No. 136 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.136 Squadron was a fighter squadron that was on its way to the Far East when the Japanese invaded Burma, and spent much of the war operating over that country.

The squadron reformed on 20 August 1941 at Kirton-in-Lindsey as a Hurricane fighter squadron. The squadron became operational on 28 September, but the war clouds were gathering in the Far East, and on 9 November the squadron embarked for the Far East.

By the time the squadron reached India war with Japan had already broken out. The squadron was sent into Burma, arriving in early February during the Japanese invasion. By the end of the month the squadron had been evacuated to Calcutta, in somewhat better shape than most squadrons involved in the fighting in Burma. This allowed it to return to operations on 31 March 1942, forming part of the air defences of Calcutta as well as flying patrols over convoys.  

Offensive operations began in mid-December 1942 when a detachment moved to Chittagong to operate over Burma, and by the end of the month then entire squadron had made the move. Six months of offensive operations began before the squadron was withdrawn for a rest in June 1943. The Hurricanes were replaced with Spitfire Vs in October 1943, making the squadron one of three to receive that aircraft in the same month, bringing the air defences of Burma up to a higher standard.

The squadron began Spitfire operations on 3 December 1943, flying a mix of defensive fighter sorties and bomber escort missions over Burma. Its best day of the year came on 31 December when it destroyed twelve Japanese bombers and fighters that were attacking shipping off the Arakan coast.

In July 1944 the squadron was withdrawn to Ceylon, remaining there until March 1945 when the ground echelon moved to the Cocos Islands where an airstrip was under construction. This was completed in April and the squadron's aircraft also moved to the island. The squadron moved to Malaya after the Japanese surrender and remained there until May 1946. It then embarked for India, but was renumbered as No.152 while on its way.

Aircraft
August-November 1941: Hawker Hurricane IIA and IIB
March 1942-October 1943: Hawker Hurricane IIB and IIC
October 1943-March 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VC
January 1944-February 1945: Supermarine Spitfire VIII
April 1945-May 1946: Supermarine Spitfire VIII
February-May 1946: Supermarine Spitfire XIV

Location
August-November 1941: Kirton-in-Lindsey

February 1942: Rangoon

February 1942: Dum Dum
February-March 1942: Asansol
March-June 1942: Alipore
June-August 1942: Red Road
August-September 1942: Alipore
    August-September 1942: Detachment to Vizagapatam
September-December 1942: Dum Dum
    December 1942: Detachment to Chittagong
December 1942-June 1943: Chittagong
June-November 1943: Baigachi
November 1943: Amarda Road
November -December 1943: Baigachi
December 1943: Ramu/ "Lyons"
December 1943: Alipore
December 1943-January 1944: Ramu/ "Lyons"
January-March 1944: Rumkhapalong
March 1944: Sapam
March-April 1944: Wangjing
April-July 1944: Chittagong
July-December 1944: Ratmalana
December 1944-March 1945: Minneriya

April-October 1945: Cocos Island

October 1945-May 1945: Kuala Lupmur

Squadron Codes: P (1941), HM (1944-45)

Duty
Fighter Squadron, Burma

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]
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Spitfire Mark V Aces, 1941-45, Dr Alfred Price. A well written and nicely balanced look at the combat career of the Spitfire Mk V and of the men who flew it. The Spitfire V fought in more theatres than the more famous Mk I/II, including over France in 1941, on Malta, in North Africa and even in northern Australia. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 December 2010), No. 136 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/136_wwII.html

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