No. 168 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.168 Squadron served as an army cooperation and ground attack squadron from its formation in 1942 until it was disbanded early in 1945.

The squadron was formed at Snailwell on 15 June 1942 as a tactical reconnaissance unit in Army Co-operation Command. The squadron was built around a nucleus from No.268 Squadron and was originally equipped with the Curtiss Tomahawk, but there were replaced by Mustangs from November 1942.

In December the squadron became operational, carrying out some attacks on shipping and coastal target, but spending much of its time training with the army.

In July 1943 the squadron joined No.123 Airfield, part of the Second Tactical Air Force, the RAF's contribution to the massive air fleet being prepared for the D-Day landings. No.168 Squadron began to fly reconnaissance missions in preparation for D-Day in October 1943. The squadron moved to Normandy a few weeks after the D-Day landings and remained with 21st Army Group during its advance into the Netherlands.

The Mustangs were replaced with Hawker Typhoons in October 1944, and four months of armed reconnaissance sweeps over Germany followed before the squadron was disbanded in February 1945. The official disbandment came on 26 February, but the squadron continued to fly for two more days, before finally being grounded on 28 February.

Aircraft
June-November 1942: Curtiss Tomahawk IIA
November 1942-August 1943: North American Mustang I
August 1943-February 1944: North American Mustang IA
February-October 1944: North American Mustang I
September 1944-February 1945: Hawker Typhoon IB

Location
June-July 1942: Snailwell
July-November 1942: Bottisham
November 1942-March 1943: Odiham
March 1943: Weston Zoyland
March-September 1943: Odiham
September-October 1943: Hutton Cranswick
October 1943: Huggate
October-November 1943: Thruxton
November 1943: Sawbridgworth
November 1943-January 1944: North Weald
January-February 1944: Llanbedr
February-March 1944: North Weald
March 1944: Gatwick
March-June 1944: Odiham
June-August 1944: B.8 Sommervieu
August-September 1944: B.21 St. Honorine
September 1944: B.34 Avrilly
September-October 1944: B.64 Diest/ Schaffen
October 1944-February 1945: B.78 Eindhoven

Squadron Codes: EK, QC

Duty
From 15 June 1942: Army Co-operation Command
From July 1943: No.123 Airfield, 2nd Tactical Air Force
6 June 1944: No.39 Reconnaissance Wing; No.83 Group; Second Tactical Air Force; Allied Expeditionary Air Forec

Duties
June 1942-July 1943: Army Co-operation
July 1943 onwards: 2nd Tactical Air Force

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 January 2010), No. 168 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/168_wwII.html

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