No. 166 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No. 166 Squadron went through two incarnations during the Second World War. It had reformed around A Flight of No.97 Squadron in 1936, but by the start of the war had become a training unit. It continued to carry out this role until it merged with No.97 Squadron on 6 April 1940 to form No.10 OTU.

No.166 was reformed for the second time on 27 January 1943 from detachments of No.142 and No.150 squadrons, this time as an operational night bomber squadron. The squadron flew the Vickers Wellington until the spring of 1943 and then converted to the Avro Lancaster, which it flew until the end of the war.

Aircraft
November 1936-September 1939: Handley Page Heyford III
June 1939-April 1940: Armstrong Whitworth Whitley I
November 1939-April 1940: Armstrong Whitworth Whitley III

January 1943-April 1943: Vickers Wellington III
February 1943-September 1943: Vickers Wellington X
September 1943-November 1945: Avro Lancaster I and III

Location
20 January 1937-17 September 1939: Leconfield
17 September-6 April 1940: Abingdon

27 January 1943-18 November 1945: Kirmington

Squadron Codes: AS

Duty
1939-1940: Training unit
1940-1945: Bomber Command

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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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.
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Lancaster Squadron 1942-43, Jon Lake. This book looks at the early career of the Avro Lancaster. During this period the Lancaster was just one of a number of aircraft used by Bomber Command, important amongst them the Wellington, the Stirling and the Halifax. Only by the end of this period do we see the Lancaster begin to emerge as the most important aircraft in Bomber Command. Lake covers the wide range of activities performed by the Lancaster squadrons during this squadron, including the famous Dam Busters raid. [see more]
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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 (24 March 2007), No. 166 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/166_wwII.html

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