No. 134 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.134 Squadron was formed to take Hurricanes to the Soviet Union to help defend Murmansk, before going on to serve in Northern Ireland, North Africa and Burma.

The squadron was formed at Leconfield on 31 July 1941 around a flight taken from No.17 Squadron. It was one of two squadrons that formed No.151 Wing, which was created to help the Soviet Union with the air defence of Murmansk. The plane was for the two squadrons and their Hurricanes to go to the Soviet Union, operate the aircraft until the winter began and then hand them over to new Soviet pilots.

The ground crews departed for Russian on 12 August. The aircraft travelled in two batches. Twenty four Hurricanes were flown off HMS Argus directly to Vaenga, close to Murmansk, while another fifteen were shipped to Archangel in crates, assembled in nine days and flown back to Vaenga. In the meantime No.134 was given twelve of the twenty four aircraft already in place on 7 September, and patrols began on 11 September.

The local Soviet authorities cooperated well with the British, and the month-long deployment was considered to have been a success. The snows began in mid October, and on the 19th the Hurricanes were handed over to their new Soviet owners. No.134 helped train the Soviet pilots in their new aircraft before returning to the UK on naval vessels during November.

The squadron reassembled at Catterick on 7 December 1941, this time as a Spitfire squadron. The squadron was posted to Northern Ireland in January 1942, but only stayed for a short period, embarking for the Middle East in April.

The squadron reached Egypt in June 1942 ahead of its aircraft, and so for the rest of the year its ground crew were used to service aircraft from other squadrons. Hurricanes arrived late in the year and the squadron returned to operations in January 1943, providing a fighter defence for the ports and bases along the North African coast.

In November 1943 the squadron moved to India, and in the following month began operations along the Burmese border, carrying out ground attack missions against the Japanese. In May 1944 the squadron withdrew to India to convert to the Thunderbolt, but the first aircraft didn’t arrive until August and the squadron didn't return to operations over Burma until 7 December. The squadron was used to cover the Allied landing at Rangood in April 1945, before returning to India where on 26 June it was renumbered as No.131 Squadron.

Aircraft
September-October 1941: Hawker Hurricane IIA
December 1941-April 1942: Supermarine Spitfire VA
January-February 1942: Supermarine Spitfire IIA
January-February 1942: Hawker Hurricane IIA
January 1943-August 1944: Hawker Hurricane IIB and IIC
June-August 1943: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
August 1944-June 1945: Republic Thunderbolt I and II

Location
July-August 1941: Leconfield

September-November 1941: Vaenga

December 1941-January 1942: Catterick
January-March 1942: Eglinton
March-April 1942: Baginton

June 1942: Kasfareet
June 1942: Helwan
June-July 1942: Kafareet
July-November 1942: Lydda
November 1942: Helwan
November 1942-January 1943: LG.222
January-February 1943: Shandur
February-April 1943: LG.121
April-May 1943: LG.219
    April-May 1943: Detachment to Sousse
May-June 1943: Bu Amud
June-October 1943: Bersis
October-November 1943: Qassassin

December 1943: Comilla
December 1943-January 1944: Parashuram
January 1944: Fazilpur
January-April 1944: Hay
April-May 1944: Ramu III
May-August 1944: Arkonam
    June-July 1944: Detachment to Cuttack
August-October 1944: Yelahanka
October-November 1944: Arkonam
November 1944: Baigachi
November 1944-April 1945: Ratnap
April-June 1945: Kyaukpyu
June 1945: Ulunderpet

Squadron Codes: GV (Hurricane), GQ (Hurricane and Thunderbolt), F (Spitfire)

Duty
No.212 Group, Headquarters, Air Defences Eastern Mediterranean under HQ RAF Middle East, under Mediterranean Air Command, 10 July 1943

Books

Hurricane Aces 1941-45, Andrew Thomas. This book covers the later career of the Hurricane, starting with its final months as a front line fighter in Britain in 1941 before moving on to look at its career in North Africa, the Mediterranean and over the jungles of Burma [see more]
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 December 2010), No. 134 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/134_wwII.html

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