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No. 297 Squadron RAF: Wikis


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No. 297 Squadron RAF
Active 22 January 1942 - 1 April 1946
1 April 1946 - 15 November 1950
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Motto Latin: Par Nobile Fratrum
("A Noble pair of Brothers")
Squadron Badge an eagle's leg grasping a sword (unofficial)
Squadron Codes P5 (Jul 1943 - 1945)[1][2]
L5 (Apr 1944 - 1946)[3][4]

No. 297 Squadron is a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It is notable for being the first airborne forces squadron formed.[5 ]




Formation and World War II

The squadron originally formed as the parachute exercise squadron at RAF Ringway on 15 December 1941 and moved to RAF Netheravon on 22 January 1942, then officially becoming No. 297 Squadron RAF.[6][7][8] In February 1942 they were equipped with Whitley Mk.V aircraft. The squadron moved to RAF Hurn on 5 June 1942 and later to RAF Thruxton on 24 October 1942. In July 1943 the squadron was equipped with the first of the Albemarle Mk.I aircraft, which they kept until December 1944 while being supplemented with the Albemarle II in February 1944, Albemarle V in April 1944 and Albemarle VI in July 1944. The squadron moved to RAF Stoney Cross on 25 August 1943, where they practised parachute drops with the 8th Battalion parachute regiment and 22 independent parachute regiment in preparation for the D-Day invasion. [5 ]

297 Squadron moved to RAF Brize Norton on 14 March 1944 to practice towing Horsa Gliders in preparation for the deployment to capture the now famous Pegasus Bridge and the Merville Battery located on the Normandy coast overlooking Sword Beach. On the 30 September 1944 the squadron moved to Earls Colne where the process of changing the Albemarles for the Halifax Mk.V was started, the squadron received additional Halifax Mk.III aircraft in February 1945 and Halifax A.7 in December 1945. The squadron was disbanded on 1 April 1946.[6][7][8]


The Squadron was reformed in a peacetime role on 1 April 1946 at RAF Tarrant Rushton and merged with 295 squadron, keeping the 297 Squadron markings. The reformed squadron kept the Halifax A.7 aircraft and moved to Brize Norton on 5 September 1946. In January 1947 the squadron was re-equipped with Halifax A.9 aircraft which they kept until October 1948, during this time they moved to RAF Fairford on 21 August 1947 and to RAF Dishforth on 1 November 1948.[6][7][8]

In November 1948 the Squadron was equipped with Hastings C.1 aircraft until November 1950. During this time the squadron moved as a detachment to Schleswig returning to RAF Topcliffe on 22 August 1949 where they stayed until 15 November 1950 when the squadron was disbanded.[6][7][8]

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Variant
Jan 1942 Mar 1942 de Havilland Tiger Moth Mk.II
Feb 1942 Feb 1944 Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V
Jul 1943 Dec 1944 Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Mk.I
Feb 1944 Dec 1944 Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Mk.II
Apr 1944 Dec 1944 Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Mk.V
Jul 1944 Dec 1944 Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Mk.VI
Oct 1944 Feb 1945 Handley Page Halifax Mk.V
Feb 1945 Apr 1946 Handley Page Halifax Mk.III
Dec 1945 Mar 1947 Handley Page Halifax A.7
Jan 1947 Oct 1948 Handley Page Halifax A.9
Nov 1948 Nov 1950 Handley Page Hastings C.1




  1. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 84.
  2. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 96.
  3. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 70.
  4. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 87.
  5. ^ a b 297 Squadron, 38 Group : History
  6. ^ a b c d e Rawlings 1982, pp. 195-196.
  7. ^ a b c d e Halley 1988, p. 353.
  8. ^ a b c d e Jefford 2001, p. 86.


  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937-56. Cambridge, 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: Airlife 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, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • 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.

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