NO 233 SQUADRON RAF




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No. 233 Squadron RAF


No. 233 Squadron RAF
Active 31 August 1918 – 15 May 1919
18 May 1937 – 15 December 1945
1952–1957 1 September 1960 – 31 January 1964
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Reconnaissance, Transport
Motto Latin: 'Fortis et fidelis'
"Strong and faithful".[1]
Insignia
Squadron crest heraldry In front of a trident and sword in saltire, a star of eight points.[1]
Squadron codes EY (Apr 1939 – Sep 1939)
ZS (Sep 1939 – Jul 1942)
5T (Mar 1944 – Dec 1948) [2][3][4]

No. 233 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force squadron that operated from 1918–1919, 1937–1945, 1952–1957 and 1960–1964.[1] The squadron was formed from several Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) flights and took part in the tail end of World War I before being disbanded. The squadron was reformed with the advent of World War II. At first No. 233 Squadron flew general reconnaissance patrols before being tasked with transportation duties just prior to D-Day. Shortly after World War II the squadron was again disbanded, to be reformed once more in 1960. No. 233 Squadron was finally disbanded in 1964.[1]


No 233 Squadron RAF History


Short Type 184 seaplane. This type of aircraft was used by the squadron from August 1918 – May 1919.

No 233 Squadron RAF World War I

The squadron was established at Dover on 31 August 1918, using flights from former RNAS stations at Dover and Walmer that had been absorbed by the RAF on 1 April 1918. Flights Nos. 407 and 491 flew anti-submarine patrols over the Strait of Dover, and No. 471 Flight at Walmer flew Sopwith Camels and was used to engage enemy fighters based in Belgium. No. 233 Squadron was disbanded on 15 May 1919.[1]


No 233 Squadron RAF Inter-war years

Fw-200 Condor sinking in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Ireland, after being shot down by a Lockheed Hudson of No. 233 Squadron RAF on 23 July 1941.

No. 233 Squadron was reformed on 18 May 1937 at RAF Tangmere as part of Coastal Command. It first used Avro Ansons for general reconnaissance until August when it was moved to Scotland and began converting to Lockheed Hudsons. Patrols were at first carried out by both Ansons and Hudsons, until the last flight by Ansons on October 10. By the end of October a flight of Bristol Blenheims had been added to the squadron, undertaking patrols until January 1940.[1]


No 233 Squadron RAF World War II

Throughout 1940 No. 233 was one of five RAF squadrons equipped with Hudsons: Nos. 224, 233 and 269 operated over the North Sea along the Norwegian and Danish coasts, and Nos. 206 and 220 operated from the Netherlands to Denmark.[5] When Denmark and Norway were invaded by Germany in April, Nos. 220, 224 and 233 Squadron flew attacks upon shipping and land targets, such as airfields, virtually every day.[6] In August several detachments from Hudson squadrons began operating out of RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland. On 25 October 1940 three Hudsons from No. 233 engaged U-46, off the coast of Norway, seriously damaging the U-boat and forcing it to return to port.[7] By December, No. 233 Squadron had completed its move to Aldergrove.[5]

In May 1941 a Hudson from the squadron engaged and shot down a Heinkel He-111 bomber.[7] Later in June the squadron damaged two U-boats, and on July 23 an aircraft from No. 233 Squadron shot down an FW-200 Condor long-range reconnaissance bomber which was attacking a British convoy.[7] No. 233 Squadron was moved to RAF St Eval in Cornwall in August 1941 in order to fly patrols over the Bay of Biscay.[1][7] Within the first few weeks of operations out of St Eval, the squadron damaged an enemy ship and attacked four U-boats, suffering the loss of a Hudson.[7]

Operations out of Gibraltar

Lockheed Hudson of No. 233 Squadron RAF preparing for take-off in August 1942, with the Rock of Gibraltar in the background.

A detachment from No. 233 Squadron was sent to Gibraltar in December, and gradually the rest of the unit followed (though another detachment was left at RAF Thorney Island).[7] It was not until July 1942 that the squadron fully assembled in Gibraltar, where it remained until February 1944.[1]

No. 233 was one of three Hudson squadrons in Gibraltar newly arrived from the UK.; it immediately took up anti-submarine operations.[1] The squadron gained its first U-boat kill on 1 May 1942, when P/O Camacho attacked U-573, but did not seem to inflict any damage on the submarine.[7] Later the same day, the U-boat was spotted by another Hudson, and an attack forced it to submerge, but it immediately re-surfaced and signalled its surrender. The U-boat sank later from damage that had been received in the first attack.[7] No. 233 Squadron took part in Operation Torch, providing cover, before the Allied landings in French North Africa.[7][8]

By 1943 there were four Hudson squadrons flying out of Gibraltar and Algeria: Nos. 48, 233, 500 and 608.[8] In the early part of the year No. 233 was used in anti-submarine duties though as 1943 wore on the pace of operations began to slacken, and the units were mainly involved in escorting convoys, either by day or night,[8] and large part of their duties were meteorological flights.[7]

In March the squadron engaged no less than six enemy U-boats. On 28 March 1940 a Hudson from No. 48 Squadron engaged and damaged [7]

During the summer of 1943, No. 233 Squadron shot down at least two FW-200 Condors.[7]

From October 1943 to February 1944 a detachment from No. 233 was based in the Azores until the squadron was called back to the UK.[1] The reduction of U-boat activity in the area, following Allied successes on land, led to Nos. 48 and 233 Squadrons returning to the UK in early 1944, to become transportation units.[8]

Transport Command

Douglas Dakota Mark III, FZ692 '5T-UK' "Kwicherbichen", of No. 233 Squadron RAF based at RAF Blakehill Farm. The aircraft is returning to the United Kingdom with wounded from the Normandy battlefront. Invasion stripes are painted on the side of the aircraft.

On its return to the UK No. 233 Squadron was equipped with Douglas Dakotas for use with airborne forces, as part of RAF Transport Command. A company of paratroops from the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was attached to the squadron to aid in its few months of training,[7] On D-Day there were thirty Dakotas from No. 233, and a few Ansons.[7] Of the Dakotas on the first lift, six were used to tow gliders, the remainder carried troops from the 3rd Parachute Brigade.[7] Later in the day the squadron flew twenty-one supply flights, losing four aircraft. After flying evacuation missions from the beachhead, No. 233 flew thirty-seven sorties during the Arnhem airlift during its first few days. Thirty-five re-supply sorties followed in which the squadron lost three aircraft.[1]

The squadron then flew general transport flights between the UK and occupied Europe until twenty-four Dakotas were used for the last major offensive over the Rhine in March 1945. In August No. 233 began to move to India, though the Japanese surrendered before the squadron had fully assembled there. After flying general transport sorties in South East Asia the squadron was merged with No. 215 Squadron RAF in December 1945.[1]

Notable pilots

At least five pilots of the squadron were decorated during World War II. [12]

A Canadian, [19]

[31]

[44]

[52]


No 233 Squadron RAF Post war

Vickers Valetta transport aircraft. This type of aircraft was used by the squadron in its last years of existence till its disbandment on 31 January 1964.

1952 – 1957 flying De Havilland Vampire Jets

No. 233 Squadron was reformed once more on 1 September 1960 when the Vickers Valetta flight of No. 84 Squadron RAF was detached to form No. 233 at Khormaksar. The squadron was then used to provide general transport for the British Army in the Aden Protectorate. During November/December 1961 the Squadron took part in the Juba River flood relief effort in Somalia, with Valettas flying the supply drops.[citation needed]

It was disbanded on 31 January 1964.[1][53]


No 233 Squadron RAF Squadron bases


Squadron bases [1] Date
Dover 31 August 1918 – 15 May 1919
RAF Tangmere 18 May 1937
Thornaby 9 July 1937
RAF Leuchars 23 September 1938
RAF Montrose 26 September 1938
RAF Leuchars 6 October 1938
RAF Aldergrove 3 August 1940
RAF Leuchars 14 September 1940
RAF Aldergrove 8 December 1940
RAF St Eval 8 August 1941
RAF Gibraltar (Detachment) 1 December 1941 – July 1942
RAF Thorney Island 2 January 1942
RAF Gibraltar 12 July 1942
Lagens, Azores 23 October 1943 – 24 February 1944
Gosport (A) 21 February 1944 (C) 29 February 1944
RAF Bircham Newton (G) 1 March 1944
RAF Blakehill Farm 5 March 1944
RAF Odiham 8 June 1945
Move to India 15 August 1945
Tulihal 1 September 1945 – 15 December 1945
RAF Khormaksar 1 September 1960 – 31 January 1964

No 233 Squadron RAF Aircraft operated


Aircraft[1] Period of service
Short 184 August 1918 – May 1919
Sopwith Camel August 1918 – November 1919
Airco DH.4 & Airco DH.9 August 1918 – May 1919
Avro Anson I May 1937 – December 1939
Lockheed Hudson I, II, III, V August 1939 – May 1944
Douglas Dakota III, IV March 1944 – December 1945
Vickers Valetta C.1 September 1960 – January 1964

No 233 Squadron RAF See also



No 233 Squadron RAF References



No 233 Squadron RAF Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Halley 1988, p. 301.
  2. ^ rafweb.org accessed 11 January 2008
  3. ^ Bowyer & Rawlings 1979, pp. 14, 100 and 122.
  4. ^ Flintham & Thomas 2003, p. 231.
  5. ^ a b Shores, p. 159.
  6. ^ Shores, p. 156.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u 233 Squadron Retrieved on 2007-10-01
  8. ^ a b c d Shores, p. 162.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35022. p. 7214. 24 December 1940. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35203. p. 3682. 27 June 1941. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35606. p. 2760. 23 June 1942. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  12. ^ "Commonwealth War Graves Commission – casualty details". Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35019. p. 2760. 23 June 1942. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34826. p. 2072. 9 April 1940. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35019. p. 7117. 20 December 1940. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35045. p. 346. 17 January 1941. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35391. p. 7245. 23 December 1941. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35983. p. 1798. 16 April 1943. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37087. p. 2616. 18 May 1945. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35606. p. 2762. 23 June 1942. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35904. pp. 811–813. 12 February 1943. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35864. p. 334. 12 January 1943. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36520. pp. 2284–2285. 16 May 1944. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  24. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37115. p. 2896. 5 June 1945. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37518. p. 1626. 29 March 1946. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  26. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37758. p. 5081. 11 October 1946. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39271. p. 3544. 26 June 1951. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43005. p. 4607. 24 May 1963. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  29. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43612. p. 3193. 26 March 1965. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  30. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44791. p. 1806. 14 February 1969. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  31. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45449. p. 8901. 16 August 1971. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  32. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35217. p. 3999. 11 July 1941. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  33. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35691. p. 3863. 1 September 1942. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  34. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35992. p. 1906. 23 April 1943. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  35. ^ The London Gazette: no. 36094. pp. 3219–3220. 13 July 1943. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  36. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36863. p. 5954. 26 December 1944. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  37. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37511. p. 1532. 22 March 1946. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  38. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37892. pp. 969–974. 25 February 1947. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  39. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38960. p. 3451. 4 July 1950. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  40. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39863. p. 2990. 26 May 1953. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  41. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40816. p. 3779. 26 June 1956. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  42. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42403. p. 4931. 30 June 1961. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  43. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44039. p. 7465. 30 June 1966. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  44. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44690. p. 10775. 4 October 1968. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  45. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35741. pp. 4438–4439. 9 October 1942. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  46. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35927. pp. 4437–4439. 2 March 1943. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  47. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36660. p. 3824. 15 August 1944. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  48. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36682. p. 4076. 29 August 1944. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  49. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36863. p. 5954. 26 December 1944. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  50. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38450. pp. 5877–5879. 5 November 1948. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  51. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39416. p. 6705. 25 December 1951. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  52. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39990. p. 5576. 16 October 1953. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  53. ^ Rawlings 1982, p. 160.

No 233 Squadron RAF Bibliography

  • 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.
  • Edwards, Goronwy 'Gron', DFC. Flying to Norway, Grounded in Burma: A Hudson Pilot in World War II. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen & Sword Aviation, 2008. ISBN 1-84415-809-8.
  • Edwards, Goronwy 'Gron', DFC. Head in the Clouds: A Young RAF Pilot's Life in the Late '30s. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife, 1996. ISBN 1-85310-590-2.
  • Edwards, Goronwy 'Gron', DFC. Norwegian Patrol – RAF 233 Squadron in WW2. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife, 1985. ISBN 0-906393-53-1.
  • 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: Airlif 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: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • 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.
  • Shores, Christopher F. Lockheed Hudson Mks I to VI (Aircraft in Profile no. 253). Profile Publications Ltd., 1973.

No 233 Squadron RAF External links




| No._233_Squadron_RAF | Lockheed_Hudson | 233_Squadron | List_of_RAF_squadrons | RAF_Gibraltar | No._84_Squadron_RAF | RAF_Blakehill_Farm | Sopwith_Camel | RAF_Thorney_Island | Vickers_Valetta | List_of_RAF_Squadron_Codes | No._569_Squadron_RAF | RAF_Bircham_Newton | No._221_Squadron_RAF | RAF_Khormaksar | RAF_Coastal_Command_order_of_battle_during_World_War_II | RAF_Coastal_Command_during_World_War_II | No._20_Squadron_RAF | RAF_Desert_Air_Force | Index_of_World_War_II_articles_(N)

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