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No. 159 Squadron
Active 1 June 1918
Role Bombing, mining, reconnaissance, transport
Motto "Quo non, quando non" ("Whither not, When not?").
Equipment B-24 Liberator, various others
Battle honours Far East 1942-45
In Front of logs inflamed, a peacocks head erased, in the beak a woodmans axe.

The original 159 Squadron was formed on 1 June 1918 during the First World War, but was disbanded on 4 July 1918 so that reinforcements could be sent to France.

No. 159 Squadron was reformed at Molesworth on 2 July 1942 during the Second World War and its ground crew personnel were posted, without aircraft, to the Middle East on 12 February 1942 and then to India on 18 May 1942. Flying B-24 Liberators, the squadron was posted to Palestine in July 1942 and carried out bombing raids in North Africa, Italy and Greece. No. 159 then flew to India on 30 September 1942. The first operation against the Japanese was on 17 November 1942 and during the rest of the war, the squadron flew mining, bombing, and reconnaissance missions over Burma, Siam, Malaya, Indo-China and the Dutch East Indies. After the war, No.159 converted to transport and survey duties before disbanding on 1 June 1946.

Clippings from Japanese propaganda newspaper "Greater Asia" discussing the destruction of a 159 Squadron B-24 Liberator on the night of 9/10 October 1943. Clippings courtesy Matt Poole, via

Stanley James Woodbridge GC

Flight Sergeant Stanley James Woodbridge, a wireless operator who served with 159 squadron, was awarded the George Cross posthumously in 1948. Woodbridge had steadfastly refused to divulge his codes, and other details of his radio equipment, to his Japanese captors. Woodbridge was tortured and eventually beheaded along with three other members of his crew.

See also

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