No. 142 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.142 Squadron began the Second World War as a day bomber squadron, equipped with the Fairey Battle. It was one of the squadrons that moved to France with the Advanced Air Striking Force, and like all of those squadrons suffered heavily during the German invasion of France in May-June 1940. On its return to Great Britain the squadron received more Battles, which it used to attack German invasion barges, before in November 1940 the first Vickers Wellingtons arrived.

Night bombing operations began on 15 April 1941, and continued for the next two years. In December 1942 thirteen of the squadrons aircraft were flown to Algeria, to take part in the campaign in North Africa. In the following month the aircraft remaining in the UK merged with No.150 Squadron to form No.166 Squadron, and the detachment in North Africa was brought up to squadron strength.

The squadron remained in the Mediterranean until October 1944, carrying out night attacks on Axis targets in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. The squadron moved to southern Italy in December 1943, and its range expanded to include the Balkans. This incarnation of the squadron was disbanded on 5 October 1944.

The squadron was reformed in Britain on 25 October 1944, this time as a night bomber squadron equipped with the De Havilland Mosquito. No.142 Squadron used the Canadian built Mosquito B Mk 25. For the rest of the war the squadron carried out a mix of bombing and pathfinders duties.

Aircraft
March 1938-January 1941: Fairey Battle I
November 1940-October 1941: Vickers Wellington II
October 1941-October 1942: Vickers Wellington IV
September 1942-October 1943: Vickers Wellington III
August 1943-October 1944: Vickers Wellington X
October 1944-September 1945: De Havilland Mosquito B Mk 25

Location
9 May-2 September 1939: Bicester
2-12 September 1939: Berry-au-Bac (France)
12 September-16 May 1940: Plivot
16 May-6 June 1940: Faux-Villecerf
6-15 June 1940: Villiers-Faux
15 June-3 July 1940: Waddington (UK)
3 July-12 August 1940: Binbrook
12 August-6 September 1940: Eastchurch
6 September 1940-26 November 1941: Binbrook
26 November 1941-7 June 1942: Grimsby
7 June-7 July 1942: Thruxton
7 July-19 December 1942: Grimsby
  19 December 1942: Detachment to Blida
19 December 1942-27 January 1943: Kirmington
27 January-5 May 1943: Entire squadron to Blida
5-26 May 1943: Fontaine Chaude
26 May-15 November 1943: Kairouan
15 November-16 December 1943: Oudna
16 December 1943-14 February 1944: Cerignola
14 February-3 July 1944: Amendola
3 July 1944-5 October 1944: Regine
25 October 1944-28 September 1945: Gransden Lodge (UK)

Squadron Codes: KB, QT, 4H

Group and Duty
September 1939-June 1940: Bomber squadron with No.1 Group, 76 Wing, Advanced Air Striking Force
June-November 1940: Day bomber squadron with Battle
November 1940-January 1943: Night bomber squadron
December 1942-December 1943: Night bomber, North Africa
December 1943-October 1944: Bomber squadron, Italy
October 1944-September 1945: Night bomber Mosquito squadron, UK

Books

Wellington in Action, Ron Mackay. A well illustrated guide to the development and service career of this classic British bomber. Mackay looks at the early development of the Wellington and the unusual geodetic frame that gave it great strength, the period when the Wellington was the mainstay of Bomber Command and the many uses found for the aircraft after it was replaced in the main bomber stream. cover cover cover
 Mosquito Bomber/ Fighter-Bomber Units of World War 2, Martin Bowman. The first of three books looking at the RAF career of this most versatile of British aircraft of the Second World War, this volume looks at the squadrons that used the Mosquito as a daylight bomber, over occupied Europe and Germany, against shipping and over Burma. [see more]   cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (18 April 2008), No. 142 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/142_wwII.html

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