No. 152 'Hyderabad' Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.152 'Hyderabad' Squadron was a fighter squadron that took part in the Battle of Britain, and the campaigns in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, before ending the war as a fighter bomber squadron operating over Burma.

The squadron reformed on 1 October 1939 at Acklington, and was initially equipped with the Gloster Gladiator biplane. The squadron became operation on 6 November, still using the Gladiators, but they were replaced with Spitfires in January 1940. A period of defensive patrols in the north east of England followed, before the squadron moved south to Warmwell. The squadron was based in the same area during the Battle of Britain, and helped to defend the naval base at Portland.

In April 1941 the squadron moved to Cornwall to carry out convoy patrols, before moving to East Anglia in August, from where it flew bomber escort missions. In January 1942 it moved to Northern Ireland, and then in August 1942 to Pembroke, where it resumed convoy patrols for a short period.

At the end of September 1942 the squadron was ordered to prepare to move overseas, to take part in Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa. The aircraft moved to Gibraltar, while the aircraft joined the invasion fleet, setting sail in November. From 14 November the squadron helped provide cover for the Allied landings in Algeria, before moving to newly occupied bases in North Africa. It then followed the First Army as it moved east towards Tunisia, providing fighter defence and escorts for fighter bombers. In March 1943 the squadron became a fighter-bomber unit itself, and carried out that role for most of the rest of the war. No.152 squadron moved to Malta in June 1943 to carry out sweeps over Sicily, then moved to Sicily soon after the Allied landings, and to mainland Italy in September.

In November 1943 the squadron began to move to India, becoming operational over Burma on 19 December. The squadron was used for defensive fighter patrols, taking part of the second battle of Arakan early in 1944. In April 1944 it resumed fighter-bomber operations. The squadron operated from front line bases around Imphal during the battle of Imphal, and supported the 14th Army during the reconquest of Burma in 1945. It moved to Singapore after the Japanese surrender, and was disbanded on 10 March 1946.

Aircraft
October 1939-February 1940: Gloster Gladiator II
January 1940-April 1941: Supermarine Spitfire I
April 1941-February 1942: Supermarine Spitfire IIA
February 1942-November 1943: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
August-November 1943: Supermarine Spitfire IX
November 1943-March 1946: Supermarine Spitfire VIII

Location
October 1939-July 1940: Acklington
July 1940-April 1941: Warmwell
April-August 1941: Portreath
August 1941: Snailwell
August-December 1941: Swanton Morley
December 1941-January 1942: Coltishall
January-August 1942: Eglington
August-September 1942: Angle
September 1942: Collyweston
September-November 1942: Wittering

November 1942: Maison Blanche
November-December 1942: Souk-el-Arba
December 1942-February 1943: Constantine
February-May 1943: Souk-el-Khemis
May-June 1943: Protville
June-July 1943: Takali
July-September 1943: Lentini East
September 1943: Milazzo East
September 1943: Asa
September-October 1943: Serretelle
October-December 1943: Gioia del Colle
December 1943-February 1944: Baigachi
February-March 1944: Double Moorings
March-April 1944: Chittagong
April-May 1944: Rumkhapalong
May 1944: Comilla
May-July 1944: Palel
July-September 1944: Imphal
September-October 1944: Tulihal
October 1944-January 1945: Tamu
January-February 1945: Kan
February-April 1945: Sinthe
April-May 1945: Magwe/ Maida Vale
May-August 1945: Thedaw
August-September 1945: Zayatkwin
September 1945: Penang
September 1945: Kallang
September 1945-March 1946: Tengah

Squadron Codes: UM

Duty
1939-1942: Fighter Command
1942-1943: Fighter Squadron, North Africa
1943: Fighter Bomber Squadron, North Africa, Sicily, Italy
1943-1944: Fighter Squadron, Burma
1944-1945: Fighter Bomber Squadron, Burma

Part of
8 August 1940: No.10 Group, Fighter Command
10 July 1943: No.322 Wing, No.211 Group, Desert Air Force, N.A. Tactical Air Force, Northwest African Air-Forces, Mediterranean Air Command
1 July 1944: No.165 Wing, No.224 Group, Third Tactical Air Force, Eastern Air Command, HQ Air Command South-East Asia

Books

Gloster Gladiator Aces, Andrew Thomas. A look at the wartime career of the only biplane fighter still in RAF service during the Second World War. Covers the Gladiator's service in Finland, Malta, North Africa, Greece, Aden, East Africa and Iraq, where despite being outdated it performed surprisingly well.
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Spitfire Mark I/II Aces 1939-41, Dr Alfred Price. Slightly different to many books in the Aircraft of the Aces series, Price splits his material, concentrating on the wider picture in the first part of the book before looking at eleven of the top Spitfire aces in the last two chapters of the book [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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The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force 1942-1945, Bryn Evans. . Looks at the activities of the RAF's tactical air force in the North Africa and Italian Theatres, where it developed many of the close support techniques used with greater fame by 2nd Tactical Air Force in Normandy. This is a valuable account of the services of a key, but often overlooked, part of the wartime RAF. [read full review]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 December 2010), No. 152 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/152_wwII.html

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