No. 16 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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At the start of the Second World War No. 16 Squadron was an Army Co-operation unit. Unlike many similar units, it remaining in Britain over the winter of 1939-40, only to move to France for training in April 1940.

The squadron was still in France in May 1940 when the Germans launched their attack in the west. After nine days of fighting, the unit was withdrawn to Britain.

For the next three years No. 16 Squadron operated as a reconnaissance squadron, first around the British coast, guarding against a German landing, then further out to sea. This duty continued until June 1943, by which time the squadron was flying Mustangs, which it used against German fighter bombers making tip and run attacks along the British coast.

In September 1944 the squadron was allocated to the Second Tactical Air Force, moving to Belgium. It ended the war at Eindhoven, in Holland.

Aircraft
June 1938-April 1939: Westland Lysander I
April 1939-October 1940: Westland Lysander II
March 1940-September 1940: Gloster Gladiator II
October 1940-May 1943: Westland Lysander III, IIIA
April 1942-November 1943: Mustang
February 1943-April 1943: Tomahawk I
September 1943-September 1944: Spitfire XI
June 1944-November 1944: Spitfire IX
March 1945-September 1945: Spitfire XIX

Squadron Codes:

Group and Duty

Location
1 April 1924-16 February 1940: Old Sarum
16 February-14 April 1940: Hawkinge
14 April-19 May 1940: Bertangles (France)
19 May-2 June 1940: Lympne (United Kingdom)
2-29 June 1940: Redhill
29 June-3 August 1940: Cambridge
3-14 August 1940: Okehampton
14 August 1940-25 September 1941: Weston Zoyland
25 September-3 October 1941: Thruxton
3 October-23 November 1941: Weston Zoyland
23-27 November 1941: Lympne
27 November 1941-2 January 1943: Weston Zoyland
2 January-1 June 1943: Andover
1-29 June 1943: Middle Wallop
29 June 1943-7 April 1944: Hartfordbridge
7 April-4 September 1944: Northolt
4-9 September 1944: A.12 Balleroy
9-27 September 1944: B.48 Amiens/ Glisy
27 September-15 April 1945: B.58 Melsbroek
15 April-22 September 1945: B.78 Eindhoven

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Covers the Gladiator's service in Finland, Malta, North Africa, Greece, Aden, East Africa and Iraq, where despite being outdated it performed surprisingly well. cover cover cover

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (16 May 2007), No. 16 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/16_wwII.html

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