No. 151 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.151 Squadron began the Second World War as a day fighter squadron, equipped with the Hawker Hurricane. After a quiet start to the war, flying defensive patrols against the limited German raids over Britain, the squadron was one of the units rushed into the action in France after the German invasion, even moving to Vitry-en-Artois for three days (18-20 May). The squadron returned to North Weald, from where it took part in the fighting over Dunkirk, and then fought in the Battle of Britain.

In November 1940 the squadron converted to the night fighter role, receiving the Boulton Paul Defiant, which it operated alongside the Hurricane for three months. This was a short interlude before the arrival of the de Havilland Mosquito NF M.II in April 1942, making No.151 Squadron only the second Mosquito night fighter squadron. It would operate the Mosquito to the end of the war.

After a period of defensive night fighting, in April 1943 the squadron moved to Colerne, and spent the next eighteen months flying intruder missions. In October 1944 No.151 moved to East Anglia to carry out bomber support duties, which included many of the same duties as before, as well as a more active campaign against German night fighters. At the end of the war the squadron moved back to the south-west, disbanding in October 1946.

Aircraft
December 1938-February 1942: Hawker Hurricane I
June 1941-February 1942: Hawker Hurricane IIB, IIC
December-April 1942: Boulton Paul Defiant I
April-July 1942: Boulton Paul Defiant II, Turbinlight Havoc
April 1942-August 1943: De Havilland Mosquito NF Mk II
May 1943-May 1944: De Havilland Mosquito NF Mk XII
August-October 1943: De Havilland Mosquito NF Mk VI
November 1943-November 1944: De Havilland Mosquito NF Mk XIII
October 1944-October 1946: De Havilland Mosquito NF Mk 30

Location
4 August 1936-13 May 1940: North Weald
  28 February-12 May 1940: Detachment to Martlesham Heath
13-17 May 1940: Entire squadron at Martlesham Heath
17-18 May 1940: Manston
18-20 May 1940: Vitry-en-Artois (France)
20 May-29 August 1940: North Weald
29 August-1 September 1940: Stapleford Tawney
1 September-28 November 1940: Digby
28 November-22 December 1940: Bramcote
  6-22 December 1940: Detachment to Wittering
22 December-30 April 1943: Wittering
  22 April-3 May and 21 May-25 January 1942: Detachment to Coltishall
30 April-16 August 1943: Colerne
16 August-17 November 1943: Middle Wallop
17 November 1943-24 March 1944: Colerne
24 March-7 October 1944: Predannack
7 OCtober-19 November 1944: Castle Camps
19 November 1944-1 March 1945: Hunsdon
1 March-17 May 1945: Bradwell Bay
17 May 1945-1 June 1946: Predannack

Squadron Codes: DZ

Duty
September 1939-November 1940: Day fighter
November 1940-April 1943: Night fighter, Defensive
April 1943-October 1944: Night fighter, Intruder
October 1944-May 1945: Night fighter, Bomber Support

Commander
April 1942: Wg Cdr Irving Stanley Smith, DFC, RNZAF

Books

Hurricane Aces, 1939-40, Tony Holmes. A look at the men who flew the Hawker Hurricane during the first two years of the Second World War, when it was arguably the most important front line fighter in RAF service. This book covers the Phoney War Period, the German invasion of the West, the Battle of Britain and the early use of the Hurricane in North Africa and from Malta. [see more]
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 Mosquito Fighter/ Fighter-Bomber Units of World War 2, Martin Bowman. The second of three books looking the RAF career of the Mosquito covers its use as a night fighter, first on the defensive in the skies over Britain, and then as an intruder over Occupied Europe and Germany, and finishing with a look at the "Mosquito Panic" [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (25 March 2007), No. 151 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/151_wwII.html

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