No. 504 Squadron RAF: Wikis

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No. 504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron RAF
Active 26 Mar 1928 - 10 Aug 1945
10 May 1946 - 10 Mar 1957
1 Oct 1999 - present
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Offensive Support Role
Motto Latin: Vindicat in Vetis
("It avenges in the wind")
Post-1950 aircraft insignia RAF 504 Sqn.svg
Battle honours France and Low Countries 1940; Battle of Britain 1940; Home Defence 1940-42; Atlantic 1941-42; Fortress Europe 1942-44; Normandy 1944; Arnhem 1944; France and Germany 1944-45
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Sir H.M. Seely, MP
Insignia
Squadron Badge An oak tree fronted and eradicated[1]
Squadron Codes AW (Apr 1939 - Sep 1939)
TM (Sep 1939 - Aug 1945, 1949 - 1952)
RAD (May 1946 - 1949)

No. 504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron was formed on 26 March 1928 as one of the Special Reserve Squadrons of the Auxiliary Air Force or AAF. It was integrated into the AAF proper in 1936. Based at RAF Cottesmore (Rutland), 504 Squadron used a variety of light bombers before being re-tasked to fighters with the Hawker Hurricane in 1939. It subsequently became a Fighter Squadron. Currently no. 504 squadron no longer has a flying role, but as part of an Operational Support Squadron (OSS), the first role of 504 Squadron today is Force Protection. In December 2009, the MOD announced the closure of parent station RAF Cottesmore, 504's new location to be announced.

Contents

History

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In World War II

On 26 August 1939 it was mobilised for active service as part of RAF Fighter Command and the Squadron was transferred to RAF Digby. In 1940 Squadron Leader ”Johnnie” Hill took command whilst the squadron was at Lille. When the airfield was overrun Hill had taken 12 Hurricanes into the air. Hill was shot down and shot at first by French peasants, and later by a British Army major who believed him to be a fifth columnist. On recovering from his injuries Hill was given command of 222 Squadron.

Throughout the Second World War, 504 Sqn operated from over thirty airfields in both the UK and abroad. Roles were as diverse as Heavy Bomber escort; interdiction raids across occupied France; escort duties over Arnhem during Operation Market Garden and major involvement in the Battle of Britain.

Flight Lieutenant W. B. Royce of 504 Squadron became the first AAF pilot to be awarded the DFC, Sergeant Ray Holmes of 504 Squadron was forced to ram a Dornier bomber intent on attacking Buckingham Palace when his guns jammed during the attack. This event was immortalised in the film Battle of Britain.

Into the jet age

In March 1945 the Squadron was re-equipped with Gloster Meteor jets, but the armistice was declared before they saw any action. After standing down from active duty on the 10 August 1945, the Squadron was reformed at RAF Syerston as an AAF unit on 10 May 1946. Auxiliary service continued until the Squadron was disbanded on 10 March 1957, the Squadron Standard having been presented on 3 March 1957 and then laid up in St Mary's Church, Wymeswold, RAF Wymeswold having been the Squadron's last operational base.

Current role

On 1 January 1998, the Offensive Support Role Support Squadron (OSRSS) was formed at RAF Cottesmore. This was then renamed 504 Squadron on 1 October 1999. On 1 October 2000 the reformation was celebrated with a march past in Nottingham.

Although 504 Squadron no longer has a flying role, its importance as an asset to the RAF is no less than it was before. As part of an Operational Support Squadron (OSS), the first role of 504 Squadron is Force Protection (FP). To this end, approximately 60% of the personnel are RAF Regiment gunners providing ground defence for all assets on deployed operations. The remaining personnel are responsible for the many other duties including; Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) warning and reporting, airbase shelter marshalling and general sentry duties.

Elements currently operational in Afghanistan.

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft
October 1929 March 1934 Hawker Horsley
January 1934 June 1937 Westland Wallace Mk.I
February 1935 June 1937 Westland Wallace Mk.II
May 1937 November 1938 Hawker Hind
November 1938 August 1939 Gloster Gauntlet Mk.II
May 1939 July 1941 Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
July 1941 November 1941 Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIb
October 1941 February 1942 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa
December 1941 February 1942 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIb
January 1942 January 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb
October 1942 September 1943 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc
September 1943 January 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VI
January 1944 March 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXb
March 1944 July 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb
July 1944 April 1945 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXe
April 1945 August 1945 Gloster Meteor Mk.III
April 1947 August 1948 De Havilland Mosquito T.3, NF.30
May 1948 March 1950 Supermarine Spitfire F.22
October 1949 March 1952 Gloster Meteor F.4
February 1952 March 1957 Gloster Meteor F.8

[1][2]

Commanding officers

From To Name
October 1928 S/Ldr. C.M. Elliot-Smith, AFC
June 1937 September 1938 S/Ldr. Sir H.M. Seely, MP
September 1938 January 1940 S/Ldr. F.Y. Beamish
January 1940 May 1940 S/Ldr. H. Watson
May 1940 May 1940 S/Ldr. J. Parnall
May 1940 May 1940 S/Ldr. Hill
May 1940 May 1940 F/Lt. W.B. Boyce, DFC
May 1940 March 1941 S/Ldr. J. Sample, DFC
March 1941 July 1941 S/Ldr. M. Rook
July 1941 February 1942 S/Ldr. P.T. Parsons
February 1942 January 1943 S/Ldr. R. Lewis
January 1943 March 1943 S/Ldr. J.I. Kilmartin, DFC
March 1943 July 1943 S/Ldr. R.C. Kilian
July 1943 October 1943 S/Ldr. P.J. Simpson, DFC
October 1943 March 1944 S/Ldr. H.J.L. Hallowes, DFC, DFM & Bar
March 1944 October 1944 S/Ldr. Banning-Lover
October 1944 August 1945 S/Ldr. M. Kellett
May 1946 S/Ldr. A.H. Hook, DFC, AFC
1948 S/Ldr. J.M. Birkin
March 1950 S/Ldr. G.J. Beardsall
1954 S/Ldr. P.I. Briggs, DFC

[3][4][5]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b Halley 1988, pp. 392-393.
  2. ^ Jefford 2001, p. 96
  3. ^ Hunt 1972, pp. 279-292.
  4. ^ Rawlings 1978, p. 462.
  5. ^ Bowyer 1984, p. 114.

Bibliography

  • Bowyer, Chaz. Mosquito Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. Shepperton, Surrey, UK: Ian Allan Ltd., 1984. ISBN 0-7110-1425-6.
  • Golley, John. Hurricanes over Murmansk. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1987. ISBN 0-85059-832-X (2nd edition published by Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-298-2.)
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1980. ISBN 0-85130-083-9.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force and Commonwealth, 1918-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Holmes, Ray. Sky Spy: From Six Miles High to Hitler's Bunker. Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1989. ISBN 1-85310-054-4. autobiography of one of 504 Squadron's most famous pilots.
  • Hunt, Leslie. Twenty-one Squadrons: the History of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 1925-1957. London, Garnstone Press Ltd., 1972. ISBN 0-947554-26-2.
  • 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, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988. ISBN 1-853100-536-1. (second revised edition 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.)
  • Moyes, Philip. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and Their Aircraft. London, Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1964 (Second revised edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and Their Aircraft. London, Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (Second revised edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
  • Sweeting, Denis. Wings of Chance. Singapore: Asian Business Press, 1990. ISBN 98-1002-098-8.
  • Wakefield, Kenneth. Target Filton: Two Luftwaffe Attacks of September, 1940. Bristol, UK: Redcliffe Press, 1990. ISBN 1-87297-155-5.

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