No. 96 Squadron RAF


No. 96 Squadron RAF
No. 92 Squadron RAF.jpg
No. 96 Squadron badge
Active8 October 1917 - 4 July 1918
28 September 1918 - November 1918
18 December 1940 - 12 December 1944
21 December 1944 - 1 June 1946
17 November 1952 – 21 January 1959
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
BranchRoyal Flying Corps 8 October 1917 – 1 April 1918 Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force post-April 1918
RoleTraining unit
Night Fighter unit
Transport unit
Garrison/HQRAF Wyton
RAF Cranage
RAF Wrexham
RAF Honiley
RAF Ford
RAF Odiham
RAF Leconfield
RAF Cairo West
RAF Kai Tak
RAF Ahlhorn
RAF Geilenkirchen
Motto(s)Latin: Nocturni obambulamus
("We prowl by night")[1]
Squadron badge heraldryA lion passant facing to the sinister with ten stars representing the constellation of Leo
Squadron codesZJ December 1940 - December 1944
6H December 1944 - June 1946
L October 1952 - 1955
Aircraft flown
BomberDecember 1944-April 1945: Handley Page Halifax
FighterDecember 1940 - March 1942: Hawker Hurricane
February 1941 - June 1942: Boulton Paul Defiant
May 1942 - June 1943: Bristol Beaufighter
June 1943 - December 1944: de Havilland Mosquito

No. 96 Squadron was a Royal Air Force squadron. The squadron served on the Western Front during World War II and the Burma Campaign in the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II. No. 96 Squadron served in a variety of roles such as night fighter cover and transportation. It was disbanded in 1959, when its aircraft and personnel became No. 3 Squadron.


No. 96 Squadron was formed on 8 October 1917 at Lincolnshire as an aircrew training unit of the Royal Flying Corps, the air force of the British Army during most of World War I.[2] The unit was disbanded on 4 July 1918 but was reformed at St. Ives, Cambridgeshire on 28 September 1918 as a ground attack squadron of the Royal Air Force.[2]

The headquarters of the squadron at that time were located at RAF Wyton. On 11 November 1918 an armistice between the Allies and the German Empire was signed, marking the end of World War I. As a consequence No. 96 Squadron was disbanded by the end of November, 1918 before becoming operational.[2]

World War II

On 18 December 1940 No. 422 Flight, a night fighter unit stationed at RAF Shoreham was renamed to No. 96 Squadron. The squadron's headquarters were located at RAF Cranage in Cheshire. During the war it was commanded by Edward Crew.

Post World War II

In March 1945 the squadron was moved to the Far East. Destined for Egypt, the squadron collected its Dakotas en route in Egypt. The squadron provided parachute and glider training in India whilst also providing detachments for operations in Burma and general transport flights throughout the Far East. In April 1946 96 Squadron moved to Hong Kong where air transport was maintained to Malaya and China before the squadron was renamed No. 110 Squadron on 15 June 1946.

Conversion to Meteors

No. 96 Squadron reformed again on 17 November 1952 at RAF Ahlhorn in Germany as part of No. 125 Wing RAF.[3] It moved to RAF Geilenkirchen on 12 February 1958.[4] Equipped with Meteor night fighters the squadron provided fighter cover for Germany until it was renumbered No. 3 Squadron on 21 January 1959, at which point it converted to Gloster Javelins.

Aircraft operated

Dates Aircraft Variant Notes
1918[4] Sopwith Salamander Single-engined ground attack biplane
1940-1941[4] Hawker Hurricane I Single-engined fighter
1941-1942[4] Boulton Paul Defiant I Single-engined fighter
1941-1942[4] Hawker Hurricane IIC Single-engined fighter
1942[4] Boulton Paul Defiant IA and II Single-engined fighter
1942-1943[4] Bristol Beaufighter IIF and VIF Twin-engined ground attack
1943-1944[4] de Havilland Mosquito XIII Twin-engined light bomber
1944-1945[4] Handley Page Halifax III Four-engined heavy bomber
1945-1946[4] Douglas Dakota Twin-engined transport
1952-1959[4] Gloster Meteor NF11 Twin-engined jet night-fighter
1958-1959[4] Gloster Javelin FAW4 Twin-engined jet fighter/interceptor

See also

List of Royal Air Force aircraft squadrons


  1. ^ Smith, David J. (1981). Military airfields of Wales and the North-West (1 ed.). Cambridge: P. Stephens. p. 69. ISBN 0850594855.
  2. ^ a b c Royal Air Force History: History of No. 96 Squadron
  3. ^ "SQN Histories 96-100_P".
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Jefford 1988, p. 53


  • Jefford, C.G. (1988). RAF Squadrons. Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • "History of No. 96 Squadron". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.

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