No. 130 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.130 Squadron was a fighter squadron that spent most of the Second World War on offensive duties, including fighter sweeps in 1941-43 and armed reconnaissance over Germany towards the end of the war.

The squadron was reformed on 20 June 1941 as a Spitfire fighter squadron, and became operational on 21 July. For most of the next two years the squadron flew a mix of offensive sweeps over north-west France ('leaning over the Channel'), convoy protection patrols around the coasts of Cornwall and Devon and local air defence in the south west.

In March 1943 the squadron moved to Scotland, then to Northern Ireland, before returning south to England in July. On 19 August offensive operations resumed, but only continued for a month. After this the squadron moved to Yorkshire, then Scotland, then back to northern England, before being disbanded on 13 February 1944.

Just under two months later, on 5 April 1944, No.186 Squadron at Lympne ws renumbered as the new No.130 Squadron. No.186 had been flying intruder missions over northern France as part of 2nd Tactical Air Force, and continued to fly the same missions after the change of designation.

In August 1944 the squadron received the Spitfire XIV, which it used against the V-1 flying bombs. In September, as this threat began to recede, the squadron moved to the Low Countries, and began to fly armed reconnaissance missions over German. This effectively meant finding and attacking any suitable target, with transport and airfields a priority. The squadron's fast Spitfire XIVs were also used in an attempt to find the new German Me 262 jets.

At the end of May 1945 the squadron returned to Scotland, before moving to Norway on 20 June to help with the peaceful liberation of that country, returning to the UK in November.

Aircraft
June-October 1941: Supermarine Spitfire IIA
October 1941-February 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VA, VB and VC

April-August 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VA, VB and VC
August 1944-May 1945: Supermarine Spitfire XIV
May 1945-October 1946: Supermarine Spitfire IX

Location
June-October 1941: Portreath
October-November 1941: Harrowbeer
November-December 1941: Perranporth
July 1941: Warmwell
July-August 1942: Perranporth
August 1942: West Freugh
August 1942: Perranporth
August 1942: Thorney Island
August-October 1942: Perranporth
October 1942: Warmwell
October 1942-March 1943: Perranporth
March-April 1943: Drem
April-July 1943: Ballyhalbert
July-August 1943: Honiley
August-September 1943: West Malling
September-November 1943: Catterick
November 1943: Scorton
November 1943-January 1944: Acklington
January-February 1944: Scorton

April 1944: Lympne
April-June 1944: Horne
June 1944: Westhampnett
June-August 1944: Merston
August 1944: Tangmere
August-September 1944: Lympne
September-October 1944: B.70 Antwerp/ Deurne
October-November 1944: B.82 Grave
November-December 1944: B.64 Diest/ Schaffen
Decembe 1944-January 1945: Y.32 Ophoven
January-February 1945: B.78 Eindhoven
February 1945: Warmwell
February-April 1945: B.78 Eindhoven
April 1945: B.106 Twente
April-May 1945: B.118 Celle
May 1945: B.152 Fassberg
May 1945: North Weald
May-June 1945: Dyce

Squadron Codes: PJ (1941-44), AP (1944-47)

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

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (17 December 2010), No. 130 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/130_wwII.html

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