No. 105 Squadron RAF: Wikis


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No. 105 Squadron RAF
Active 1917-1920
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Motto Fortis in Proeliis
(Valiant in battles)

No. 105 Squadron was a Royal Air Force squadron, it was the first to operate the de Havilland Mosquito. It became a Bomber Command Pathfinder Squadron.



The squadron was formed on the 23 September 1917 at RAF Waddington and soon moved to RAF Andover with a variety of aircraft to train as a bomber squadron. Before it became operational it was decided to move the squadron to Omagh in County Tyrone with RE8 biplanes on reconnaissance and policing duties. Within a year it had re-equipped with the Bristol F2B Fighter, as other squadrons were disbanded after the armistice the squadron continued on duties in Ireland until 1920. On the 1 February 1920 it was re-numbered as 2 Squadron at Oranmore.

It was formed again on the 12 April 1937 from B Flight of 18 Squadron as a day bomber squadron. Although its firsts equipment was the Hawker Audax while it awaited delivery of the Fairey Battle. The Battles arrived in August 1937 and 105 Sqn was one of the first to be operational on the type. At the start of World War II in September 1939 the squadron moved to France initial on reconnaissance mission along the franco-German border. The Germans invaded France in May 1940 and the squadron was soon busy attacking the advancing German troops. One of the most important targets was the bombing of the bridges over the River Meuse in attempt to slow down the German advance. It suffered heavily from the attentions of German fighters and the squadron had to retire back to England in June 1940.

At RAF Honington the squadron was re-equipped with the Bristol Blenheim to join No. 2 Group's offensive against the invasion ports and German shipping. The squadron had many losses particularly from the German Flak ships. In October 1940 part of the squadron was detached to Malta to carry out attacks on axis shipping in the Mediterranean Sea.

It moved to RAF Swanton Morley in Norfolk. After losing its commanding officer in a raid near Stavanger in 1941, they gained a new CO Wing Commander H.I. Edwards. For his part in planning and leading an epic low level daylight attack on the port of Bremen he was awarded the Victoria Cross. In October 1941 the Malta detachment returned to England and the squadron began to operate at a reduced rate. The reason for the reduction in sorties was the squadron had been chosen to be the first to use the Mosquito B.IV and was concentrating on training. In December the Squadron moved to RAF Horsham St Faith near Norwich.

The first Mosquito operation was a high level attack on Cologne as a follow to a thousand-bomber raid on the city. It was not the best use of the new aircraft and the squadron soon moved to low-level precision attacks where the aircraft had an outstanding performance. The first precision attack was against the Gestapo Headquarters in Oslo on 25 September 1942. The squadron was the first to do a daylight raid on Berlin on the 30 January 1943. By June 1943 the squadron joined 8 Group (the Pathfinders) and it upgraded to Oboe-equipped Mosquito IXs. It performed precision target marking for Bomber Command until the end of the war. The squadron was disbanded at RAF Upavon on 1 February 1946.

On 21 February 1962 the squadron re-formed at RAF Benson with the Armstrong Whitworth Argosy, a medium-range tactical transport. By June it had moved to Aden to provide support to ground forces in the area. It also carried out transport runs through the middle-east and parts of Africa. It was involved in paradropping supplies to the Army during operations in the Radfan and was also involved in supporting the operations in Borneo. In 1966 it was supporting troops in Aden when the terrorist activity worsened, it was also tasked with providing search-and-rescue searches over the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. As the British withdrawal from Aden got nearer the Squadron moved out the Muharraq, Bahrain in 1967. On 20 January 1968 the squadron was disbanded for the last time.

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Variant Notes
September 1917 April 1918 Various Airco DH.6, Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2, Airco DH.9
April 1918 January 1919 Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8
December 1918 February 1920 Bristol F2B Fighter
April 1937 October 1937 Hawker Audax
August 1937 June 1940 Fairey Battle Mk.I
June 1940 May 1942 Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV
November 1941 March 1944 de Havilland Mosquito Mk.IV
July 1943 February 1945 de Havilland Mosquito Mk.IX
March 1944 February 1946 de Havilland Mosquito Mk.XVI
January 1962 January 1968 Armstrong Whitworth Argosy C1


See also




  1. ^ Halley 1988, p.180.


  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1964 (new edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
  • Ransom, Derek. Battle Axe: A History of 105 Squadron Royal Air Force. Hutton, Brentwood, Essex, UK: Air-Britain, 1967.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
  • Scott, Stuart R. Battle-Axe Blenheims: No 105 Squadron RAF at War, 1940-1. Sutton Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-7509-1126-3.
  • Scott, Stuart R. Mosquito Thunder: No. 105 Squadron RAF at War, 1942-5. Sutton Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-7509-2691-0.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft, (Part Work 1982-1985), Orbis Publishing

External links


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