No. 210 Squadron RAF: Wikis


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No. 210 Squadron RAF
Active 1 April 1918 – 15 November 1971
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Motto Yn y nwyfre yn hedfan
Welsh: "Hovering in the Heavens"

No. 210 Squadron was a Royal Air Force unit established in World War I. Disbanded and reformed a number of times in the ensuing years, it operated during the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the Cold War before it was last deactivated in 1971.




World War I

No. 210 Squadron was formed from No. 10 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), when the Royal Air Force was established on 1 April 1918. No. 10 (Naval) Squadron had been raised on 12 February 1917, flying Nieuports and later Sopwith Triplanes, which were in turn replaced by Sopwith Camels in late 1917. One of its pilots was Raymond Collishaw, the RNAS's highest-scoring ace. The unit remained in Europe after the war, until February 1919.

Between the wars

In June 1919 the squadron disbanded, reforming in February 1920 from No. 186 Squadron, equipped with the Sopwith Cuckoo. It disbanded again in April 1923.

The squadron reformed in March 1931, equipped with Supermarine Southampton flying boats, operating first from Felixstowe and then from Pembroke Dock in June 1931. The squadron converted to the Short Rangoon in 1935 and was posted to Gibraltar, returning home in August 1936 to be re-equipped with the Short Singapore.

In 1937 the squadron was posted to Algeria as part of an Anglo-French force charged with countering submarine attacks on neutral shipping during the Spanish Civil War. The squadron returned home in December 1937 and from June 1938 began equipping with the Short Sunderland.

World War II

When World War II began, detachments from No. 210 Squadron were sent to Invergordon and Sullom Voe. In July 1940 the squadron moved to Oban and began to re-equip with the Consolidated Catalina. The squadron returned to Pembroke Dock in October 1942, with a detachment based at Gibraltar. In April 1943, squadron headquarters moved to Hamworthy. The Gibraltar detachment was transferred to No. 202 Squadron on 31 December 1943 and the remainder of the squadron at Hamworthy disbanded.

The squadron reformed again at Sullom Voe, when No. 190 Squadron was renumbered on 1 January 1944. During this time, Flying Officer John Cruickshank, a pilot with the squadron, was awarded the Victoria Cross for flying his aircraft home despite extensive wounds received during an attack on a German U-boat. The squadron disbanded on 4 June 1945.

Cold War

On 1 June 1946, No. 210 Squadron reformed again when No. 179 Squadron was renumbered. It operated Avro Lancasters from RAF St Eval until September 1952, then moved to RAF Topcliffe, re-equipping with Lockheed Neptune aircraft in February 1953. The squadron disbanded again on 31 January 1957.

The squadron reformed in December 1958 when No. 269 Squadron was renumbered, and was based at Ballykelly, equipped with the Avro Shackleton. In November 1970 the squadron moved to the Persian Gulf, disbanding for the last time on 15 November 1971.

Aircraft operated




  • Evans, John. Sopwiths to Sunderlands: The Story of No 210 Squadron RAF, 1917-1941. Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, UK: Paterchurch Publications, 1999. ISBN ISBN 1-87074-509-4.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G. RAF Squadrons, second edition 2001, Airlife Publishing, UK, ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Seymour, Mike and Bill Balderson. To The Ends Of The Earth: 210 Squadron's Catalina Years, 1941-1945. Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, UK: Paterchurch Publications, 1999. ISBN 1-87074-508-6.
  • Westrop, Mike. A History of No.10 Squadron Royal Navy Air Service in World War I. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0-76432-055-6.

External links


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