No. 137 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.137 Squadron was a fighter-bomber and ground attack squadron that was one of only two squadrons to receive the Westland Whirlwind, before moving on to the Hurricane and finally the Typhoon.

The squadron reformed on 20 September 1941 at Charmy Down, a satellite airfield of Colerne, as the second and last squadron to operate the Westland Whirlwind fighter bomber. Although this aircraft was not produced in large numbers, No.137 Squadron used it for more than a year and a half, from the first operations across the channel on 24 October 1941 to June 1943.

The Whirlwinds were finally replaced by Hawker Hurricanes in June 1943. These aircraft were armed with both 40mm cannon and rockets, making their first cannon attack on German transport on 23 July. Over the course of the year it became clear that the rockets were a more effective ground attack weapon than the big cannon, and it would be rockets that were used with devastating effect during the D-Day campaign.

In January 1944 the squadron converted to the Typhoon, using it for anti-shipping strikes with No.124 Wing. The squadron helped cover the D-Day landings and was then withdrawn to operate against the V-1 flying bomb.

On 13 August the squadron moved to Normandy and provided close air support for the advancing ground troops. The squadron had reached the Netherlands by September, from where it operated over Germany, flying armed reconnaissance missions until the end of the war. The squadron spent some time in Germany after the war, before being renumbered as No.174 Squadron

Aircraft
September 1941-June 1943: Westland Whirlwind I
June 1943-January 1944: Hawker Hurricane IV
January 1944-August 1945: Hawker Typhoon IB

Location
September-November 1941: Charmy Down
November-December 1941: Coltishall
December 1941-August 1942: Matlask
August-September 1942: Snailwell
September 1942-June 1943: Manston
June-August 1943: Southend
August-December 1943: Manston
December 1943-January 1944: Lympne
January-February 1944: Colerne
February-April 1944: Lympne
April-August 1944: Manston
August 1944: B.6 Coulombs
August-September 1944: B.30 Creton
September 1944: B.48 Amiens/ Glisy
September 1944: B.58 Melsbroek
September 1944-January 1945: B.78 Eindhoven
January-April 1945: B.86 Helmond
April 1945: B.106 Twente
April 1945: B.112 Hopsten
April 1945: B.120 Langenhagen
April-May 1945: B.156 Luneburg
May 1945: B.118 Celle
May-June 1945: B.160 Kastrup
June-July 1945: B.172 Husum
July-August 1945: B.158 Lubeck
August 1945: Warmwell

Squadron Codes: SF

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 (23 December 2010), No. 137 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/137_wwII.html

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