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No. 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron RAF
Active 5 October 1926 - February 1942
7 June 1942 - 31 August 1945
10 May 1946 - 10 March 1957
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Part of Royal Auxiliary Air Force
Motto Latin: Nunquam Dormio
("I Never Sleep")
Battle honours Dunkirk*
Battle of Britain 1940*
Malta 1941*
Eastern Waters 1942*
Fortress Europe 1942-1943*
Home Defence 1944*
France and Germany 1944-1945*
Honours marked with an asterisk* are those emblazoned on the Squadron Standard
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Archie McKellar, Eric William Wright, Peter Townsend
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry On a mount, a bear supporting a ragged staff[1]
Squadron Codes HE (Apr 1939 - Sep 1939)
UP (Jan 1942 - Aug 1945)
RAL (May 1946 - 1949)
NR (1949 - Apr 1951)

No 605 Squadron was a Royal Auxiliary Air Force Squadron. It was one of the most successful participants of the Battle of Britain.

Contents

History

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Formation and early years

No 605 Squadron was formed on 5 October 1926 at Castle Bromwich as a day bomber unit of the Auxiliary Air Force, recruiting in the Birmingham area. Initially equipped with DH.9As it received Wapitis in April 1930 and Harts in October 1934. The latter were replaced by Hinds in August 1936. On 1 January 1939 No 605 was redesignated as a fighter squadron and re-equipped with Gladiators.

World war II

Hurricanes began to arrive a few weeks before the outbreak of World War Two and the squadron took up its war station at RAF Tangmere with a mixture of six Hurricanes and ten Gladiators, completing re-equipment during October 1939. In February 1940 the squadron moved to Scotland, but returned south in May to fly patrols over northern France for a week before moving back to Scotland at RAF Drem. It again moved south again in September for the closing stages of the Battle of Britain. It then continued to operate from bases in the south, carrying out escort duties and fighter sweeps until posted overseas.

To the east

In November 1941, the squadron flew off the carrier HMS Argus to Malta, where it was retained as part of the island's defences, prior to continuing its journey to the Far East. Arriving in Singapore too late to prevent its capture, it moved to Sumatra and then to Java, in the event caught up in the Japanese invasion[2]. It operated any aircraft it could fly until it ceased to exist with its personnel either escaping in small groups or being captured. A small detachment of the squadron had been left on Malta during the transit journey to the Far East and a unit there which began operations on 10 January 1942[3] used the squadron number in its reports, which ended the following month, on being absorbed into No. 185 Squadron RAF.

Reformation as night intruders

A new No 605 squadron was formed at RAF Ford on 7 June 1942, equipped with Havocs and Bostons in the intruder role. These were replaced with Mosquitoes from February 1943 and it continued to operate this type until the end of the war, moving to Belgium in March 1945 and the Netherlands in April. The squadron disbanded by being re-numbered to No. 4 Squadron RAF on 31 August 1945 at Volkel Air Base.

After the war

With the reactivation of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 605 was reformed on 10 May 1946 at RAF Honiley as a night fighter squadron. But its initial equipment of Mosquitoes NF.30s did not arrive until April 1947. In July 1948 its role was changed to that of a day fighter squadron, for which it received Vampire F.1s replacing them with FB.5s in May 1951, but along with all the flying units of the RAuxAF, it was disbanded on 10 March 1957.

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Version
Oct 1926 Jun 1930 Airco DH.9 DH.9A
Apr 1930 Dec 1934 Westland Wapiti Mk.IIa
Feb 1934 Aug 1936 Hawker Hart
Aug 1936 Feb 1939 Hawker Hind
Feb 1939 Oct 1939 Gloster Gladiator Mks.I, II
Aug 1939 Dec 1940 Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
Dec 1940 Aug 1941 Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIa
Aug 1941 Mar 1942 Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIb
Jul 1942 Oct 1942 Douglas Havoc Mks.I, II
Jul 1942 Mar 1943 Douglas Boston Mk.III
Feb 1943 Jul 1943 de Havilland Mosquito Mk.II
Jul 1943 Aug 1945 de Havilland Mosquito Mk.VI
Apr 1947 Jan 1949 de Havilland Mosquito NF.30
Jul 1948 May 1951 de Havilland Vampire F.1
Apr 1951 Mar 1957 de Havilland Vampire FB.5

[4]

Squadron bases

From To Name base Remark
5 Oct 1926 27 Aug 1939 RAF Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire First formation
27 Aug 1939 11 Feb 1940 RAF Tangmere, Sussex
11 Feb 1940 27 Feb 1940 RAF Leuchars, Fife
27 Feb 1940 21 May 1940 RAF Wick, Caithness
21 May 1940 28 May 1940 RAF Hawkinge, Kent
28 May 1940 7 Sep 1940 RAF Drem, Lothian
7 Sep 1940 26 Feb 1941 RAF Croydon, Surrey
26 Feb 1941 31 Mar 1941 RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk
31 Mar 1941 1 Jul 1941 RAF Ternhill, Shropshire
1 Jul 1941 4 Sep 1941 RAF Baginton, Warwickshire
4 Sep 1941 31 Oct 1941 RAF Honiley, Warwickshire Left to Far East from here
12 Nov 1941 27 Feb 1942 RAF Hal Far, Malta Detachment, 605 personnel joining No.185 Squadron 27 Feb.
3 Feb 1942 10 Feb 1942 Batavia, Java, Netherlands East Indies
10 Feb 1942 14 Feb 1942 Palembang, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies 605 personnel joined forces with Nos. 238 and 242 Squadrons on 14 Feb.
14 Feb 1942 Feb 1942 Tjililitan, Java, Netherlands East Indies
Feb 1942 28 Feb 1942 Tasik Masala, Java, Netherlands East Indies Dispersed from here
7 Jun 1942 15 Mar 1943 RAF Ford, Sussex Second formation
15 Mar 1943 6 Oct 1943 RAF Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire
6 Oct 1943 7 Apr 1944 RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex
7 Apr 1944 21 Nov 1944 RAF Manston, Kent
21 Nov 1944 15 Mar 1945 RAF Hartford Bridge, Hampshire Airfield name changed to RAF Blackbushe, 12/44.
15 Mar 1945 28 Apr 1945 Koksijde (B.71), Belgium
28 Apr 1945 31 Aug 1945 Volkel (B.80), the Netherlands
10 May 1946 11 Mar 1957 RAF Honiley, Warwickshire Third formation and last disbandment

[4][5][6]

Commanding officers

From To Name
Oct 1926 Mar 1936 S/Ldr. J.A.C. Wright, AFC, TD
Mar 1936 Dec 1939 S/Ldr. Lord Willoughby de Broke, MC, AFC
Dec 1939 May 1940 S/Ldr. G.V. Perry
May 1940 Jun 1940 F/Lt. R.G. Grant-Ferris, MP (acting)
Jun 1940 Sep 1940 S/Ldr. W.M. Churchill, DSO, DFC
Sep 1940 Nov 1940 S/Ldr. A.A. McKellar, DFC
Nov 1940 Nov 1940 F/Lt. C.F. Currant, DFC (acting)
Nov 1940 Sep 1941 S/Ldr. G.R. Edge, DFC
Sep 1941 Jan 1942 S/Ldr. R. Reid
Jan 1942 Feb 1942 S/Ldr. S.E. Andrews, DFM (Malta)
Feb 1942 Feb 1942 F/Lt. D.W.A. Stones, DFC (Malta)
Feb 1942 Jun 1942 S/Ldr. E.W. Wright, DFM (Batavia)
Jun 1942 Aug 1942 W/Cdr. P.W. Townsend, DSO, DFC
Aug 1942 May 1943 W/Cdr. G.L. Denholm, DFC
May 1943 Sep 1943 W/Cdr. C.D. Tomalin, AFC
Sep 1943 Apr 1944 W/Cdr. B.R.O'B. Hoare, DSO, DFC and Bar
Apr 1944 Sep 1944 W/Cdr. N.J. Starr, DFC
Sep 1944 Mar 1945 W/Cdr R.A. Mitchell, DFC & Bar
Mar 1945 Apr 1945 S/Ldr A.G. Woods, DFC (acting)
Apr 1945 Jul 1945 W/Cdr A.W. Horne, DFC, AFC
Jul 1945 May 1946 S/Ldr I.F. McCall, DFC (acting)
May 1946 Dec 1947 S/Ldr R.J. Walker, DSO
Dec 1947 Jul 1949 S/Ldr R.C.T. Goodwin, TD
Jul 1949 Aug 1951 S/Ldr J.A. Timmis
Aug 1951 Nov 1955 S/Ldr P.M.R. Walton
Nov 1955 Mar 1957 S/Ldr R.E. Tickner

[7]

References

Notes

  1. ^ Halley 1988, p. 422.
  2. ^ Thomas 2003, pp. 68-69 and 46.
  3. ^ Thomas 2003, pp. 29 and 46.
  4. ^ a b Halley 1988, p. 423.
  5. ^ Base overview on 605 website
  6. ^ Base overview on RAFcommands website
  7. ^ Piper 1997, pp. 239-240.

Biliography

  • 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 & 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.
  • Piper, Ian. We Never Slept: the Story of 605 County of Warwick, Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 1926-1957. Kingsbury, Tamworth, Staffordshire, UK: Ian Piper, 1996 (reprinted in 1997). ISBN 0-9529516-0-6.
  • Rawlings, John. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1969 (second edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
  • Thomas, Andrew. Hurricanes Aces: 1941-45. Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84176-610-0.

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