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No. 123 (East India) Squadron RAF
123 Squadron badge
Official Squadron Badge of 123 ( East India) Squadron RAF
Active (RFC) 1 March 1918 - 17 August 1918
3 November 1918 - 5 February 1920
(RAF) 10 May 1941 - 20 June 1945.
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Bomber Command and Fighter Command.
Motto Swift to Strike
Aircraft DH.9
Sopwith Dolphin
Sopwith Snipe
Supermarine Spitfire
Gloster Gladiator
Hawker Hurricane
P-47 Thunderbolt
Battle honours World War II
• Home Defence
• Middle East
• Far East
• Western Desert
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry In front of two claymores in saltire, the points uppermost, a tiger's head couped.
Squadron Codes ZE allocated April 1939 - September 1939
XE May 1941 - June 1945

No. 123 (East India) Squadron was a squadron of the RFC and RAF.

Contents

History

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In World War I

The initial history of No. 123 Squadron is somewhat confusing.

It came into being on 1 March 1918 at Waddington as a training squadron. It was then planned that it would mobilise as a day bomber unit to France, equipped with DH.9s, in October 1918. This plan was then cancelled and the squadron disbanded on 17 August 1918.

Formation was planned again to commence on 3 November 1918 at Bicester with Canadian personnel to be equipped with DH.9s to be deployed with the Independent Force. These plans were amended and it became a fighter squadron equipped with Sopwith Dolphins, manned by the Canadians. It was also known as No. 2 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force.

Inter-War Years

In March 1919 the squadron moved to Shoreham, where it received Sopwith Snipes. It was disbanded on 5 February 1920.

In World War II

The squadron reformed in the fighter role at Turnhouse on May 10, 1941. Equipped with Spitfires, it remained on defensive duties in Scotland until being despatched to the Middle East in April 1942.

On arrival in Egypt, it found a lack of aircraft and it was sent to Iraq to act as a maintenance unit. It eventually received its own equipment in the form of Gladiators in October 1942, which were flown on Army Co-operation duties from Abadan. Hurricanes replaced the Gladiators in November and the squadron conducted air defence of Iran until it moved to the Western Desert in May 1943.

In October 1943 the squadron's ground echelon moved to India with the air echelon following in November. The two units were reunited at Feni in December and from where the squadron began carrying out escort duties.

Im May 1944 the squadron was withdrawn from operations and in September convereted to the P-47 Thunderbolt which it commenced fighter-bomber operations with in December. It continued in that role until 20 June 1945 when it was disbanded by being renumbered No. 81 Squadron.


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