No. 260 Squadron RAF


No. 260 Squadron RAF
ActiveAugust 1918 – 22 February 1919
22 November 1940 – 19 August 1945
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
BranchEnsign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Motto(s)Latin: Celer et fortis ( Swift and Strong)[1]
Squadron BadgeA sword and morning star
Squadron CodesHS (Feb 1942 – Aug 1945)

No. 260 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force squadron formed as a reconnaissance and anti–submarine unit in World War I and a fighter unit in World War II.


Formation and World War I

No. 260 Squadron Royal Air Force was formed on 25 July 1918 and operated DH.6s from Westward Ho, Devon on anti-submarine patrols and disbanded on 5 March 1919.

Reformation in World War II

The squadron reformed on 22 November 1940 at RAF Castletown, Scotland and operated Hawker Hurricanes. It then moved to Egypt and operated Curtiss Kittyhawk fighter bombers over the western desert. The squadron then advanced with the Eighth Army into Tunisia. With the North African Campaign over it then moved to Sicily following Operation Husky. As the allied forces advanced into Italy it converted to the North American P-51 Mustang and it disbanded at Lavariano on 19 August 1945. Among notable squadron personnel was the future actor Christopher Lee, who served as an intelligence officer.

Aircraft operated

A crashed Kittyhawk I of 260 Squadron, flown by Flt Lt M D Wylie DFC shot down on 30th May 1942 in North Africa, nr El Adem.
Aircraft operated by no. 260 Squadron RAF[2]
From To Aircraft Variant
Aug 1918 Feb 1919 Airco DH.6
Nov 1940 Feb 1942 Hawker Hurricane I
Feb 1942 Mar 1942 Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk II
Feb 1942 Sep 1942 Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk I
Jun 1942 May 1943 Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk IIA
Dec 1942 Mar 1944 Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk III
Apr 1944 Aug 1945 North American P-51 Mustang III
Jun 1945 Aug 1945 North American P-51 Mustang IV

2012 aircraft recovery in Egypt

In May 2012, CNN reported a Polish oil company worker in Egypt discovered a crash-landed 260 Sqn P-40 aircraft presumably piloted by Flt Sgt Dennis Copping, who went missing on 28 June 1942 and was never heard from again. Copping was part of a two plane formation flying defective aircraft from the landing ground at Biur el Baheira to 53RSU, a Recovery & Service Unit at Wadi Natruna.[3] Copping became disorientated while ferrying the P-40 and flew in the wrong direction; evidence at the crash site indicates Copping survived the landing. Since no remains were evident near the Kittyhawk, it seems likely that Copping wandered off into the desert in a desperate and ultimately futile attempt to reach help.[3] British authorities hoped to bring the remarkably well-preserved plane back to the RAF Museum in London,[4] but these plans fell through. Instead the plane was given a cosmetic restoration and displayed at the El Alamein Military Museum.[3]


  1. ^ Pine, L G (1983). A Dictionary of mottoes. London: Routledge & K. Paul. p. 32. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X.
  2. ^ C.G.Jefford (1988). RAF Squadrons. UK Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  3. ^ a b c Allnutt, Richard. "Desert War Kittyhawk Unveiled". Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  4. ^ Silverleib, Alan (11 May 2012). "British WWII fighter found in Egyptian desert". CNN. Retrieved 11 May 2012.

External links

  • History of No.'s 256–260 Squadrons at RAF Web
  • 260 Squadron history on the official RAF website