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No. 521 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was a Second World War meteorological observation unit operating from Norfolk.

The squadron began as a No. 405 Flight of RAF Bomber Command. All the meteorological flights were put under RAF Coastal Command and it became No. 1401 (Met) Flight.

To its original Bristol Blenheims were added Supermarine Spitfires, Gloster Gladiator biplanes and Hawker Hurricanes. In August 1942 the Flight was made into a Squadron and given Lockheed Hudsons, Handley Page Hampdens, de Havilland Mosquitos and Lockheed Venturas.

The operations of the Flights and then the Squadron was taking meterolgical information for weather forecasting - previously provided by merchant shipping to the Met Office. The aircraft would take measurements of temperature and humidity in set areas over the North Sea; from an altitude of 40,000 ft downwards.

The squadrons Mosquitos would operate on "PAMPA" flights that took them deep into occupied Europe to assess the weather over target areas for the bombers.

The unit was at RAF Docking, a satellite of RAF Bircham Newton, until October 1944 when it moved a few miles to the other satellite of Bircham Newton, RAF Langham


  • Norfolk Airfields in the Second World War Graham Smith, Countryside Books, 1997.

See also


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