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No. 209 Squadron RAF: Wikis


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No. 209 Squadron RAF
209 RAF emblem.gif
Official squadron crest for no. 209 Squadron RAF
Active 1 Feb 1917 (RNAS) - 21 Jan 1919
1 Jan 1929 - 1 Jan 1955
1 Nov 1958 - 31 Dec 1968
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Ground support (WWI)
Maritime patrol (WWII & Korea)
Liaison and transport (Malaya)
Motto Might and Main
Squadron Badge heraldry An eagle volant recursant descendant in pale, wings overture
Squadron Codes FK [1]
WQ (Sep 1939 - Mar 1942 and 1950 -1951)[2][3]

No. 209 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was originally formed from a nucleus of "Naval Eight" on 1 February 1917 as No. 9 Squadron RNAS[4] and saw active service in both World Wars, the Korean War and in Malaya. The use of the squadron number ceased in 1968 and has not been reused since by an RAF squadron[5].




Formation and World War I

The Squadron was formed as a Royal Air Force Squadron on 1 April 1918, from No.9 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) at Clairmarais.[6] (All former RNAS squadrons were renumbered by the addition of 200 to their RNAS number.) During the remainder of World War I, 209 Squadron flew Sopwith Camels over the Western Front on fighter and ground support missions. The Squadron badge, the falling eagle, symbolizes the destruction of Baron Manfred von Richthofen who, in the 1914-1918 War, fell to the guns of a pilot, Roy Brown from No. 209 Squadron.[7] On 21 January 1919, the squadron was reduced to a skeleton organization and disbanded in the UK on 24 June 1919[5].

The interbellum

No. 209 reformed at the flying boat base at RAF Mount Batten, Plymouth on 15 March 1930. It was first equipped with Blackburn Iris flying boats and then from January 1934 by Blackburn Perth but neither of these types were built in sufficient quantities to equip the squadron fully. In July 1936, however, the squadron was fully equipped with Short Singapore IIIs and it was transferred to Malta in September 1937 for three months. In December 1938, No 209 began to convert to yet another flying boat type, the Supermarine Stranraer.[5][8]

World War II

Lerwick L7265, ‘WQ-Q’ of 209 Squadron. Taking off from Loch Ryan, March 1941

When World War II was declared, No.209 moved to Invergordon to patrol the North Sea between Scotland and Norway. From October 1939 it patrolled the Atlantic from Oban. Two further re-equipments occurred, in December 1939 (Saro Lerwicks) and then in April 1941 (Consolidated Catalinas)[5]. Familiarisation with the U.S. supplied Catalinas was aided by the secondment of U.S. military personnel who also flew on active service patrols, despite the U.S. being a neutral power at the time. Anti-submarine patrols were flown over the Atlantic from Loch Erne, in Northern Ireland, using the Donegal Corridor over neutral Ireland. During this time, in May 1941, a patrol by No.209 (with an American crewman) located the German battleship Bismarck[9]. In August 1941, the squadron moved to Iceland for two months. From March 1942 until July 1945, No.209 was stationed in East Africa. It flew patrols over the Indian Ocean with detached bases in South Africa, Madagascar, Oman and the Seychelles to extend its cover. In July 1945 the squadron moved to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), with recently acquired Short Sunderlands, with a detachment at Rangoon (now Yangon) to harass Japanese shipping along the coast from Burma (now Myanmar) to Malaya[5].

Post war

Hong Kong and Seletar

After the Japanese surrender in August 1945, a detachment was sent to Hong Kong in September, followed by the rest of the squadron in October. In April 1946 the squadron moved to Singapore. A detachment remained at Kai Tak and became No.1430 flight and then No. 88 Squadron. The squadron headquarters was established at Seletar (sometimes referred to as "Seltar"), on Singapore Island on 18 May 1946 and No.209 and was named "City of Hong Kong" Squadron on 23 January 1947[5].

To Korea

Operation Firedog missions during the Malayan Emergency began on 7 July 1948. In September 1950, during the Korean War, the aircraft were moved to Japan to patrol off the Korean coast from 15 September. On 1 January 1955 the squadron merged with No. 205 Squadron[5].

With Pioneers in the transport role

On 1 November 1958 No. 267 Squadron at Kuala Lumpur was renumbered 209 Squadron and flew Scottish Aviation Pioneers and Twin Pioneers on liaison and transport duties in Malaysia. No.209 Squadron was finally disbanded on 31 December 1968[5][10], although the name has been continued as the 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron of the Air Training Corps[11]

Notable personnel

See also



  1. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 14.
  2. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 109.
  3. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, pp. 117 + 159.
  4. ^ Rawlings 1978, p. 324.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h
  6. ^ Halley 1988, p. 272
  7. ^ Rawlings 1978, p. 324.
  8. ^ Halley 1988, p. 273
  9. ^ Ludovic 1975, p. 137.
  10. ^ Rawlings 1982, p. 140.
  11. ^ About 209 Squadron


  • Bowyer, Michael J.F and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937-56. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A Full Explanation and Listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied Air Force Unit Codes Since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlif Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • 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.
  • Kennedy, Ludovic. Pursuit: The Sinking of the "Bismarck". London: Book Club Associates, 1975.
  • Lewis, Peter. Squadron Histories: R.F.C, R.N.A.S and R.A.F., 1912-59. London: Putnam, 1959.
  • 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.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (new edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.

External links


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