No. 104 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

At the start of the Second World War No. 104 Squadron was a Group Training Squadron in No.6 Group, merging with No.108 Squadron on 8 April 1940 to form No.13 Operational Training Unit.

The squadron reformed at Driffield as an operation bomber squadron on 1 April 1941, serving as a night bomber squadron, but this phase in the squadron's history lasted for less than a year. In October 1941 fifteen aircraft were flow to Malta, from where they attacked targets in Libya, Sicily and Italy. This detachment then moved to Egypt, where it was joined by its ground echelon. The squadron was briefly redesignated No. 158 Squadron, but reverted to its original number on 31 January 1942.

The squadron spent the rest of the war in the Mediterranean, first operating in the Western Desert, moving west behind the advancing armies, then at the end of 1943 moving to southern Italy, from where it carried out raids across the Balkans and northern Italy. No. 104 Squadron retained its Wellingtons into 1945, flying its last Wellington mission on 27 February, before converting to the Liberator.

After the war the squadron moved to Egypt, operating Lancasters until it was disbanded on 1 April 1947.

Aircraft
May 1938-April 1940:  Bristol Blenheim I
October 1939-April 1940: Bristol Blenheim IV
September 1939-April 1940: Avro Anson I
April 1941-July 1943: Vickers Wellington II
July 1943-March 1945: Vickers Wellington X
February-November 1945: Consolidated Liberator VI

Location
2 May 1938-18 September 1939: Bassingbourn
18 September 1939-8 April 1940: Bicester

1 April 1941-14 February 1942: Driffield
 17 October 1941: Detachment to Luqa (Malta)
3 January 1942-19 May 1942: Kabrit (Egypt)
19 May-26 June 1942: L.G. 106
 6 November 1942-21 January 1943: Detachment to Luqa
7-12 November 1942: L.G. 224
12-27 November 1942: L.G. 104
27 November 1942-6 February 1943: L.G. 237
6-14 February 1943: Soluch
14 February-27 May 1943: Gardabia Main
27 May-24 June 1943: Kairouan/ Cheria
24 June-18 November 1943: Hani West
18 November-14 December 1943: Oudna
14-30 December 1943: Cerignola
30 December 1943-20 October 1945: Foggia Main

Squadron Codes:

Group and Duty
26 September 1939-February 1940: Pool bomber squadron with No. 6 Group
April 1941-February 1942: Bomber Command, Night Bomber Squadron
February 1942-December 1943: Middle East, North Africa
December 1943-October 1945: Italy

Books

Wellington in Action, Ron Mackay. A well illustrated guide to the development and service career of this classic British bomber. Mackay looks at the early development of the Wellington and the unusual geodetic frame that gave it great strength, the period when the Wellington was the mainstay of Bomber Command and the many uses found for the aircraft after it was replaced in the main bomber stream.
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Blenheim Squadrons of World War Two, Jon Lake. This book looks at the entire RAF service career of the Bristol Blenheim, from its debut as a promising fast bomber, through the deadly disillusionment of the blitzkrieg, on to its work in the Middle East and Mediterranean, where the aircraft found a new lease of life. Lake also looks at the use of the Blenheim as an interim fighter aircraft and its use by Coastal Command.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 March 2007), No. 104 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/104_wwII.html

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