No. 125 'Newfoundland' Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.125 Squadron was a night fighter squadron that generally served in a defensive capacity, as well as taking part in the D-Day campaign. The squadron was reformed at Colerne on 16 June 1941 as a night fighter squadron equipped with the turret-armed Defiant. Operations began at the end of September and the squadron formed part of the night defences of western England and South Wales.

In February 1942 the first Beaufighters arrived, and by April the squadron was fully equipped with the new aircraft, although a small number of Defiants remained in use and some Hurricanes were added.

A detachment of four aircraft was sent to the Shetlands in October-December 1942 in an attempt to intercept German reconnaissance aircraft crossing the North Sea.

The stint in the south-west ended in November 1943 when the squadron moved to RAF Valley to carry out patrols over the Irish Sea. A number of aircraft were based at Ballyhalbert during this period.

In February 1944 the squadron converted to the Mosquito, moving south to Hurn to support the D-Day invasions. Night patrols were flown over the D-Day beaches and the massive supply convoys supporting the invasion, but the expected German aerial onslaught didn't take place.

The next threat came from the V-1 Flying Bombs. No.125 Squadron was moved to Middle Wallop to take part in the campaign against the flying bomb, but also flew a number of offensive sweeps over Holland from a forward base at Bradwel Bay. Next came a move to Coltishall, where the squadron carried out patrols against the remaining German intruders, flying-bomb carriers (German bombers used to air-launch V-1s) and to find and attack the remaining German coastal shipping.

The squadron moved to Yorkshire at the end of the war, before disbanding on 20 November 1945. The aircraft and personnel moved to No.264 Squadron.

Aircraft
June 1941-August 1942: Boulton Paul Defiant I
February-September 1942: Bristol Beaufighter IIF
September 1942-February 1944: Bristol Beaufighter VI
February 1944-March 1945: de Havilland Mosquito XVII
February-November 1945: de Havilland Mosquito 30

Location
June-August 1941: Colerne
August-September 1941: Charmy Down
September 1941-January 1942: Fairwood Common
January-May 1942: Colerne
    January-February 1942: Detachment to Fairwood Common
May 1942-April 1943: Fairwood Common
    October-December 1942: Detachment to Sumburgh
April-November 1943: Exeter
November 1943-March 1944: Valley
March-July 1944: Hurn
July-October 1944: Middle Wallop
October 1944-April 1945: Coltishall
April-November 1945: Church Fenton

Squadron Codes: VA

Duty
6 June 1944: No.11 Group; Air Defence of Great Britain, Allied Expeditionary Air Force

Books

 Mosquito Fighter/ Fighter-Bomber Units of World War 2, Martin Bowman. The second of three books looking the RAF career of the Mosquito covers its use as a night fighter, first on the defensive in the skies over Britain, and then as an intruder over Occupied Europe and Germany, and finishing with a look at the "Mosquito Panic" [see more]
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 December 2010), No. 125 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/125_wwII.html

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