No. 161 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.161 Squadron was a special duties squadron, formed in February 1942 from the King's Flight and part of No.138 Squadron. It operated a variety of aircraft through the war, using its Lysanders, Havocs and Hudsons for landing and picking up agents from occupied Europe, and its Whitleys, Halifaxes and Stirlings for supply dropping missions. By the end of the war only the Hudsons and Stirlings remained.

Aircraft
February 1942-November 1944: Westland Lysander IIIA
February 1942-December 1942: Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V
February 1942-December 1943: Havoc I
September 1942 to December 1942: Handley Page Halifax B.Mk II
November 1942 to November 1944: Handley Page Halifax B.Mk V
October 1943-June 1945: Lockheed Hudson III and Hudson V
September 1944-June 1945: Short Stirling III and IV

Location
15 February 1942-March 1942: Newmarket
March 1942: Graveley
11 April 1942-2 June 1945: Tempsford

Squadron Codes: MA

Duty
Special Duties squadron with No.3 Group

Books

Runways to Freedom - The Special Duties Squadrons of RAF Tempsford, Robert Body. A splendid history of Nos.138 and 161 Squadrons, the Special Duties squadrons that carried agents in and out of occupied Europe, dropped supplies and generally supported the work of the resistance movements. Highly secret during the war, their records were declassified fairly quickly, but this is a rare full length study of the two squadrons, and is well overdue! Not quite a day-by-day history, but not far off, with coverage of just about every lost aircraft as well as many successful missions (Read Full Review)
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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]
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Lockheed Hudson Aircraft in WWII, Andrew Hendrie, Crowood Press. A look at the development of the Hudson, and its career with the RAF, USAAF, RNZAF and RAAF. Covers the anti-submarine and anti-shipping uses of the Hudson, as well at its role in Air-Sea Rescue and special operations. The text is supported by a good collection of first hand accounts.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 March 2007), No. 161 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/161_wwII.html

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