No. 170 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.170 Squadron had two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a tactical reconnaissance squadron and second as a Lancaster bomber squadron.

The squadron was formed at Weston Zoyalnd on 15 June 1942 as a tactical reconnaissance squadron and was equipped with Mustangs. For the rest of 1942 it was involved in exercises with the army, before finally beginning to fly reconnaissance missions on 4 January 1943. The squadron also used its Mustangs on low level defensive patrols, aiming to intercept low level German fighter bombers that were attacking the south coast, as well as some attacks on German communications in northern France. In July the squadron joined Second Tactical Air Force, but it was disbanded on 15 January 1944.

The squadron was reformed as a Lancaster-equipped heavy bomber squadron on 15 October 1944 around 'C' Flight from No.625 Squadron. This allowed it to become operational very quickly and the first night bombing mission was flown on 19 October. The squadron remained part of Bomber Command's main force until the end of the war, disbanding on 14 November 1945.

June 1942-August 1943: North American Mustang I
August 1943-January 1944: North American Mustang IA
OCtober 1944-November 1945: Avro Lancaster I and III

June 1942: Weston Zoyland
June-October 1942: Hurn
October 1942: Thruxton
October 1942-February 1943: Andover
February-March 1943: Ford
March 1943: Andover
March-June 1943: Snailwell
June-September 1943: Odiham
September-October 1943: Hutton Cranswick
October 1943: Huggate
October 1943: Leconfield
October-November 1943: Thruxton
November 1943-January 1944: Sawbridgworth

October 1944: Kelstern
October-November 1944: Dunholme Lodge
November 1944-November 1945: Hemswell

Squadron Codes: TL

1943-January 1944: Tactical Reconnaissance
October 1944-November 1945: Heavy Bomber Squadron

Part of
July 1943-15 January 1944: Second Tactical Air Force
October 1944-November 1945: Bomber Command


Wilfred Earl Weber And the Crew of Lancaster Bomber ME320 - site dedicated to the crew of one bomber of No.170 Squadron


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 (7 January 2010), No. 170 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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