No. 183 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.183 Squadron was a fighter-bomber squadron that operated with Second Tactical Air Force, taking part in the Battle of Normandy and advance into Germany.

The squadron was formed at Church Fenton on 1 November 1942 and was to be equipped with the Hawker Typhoon. This aircraft's teething troubles meant that the squadron was not declared operational until 5 April 1943 and its first cross-channel sortie didn't come until 19 April.

In September the squadron moved to Cornwall, from where it attacked enemy shipping and airfields. Rockets replaced bombs in November, and were used for the rest of the war. In February 1944 the squadron moved to the south east of England, and began to attack V-1 sites and enemy communications in northern France. 

The squadron moved to Normandy soon after D-Day and was used to support the army, attacking enemy tanks and transport in the battle area. On 20 August the squadron (along with aircraft from three other squadrons) helped to defeat a German panzer counterattack near Chambois, relieving severe pressure on the Polish Armoured Brigade.

The squadron was used to support the Allied landings on Walcheren Island on 1 November 1944, attacking the German defenders of the island just before the first landing craft reached the shore. 

By the end of November the squadron was based in the Netherlands, but in January 1945 it moved to Chièvres to support American troops during the Ardennes offensive.

On 1 January 1945 Nos.183 and 164 Squadrons were caught up in the aftermath of Operation Bodenplatte, the last major Luftwaffe operation of the war. They were coming in to land at the US base at Asch, but their Typhoons werre mistaken for Fw 190s and they were attacked by the Americans. One pilot was killed, one aircraft lost and two damaged in the resulting skirmish.

In mid-April 1945 the squadron moved to Germany, and continued to attack German communications and provide close support on the battlefield to the end of the war.

In June 1945 the squadron flew its Typhoons back to the UK, leaving them at Milfield. It then began to convert to the Spitfire, before in August moved to the Hawker Tempest. The squadron was renumbered as No.54 Squadron on 15 November 1945.

Aircraft
November 1942-June 1945: Hawker Typhoon IA and IB
June-August 1945: Supermarine Spitfire IX
August-November 1945: Hawker Tempest II

Location
November 1942-March 1943: Church Fenton
March 1943: Cranfield
March 1943: Snailwell
March 1943: Church Fenton
March-April 1943: Colerne
April-May 1943: Gatwick
May 1943: Lasham
May-June 1943: Colerne
June-August 1943: Harrowbeer
August-September 1943: Tangmere
September-October 1943: Perranporth
October 1943-February 1944: Predannack
February-March 1944: Tangmere
March-April 1944: Manston
April-June 1944: Thorney Island
June 1944: Funtington
June-July 1944: Hurn
July 1944: Eastchurch
July-September 1944: B.7 Martragny
September 1944: B.23 Morainville
September 1944: B.35 Baromesnil
September-October 1944: B.53 Merville
October-November 1944: B.67 Ursel
November 1944-January 1945: B.77 Gilze-Rijen
January 1945: A.84 Chievres
January-March 1945: B.77 Gilze-Rijen
March-April 1945: B.91 Kluis
April 1945: B.103 Plantlunne
April-June 1945: B.116 Wunstorf
June 1945: Milfield
June-October 1945: Chilbolton
October -November 1945: Fairwood Common

Squadron Codes: HF

Duty
1942-1945: Fighter bomber squadron

Part of
6 June 1944: No.136 Wing; No.84 Group; Second Tactical Air Force; HQ Allied Expeditionary Air Force

Books

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (21 January 2011), No. 183 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/183_wwII.html

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