No. 272 Squadron RAF


No. 272 Squadron RAF
Active25 July 1918 – 5 March 1919
18 November 1940 – 30 April 1945
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
BranchEnsign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Motto(s)On, on!
Squadron BadgeA person in armour wearing a helmet
Squadron CodesXK (Nov 1940 - May 1941)

No. 272 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron formed as an anti–submarine unit in World War I and a coastal fighter unit in World War II.


Formation and World War I

No. 272 Squadron Royal Flying Corps was formed on 25 July 1918 and operated DH.6s from Machrihanish, Scotland on anti-submarine patrols and disbanded on 5 March 1919.

Reformation in World War II

The squadron reformed on 19 November 1940 at RAF Aldergrove. It received Blenheims and then converted to Beaufighters. Commanded from 1941 to 1942 by Wing Commander Robert Yaxley, it operated in the Western Desert, attacking enemy aerodromes, transport aircraft and lines of communication. There were a number of Belgian aircrew in the squadron.[1]

It was then based in Crete to provide protection for convoys and at Luqa, Malta and Sicily following Operation Husky. On 8 September 1944, the Italian liner SS Rex was attacked by twelve 272 Squadron Beaufighters at Capodistria Bay, south of Trieste, leaving her on fire and badly listing.[2] As the Allied forces advanced into Italy the squadron moved to Alghero and Foggia, and it disbanded at Gragnano on 30 April 1945.

Aircraft operated

A 272 Sqn Bristol Beaufighter at Ta'Qali, Malta, 27 June 1943.
Aircraft operated by no. 272 Squadron RAF[3]
From To Aircraft Variant
Jul 1918 Mar 1919 Airco DH.6
Nov 1918 Mar 1919 Fairey III A
Nov 1940 Apr 1941 Bristol Blenheim IVF
Apr 1941 Jul 1943 Bristol Beaufighter IC
Nov 1942 Feb 1944 Bristol Beaufighter VIC
Sep 1943 May 1944 Bristol Beaufighter XI
Dec 1943 Apr 1945 Bristol Beaufighter X


  1. ^ Victor Houart, Escadrille du Désert (Editions de la pensée moderne, Paris, 1958), translated into English as Desert Squadron (Souvenir Press, London, 1959).
  2. ^ "Royal Air Force Operations in Malta, Gibraltar and the Mediterranean, 1940-1945 (C 4622)". Imperial War Museum. 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  3. ^ C.G.Jefford (1988). RAF Squadrons. UK Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.

External links

  • History of No.'s 271–275 Squadrons at RAF Web
  • 272 Squadron history on the official RAF website