No. 179 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.179 Squadron was an anti-submarine squadron that served in the Mediterranean before returning to the UK in April 1944.

The squadron was formed on 1 September 1942 around a detached flight from No.172 Squadron, and like the older squadron was equipped with Leigh Light Wellingtons. The squadron moved to Gibraltar to help protect the convoys supporting Operation Torch, although it arrived after the first convoys had passed through the danger zone. During its time operating off North Africa the squadron was very succesful, sinking seven U-boats between U-211 in May 1943 and U-542 in November 1943.

The squadron returned to England in April 1944 and flew anti-submarine patrols over the Bay and Biscay and the Western Approaches to the end of the war. The Wellingtons were replaced with the Vickers Warwick in November 1944, and scored its last victory of the war with the new aircraft, sinking U-927 on 24 February 1945.

In February 1946 the squadron began to convert to the Avro Lancaster. One flight, 179Y, kept the Warwicks until May while 179X converted straight away. Once the entire squadron had converted, 179Y Flight became No.210 Squadron. 'X' flight remained as No.179 Squadron until it was disbanded on 30 September 1946, when the remaining aircraft and crews moved to No.210.





22 October 1942

NE of Faroe Islands


18 May 1943

NE of Azores


9 July 1943

Off Portugal


24 August 1943

SW of Cape Finistere


8 September 1943

Interned at Vigo after attack by 179 sqn


12 September 1943

Near Melilla, N Africa, beached after attack by 179


24 October 1943

NW of Cape Ortegal

U-542 26 November 1943 N. Atlantic, north of Madeira, all hands lost


24 February 1945

English Channel

September 1942-August 1943: Vickers Wellington VIII
August 1943-November 1944: Vickers Wellington XIV
November 1944-May 1946: Vickers Warwick V
February-September 1946: Avro Lancaster ASR.3

September-November 1942: Skitten
November 1942-April 1944: Gibraltar
April-September 1944: Predannack
September 1944: Chivenor
September-October 1944: Benbecula
October-November 1944: Chivenor
November 1944-September 1946: St. Eval

Squadron Codes: M, X, OZ

1943-1944: Anti-submarine, Mediterranean
1944-1945: Anti-submarine, Coastal Command

Part of
15 February 1943: HQ RAF Gibraltar with detachment in No.19 Group; both Coastal Command
10 July 1943: AHQ Gibraltar; Mediterranean Air Command


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.
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (17 January 2011), No. 179 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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