No. 135 Squadron RAF

Summary

No. 135 Squadron RAF
Active1 April 1918 – 4 July 1918
15 August 1941 – 10 June 1945
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
BranchEnsign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Motto(s)Latin: Pennas ubique monstramus
("We show our wings everywhere")[1]
Insignia
Squadron BadgeA peacock.
Squadron CodesWK (Aug 1941 - June 1945)

No. 135 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron formed to be a bomber unit in World War I and reformed as a fighter unit in World War II.

Formation and World War I

No. 135 Squadron Royal Flying Corps was formed on 1 March 1918 at RAF Hucknall, Nottinghamshire in the training role. It was intended to train on the De Havilland DH.9 from September 1918 and to move to France in October 1918 but in a major re-organisation of squadrons after the Royal Air Force was formed the squadron disbanded on 4 July 1918 without becoming operational.[2][3][4]

Reformation in World War II

The squadron reformed on 15 August 1941 as a fighter unit equipped with the Hawker Hurricane IIA and was stationed at RAF Baginton but moved to RAF Honiley on 4 September 1941.[2] It became operational for a month on 3 October, but was then moved to Calcutta, India, embarking for there on 10 November. Due to the outbreak of the Pacific War the squadron was diverted to Rangoon, Burma, where it began operations against Japanese air attacks on 26 January 1942, having replaced its IIAs with Hurricane IIBs. It was based at Zayatkwin from 16 January and then Mingaladon from the 28th. The aircraft were almost entirely lost in the fighting, and to avoid being overrun by the Japanese advance the ground crew were evacuated to Calcutta, embarking on 20 February. The squadron was reformed there at Dum Dum from 27 March and began flying convoy patrols, moving to air defence duties and sweeps over Burma in January 1943. For the latter, it operated from fields code named George/Hove from 23 January, Ramu/Reindeer from 13 May, and Dohazari from 16 May.[4]

135 Sqn Thunderbolt Is at Chittagong, circa 1944.

Withdrawn to St. Thomas Mount in southern India on 22 May, No. 135 Squadron became a conversion unit for Blenheim squadrons being re-equipped with Hurricanes and provided air defence for the area, receiving the Hurricane IIC in October. Relocated to Yelahanka on 1 July it returned to St. Thomas Mount on 22 November, then moved to Minneriya on 16 January 1944. It was re-equipped with the Republic Thunderbolt I in May and completed conversion by the end of August, resuming ground attack missions over Burma on 16 October. The squadron temporarily relocated to Amarda Road between 25 August and 16 September, then moved to Chittagong on 9 October, Jumchar on 9 December, and Cox's Bazar on 15 April. The squadron was only briefly at Cox's Bazaar before it moved forward to Akyab on 24 April. The squadron continued the ground attack missions until May 1945, when it was withdrawn from combat before being renumbered to 615 Squadron on 10 June 1945.[2] Its final station was Chakulia from 17 May.[4]

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by No. 135 Squadron RAF[2]
From To Aircraft Variant
Aug 1941 Nov 1941 Hawker Hurricane IIA
Nov 1941 Nov 1941 Hawker Hurricane IIC
Feb 1942 Oct 1943 Hawker Hurricane IIB
Oct 1943 Sep 1944 Hawker Hurricane IIC
May 1944 Jun 1945 Republic Thunderbolt I

[5]

References

Notes

  1. ^ Pine, L G (1983). A dictionary of mottoes. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. p. 169. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X.
  2. ^ a b c d Jefford 1988, p. 60
  3. ^ Jefford 1988, pp. 108-109
  4. ^ a b c Halley 1988, pp. 208–209.
  5. ^ Picture of No. 135 Squadron RAF

Bibliography

  • Halley, James J. (1988). The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 978-0-85130-164-8.
  • Jefford, C.G. (1988). RAF Squadrons. Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1 85310 053 6.

External links

  • History of No.'s 131–135 Squadrons at RAF Web
  • 135 Squadron history on the official RAF website