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No. 500 (County of Kent) Squadron RAF
Active 16 March 1931 - 11 July 1944
1 August 1944 - 23 October 1945
10 May 1946 - 10 March 1957
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Various
Part of Royal Auxiliary Air Force
Nickname County of Kent
Motto Latin:Quo fata vocent
("Whither the fates may call")[1]
Battle honours Channel and North Sea 1939-41; Dunkirk; Biscay ports 1941; Atlantic 1941-42; North Africa 1942-43; Mediterranean 1942-44; Italy 1944-45.[2]
Insignia
Squadron Badge A horse forcene
The white horse of Kent was adopted to commemorate the squadron's association with that country
Squadron Codes SQ (Apr 1939 - Sep 1939)[3][4]
MK (Sep 1939 - Apr 1944)[5][6]
RAA (May 1946 - 1950)[7][8]
S7 (1950 - 1951)[9][10]

No. 500 (County of Kent) Squadron RAF was formed as a Special Reserve squadron and later became part of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. It served in a number of roles before being disbanded in 1957.

Contents

History

The Squadron was formed at RAF Manston on 16 March 1931 as a Special Reserve night-bomber squadron with Vickers Virginia X aircraft. On 25 May 1936 the role changed to day-bombing and the squadron became part of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, flying Hawker Harts, later replaced with Hawker Hinds.

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To Coastal Command

On 7 November 1938 the squadron saw another role change as it was transferred to RAF Coastal Command and became a general reconnaissance squadron flying on Anson I's. In April 1941 these were replaced with Blenheim IV's which the squadron used till November 1941, when Lockheed Hudsons took their place. From December 1943 these were replaced with Lockheed Ventura Vs, until the squadron was completely equipped with them in April 1944. The squadron disbanded on 11 July 1944, handing over their Ventura's to No. 27 Squadron SAAF.[11]

Back in Bomber Command

The Squadron was reformed on 1 August 1944 at La Senia as a bomber squadron, receiving Martin Baltimores In September 1945 No. 500 squadron left Italy and headed for Kenya, being renumbered on arrival 23 October 1945 to No. 249 Squadron RAF.[12]

To Fighter Command

The Squadron was reformed again on 10 May 1946 at RAF West Malling, equipped with Mosquito NF.30s, as a night fighter squadron. Later, following an Air Ministry decision to convert all AAF units to day fighter roles, the squadron became equipped with Meteor F.3's[13]. The squadron disbanded finally on 10 March 1957.[14][15][16]

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Version
March 1931 January 1936 Vickers Virginia X
January 1936 May 1937 Hawker Hart
February 1937 March 1939 Hawker Hind
March 1939 April 1941 Avro Anson I
April 1941 November 1941 Bristol Blenheim IV
November 1941 April 1944 Lockheed Hudson III, V
December 1943 July 1944 Lockheed Ventura V
September 1944 February 1945 Martin Baltimore IV
September 1944 October 1945 Martin Baltimore V
February 1947 August 1947 de Havilland Mosquito NF.19
April 1947 October 1948 de Havilland Mosquito NF.30
May 1948 October 1948 Supermarine Spitfire F.22
July 1948 October 1951 Gloster Meteor F.3
July 1951 February 1952 Gloster Meteor F.4
November 1951 March 1957 Gloster Meteor F.8

[17][18][19][20]

Commanding officers

From To Name
Mar 1931 Jul 1931 S/Ldr. S.R. Watkins, AFC
Jul 1931 Jul 1933 W/Cdr. L.F. Forbes, MC
Jul 1933 May 1935 W/Cdr. R. Halley, DFC
May 1935 Apr 1936 S/Ldr. G.M. Lawson, MC
Apr 1936 Oct 1936 F/Lt. W.G. Wooliams
Oct 1936 Oct 1939 S/Ldr. G.K. Hohler, R.Aux.AF
Oct 1939 Jun 1940 S/Ldr. W. LeMay, R.Aux.AF
Jun 1940 Mar 1941 W/Cdr. G.H. Turner
Mar 1941 Jul 1941 W/Cdr. M.Q. Candler
Jul 1941 Apr 1942 W/Cdr. G.T. Gilbert
Apr 1942 Apr 1943 W/Cdr. D.F. Spotswood, DSO, DFC
Apr 1943 Apr 1944 W/Cdr. D.G. Keddie
Apr 1944 Jun 1944 W/Cdr. C.K. Bonner
Jun 1944 Jul 1944 W/Cdr. C.E.A. Garton
Jul 1944 Aug 1945 W/Cdr. H.N. Garbett
Aug 1945 Oct 1945 W/Cdr. Matson
Aug 1946 Feb 1949 S/Ldr. P. Green, OBE, AFC, R.Aux.AF
Feb 1949 Mar 1952 S/Ldr. M.C. Kennard, DFC, R.Aux.AF
Mar 1952 Aug 1954 S/Ldr. D. de Villiers, R.Aux.AF
Aug 1954 Oct 1954 S/Ldr. D.M. Clause
Oct 1954 Mar 1957 S/Ldr. D.H.M. Chandler

[21]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Rawlings 1982, p. 225.
  2. ^ Brooks 1982, p. 156.
  3. ^ Bowyer & Rawlings 1979, p. 14.
  4. ^ Flintham & Thomas 2003, p. 51.
  5. ^ Bowyer & Rawlings 1979, p. 72.
  6. ^ Flintham & Thomas 2003, p. 90.
  7. ^ Bowyer & Rawlings 1979, p. 138.
  8. ^ Flintham & Thomas 2003, p. 184.
  9. ^ Bowyer & Rawlings 1979, p. 95.
  10. ^ Flintham & Thomas 2003, p. 156.
  11. ^ Rawlings 1982, pp. 225-226.
  12. ^ Moyes 1976, p. 262.
  13. ^ Bowyer 1984, p. 113.
  14. ^ RafWeb
  15. ^ Rawlings 1978, pp. 453-455.
  16. ^ Halley 1988, p. 388
  17. ^ Moyes 1976, pp. 262-263.
  18. ^ Rawlings 1982, p. 226.
  19. ^ Brooks 1982, p. 157.
  20. ^ Jefford 2001, pp. 95-96.
  21. ^ Brooks 1982, p. 155.

Bibliography

  • Bowyer, Chaz. Mosquito Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. Shepperton, Surrey, UK: Ian Allan Ltd., 1984. ISBN 0-7110-1425-6.
  • 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.
  • Brooks, Robin J. Kent's Own: The History of 500 (County of Kent) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force. Rainham, Gillingham, Kent, UK: Meresborough Books, 1982. ISBN 0-905270-541.
  • 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.
  • Hunt, Leslie. Twenty-one Squadrons: History of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 1925-57. London: Garnstone Press, 1972. ISBN 0-85511-110-0. (New edition in 1992 by Crécy Publishing, ISBN 0-94755-426-2.)
  • 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, 1998 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1964 (new edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
  • 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.

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