India and in 1944 it transported supplies for the Chindits who operated behind the Japanese lines.

Post War

The squadron was disbanded on 17 December 1945 shortly after the war with Japan ended.

Aircraft operated

Data from[3] unless otherwise specified

Aircraft operated by no. 117 Squadron RAF
From To Aircraft Variant
Oct 1918 Oct 1919 Airco DH.9 [4]
Apr 1941 Nov 1941 Caproni Ca.148
Apr 1941 Nov 1941 Percival Proctor I
Apr 1941 Nov 1941 Vickers Wellesley I
Apr 1941 Nov 1941 Gloster Gladiator I
Apr 1941 Nov 1941 Bristol Bombay I
May 1941 Nov 1941 Savoia-Marchetti S.79 K
Nov 1941 May 1943 Lockheed Hudson [4]
Oct 1941 Apr 1942 Douglas DC-2 K
Mar 1942 May 1942 D.H. 86 B
May 1942 Sep 1942 Douglas DC-3
May 1942 Sep 1942 Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar II
Jul 1942 Sep 1943 Lockheed Hudson VI
Jun 1943 Dec 1945 Douglas Dakota III
Jan 1945 Dec 1945 Douglas Dakota IV
Jan 1945 Dec 1945 Stinson L-5 Sentinel I


  1. ^ Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1 ed.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 116. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X.
  2. ^ a b "RAF - Foreign Military Aircraft in WWII Service". Archived from the original on 6 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  3. ^ "No. 117 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War".
  4. ^ a b "RAF - 117 Squadron".

External links

  • Squadron page on Official RAF website
  • Squadron history on Air of Authority
  • Squadron history on History of War