No. 538 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 538 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 538 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War

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No.538 Squadron was one of ten Turbinlite squadrons formed on 2 September 1942 to operate a mix of searchlight-equipped Havocs and Hurricane fighters. The aim was for the Havoc to find an enemy bomber with its radar, then illuminate it with its searchlight, allowing a pair of Hurricanes to shoot it down. The initial scheme, using special Turbinlite flights and fighters from nearby fighter squadrons failed, partly because the fighters often failed to arrive. In an attempt to solve this problem the Turbinlite flights were turned into squadrons, and given both types of aircraft, but by the autumn of 1942 more suitable night fighters were entering service in significant numbers, and the Turbinlite squadrons were disbanded on 25 January 1943.

No.538 Squadron was formed from No.1459 Flight at Hibaldstow (North Lincolnshire) and remained there until being disbanded.

September 1942-January 1943
Douglas Havoc I and II
Douglas Boston III
Hawker Hurricane IIC

September 1942-January 1943: Hibaldstow

Squadron Codes: -

September 1942-January 1943: Turbinlite Squadron


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No 347 (Tunisie) Squadron was the second French heavy bomber squadron in Bomber Command. It was formed at Elvington on the 20th of June 1944 from French personnel transferred from North Africa. It was equipped with Halifaxes and took part in the strategic air offensive until the end of the war. It returned to France in October 1945 and transferred back to the Armée de l'Air on 27th November 1945.

  • RAF Elvington, Yorkshire from the 16th May 1944 (Halifax V, Halifax III, Halifax VI) to 4(T) Group, 8th May 1945
  • Bordeaux-Merignac from 20th October 1945
  • to Armée de L'Air on the 27th November 1945

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