No. 190 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.190 Squadron went through two very different incarnations during the Second World War. The squadron formed on 1 March 1943 as part of Coastal Command, and spent the rest of 1943 carrying out anti-submarine patrols over the North Atlantic, using the Catalina flying boat. This first incarnation of the squadron was disbanded on 31 December 1943

On 5 January 1944 the squadron reformed as specialist airborne forces squadron. Its new duties included glider towing and supply drops, and it was expected to play a major part in the upcoming invasion of France. On D-Day the squadron flew two sorties, one with twenty-three aircraft full of paratroops and the second with eighteen aircraft towing gliders.

No.190 was again heavily engaged during Operation Market Garden. On the first two days it flew 40 glider-towing and six supply drop sorties. As the battle began to go wrong, No.190 squadron made another 53 supply dropping flights, losing eleven aircraft during the battle of Arnhem.

No.190 squadron was also heavily involved in the Rhine crossings of March 1945, and in the advance into Germany in April, when it was used to carry fuel to the advancing armies. Finally, in May 1945 the squadron was used to ferry troops to Norway to take the German surrender there. After the war the squadron performed normal transport duties before being renumbered as No.295 Squadron on 21 January 1946.

Aircraft
March-December 1943: Catalina Ib
October-December 1943: Catalina IV
January 1944-May 1945: Short Stirling IV
May 1945-January 1946: Handley Page Halifax III
May 1945-January 1946: Handley Page Halifax VII

Location
1 March-31 December 1943: Sullom Voe

5 January-25 March 1944: Leicester East
25 March-14 October 1944: Fairford
14 October 1944-21 January 1946: Great Dunmow

Squadron Codes: E, U, L9, G5

Duty
March-December 1943: Coastal Command anti-submarine patrols
January 1944-January 1946: Transport/ Glider Towing squadron with No. 38 Group
January 1946: Renumbered as No. 295 Squadron

Books
Review of Halifax Squadrons by John lake Halifax Squadrons of World War II , Jon Lake. This is a very good book on the combat record of the Handley Page Halifax. It covers much more than just its role as a front line bomber, with chapters on the Halifax with Coastal Command, the Pathfinders and SOE, amongst others. [see more] cover cover cover
RAF Coastal Command in Action, 1939-45, Roy C. Nesbit. This is an excellent photographic history of Coastal Command during the Second World War. The book is split into six chapters, one for each year of the war. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction to the events of the year, and the aircraft that equipped the command before moving on to the photos. Each chapter contains a mix of pictures of the aircraft used by the command and pictures taken by the command. [see more] cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 March 2007), No. 190 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/190_wwII.html

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