No. 156 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.156 Squadron was a bomber squadron that was a founder member of the Pathfinder Force, serving with it from August 1942 until the end of the war.

The squadron reformed on 14 February 1942 at Alconbury, around a detachment from No.40 Squadron. The squadron operated its Wellington bombers as part of Bomber Command's main force from then until August 1942.

In August the squadron become one of the four founding members of the Pathfinder Force, No.8 Group. Originally this force contained one squadron for each of the main types of bombers in use (Wellington, Stirling, Halifax and Lancaster). No.156 Squadron retained its Wellingtons and used them to lead the main bomber force to its targets.

Lancaster bombers arrived in January 1943 and the squadron continued to perform its pathfinder role until the end of the war. After a period of trooping flights and POW repatriation duties it was disbanded on 25 September 1945.

Aircraft
February 1942-January 1943: Vickers Wellington IC
March 1942-January 1943: Vickers Wellington III
January 1943-September 1945: Avro Lancaster I and III

Location
February-August 1942: Alconbury
August 1942-March 1944: Warboys
March 1944-June 1945: Upwood
June-September 1945: Wyton

Squadron Codes: GT

Duty
Duties
1942: Bomber Command
1942-1945: Pathfinder Force

Part of:
From 14 Feb 1942 to August 1942: No.3 Group, Bomber Command
From August 1942: Pathfinder Force, No.8 Group

Books

Bomber Offensive, Sir Arthur Harris. The autobiography of Bomber Harris, giving his view of the strategic bombing campaign in its immediate aftermath. Invaluable for the insights it provides into Harris’s approach to the war, what he was trying to achieve and the problems he faced. Harris perhaps overstates his case, not entirely surprisingly given how soon after the end of the war this book was written (Read Full Review)
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Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45, Jon Lake. A well balanced look at the career of the Avro Lancaster in 1944-45, the period most famous for the systematic night bombardment of German cities. This was also the period that saw the Lancaster used to support the invasion of France, and the period that saw 617 Squadron drop Barnes Wallis's huge streamlined bombs with great precision. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 December 2010), No. 156 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/156_wwII.html

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