No. 148 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.148 Squadron went through three very different incarnations during the Second World War. In April 1939 the squadron became a Group Pool Squadron, operating a mix of the Vickers Wellington and Avro Anson. This first incarnation ended on 4 April 1940 when the squadron was renamed as No.15 Operational Training Unit.

After a false start in April-May 1940, the squadron was reformed on Malta from detachments of Nos.38, 99 and 115 squadrons on 14 December 1940, once again operating the Vickers Wellington. This time the squadron was an active bomber squadron, carrying out attacks on Axis bases in Italy and Libya, first from Malta and later from Egypt. This second incarnation ended on 14 December 1942.

The third and final incarnation of No.148 Squadron was as a special duties squadron, formed from the Special Liberator Flight (X Flight) at Gambut (Libya). This incarnation of the squadron used a wide range of aircraft, starting with the Consolidated Liberator but then adding the Handley Page Halifax, the Westland Lysander and even the Short Stirling for a month late in 1944. This version of the squadron carried out supply drops to resistance groups across the Balkans. After a move to Italy in January 1944 the squadon also began to carry out pick-up missions. The squadron was also used in an unsuccesful attempt to fly supplies to the besieged Poles in Warsaw (the flights themselves succesfully reached Warsaw and were amongst the longest combat missions flow during the war, but in the chaotic circumstances of the urban warfare inside Warsaw the Poles were unable to reach many of the supplies).

Aircraft
March 1939-April 1940: Vickers Wellington I
April 1939-April 1940: Avro Anson I
April 1940-May 1940: Vickers Wellington IC

December 1940-November 1941: Vickers Wellington IC
September 1941-April 1942: Vickers Wellington II
April 1942-December 1942: Vickers Wellington IC

March 1943-January 1944: Consolidated Liberator II
March 1943-November 1944: Handley Page Halifax B.Mk II
February 1944-June 1945: Westland Lysander IIIA
August 1944-June 1945: Handley Page Halifax B.Mk V
November-December 1944: Short Stirling IV
March 1945-January 1946: Consolidated Liberator VI

Location
10 March 1938-4 September 1939: Stradishall
4 September 1939-4 April 1940: Harwell
30 April-23 June 1940: Stradishall

14 December 1940-9 March 1941: Luqa
9 March 1941-11 May 1942: LG 106
11 May-26 June 1942: Kabrit
19 August-14 November 1942: LG.237
14 November-1 December 1942: LG.09
1-7 December 1942: LG.167
7-14 December 1942: Luqa

14 March 1943 to 5 April 1943: Gambut (Libya)
5 April 1943-2 September 1943: Derna (Libya)
2 September 1943-31 January 1944: Tocra
31 January 1944-28 June 1945: Foggia (Italy)

Squadron Codes: BS, FS

Group and Duty
April 1939-April 1940: Group Pool Squadron (training)
December 1940-December 1942: Bomber Squadron, Malta and Egypt
March 1943-June 1945: Special Duties, Libya then Italy

Books

 Consolidated B-24 Liberator (Crowood Aviation), Martin W. Bowman. A well balanced book that begins with a look at the development history of the B-24, before spending nine out of its ten chapters looking at the combat career of the aircraft in the USAAF, the US Navy and the RAF. cover cover cover
Review of Halifax Squadrons by John lake Halifax Squadrons of World War II , Jon Lake. This is a very good book on the combat record of the Handley Page Halifax. It covers much more than just its role as a front line bomber, with chapters on the Halifax with Coastal Command, the Pathfinders and SOE, amongst others. [see more] cover cover cover
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

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (18 April 2008), No. 148 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/148_wwII.html

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