No. 193 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.193 Squadron was a Typhoon squadron that served as a fighter squadron in 1943 before becoming a fighter-bomber squadron and joining Second Tactical Air Force at the start of 1944.

The squadron was formed on 18 December 1942 at Harrowbeer as a fighter squadron, and was given a few Hurricanes. The first Typhoons arrived in January 1943, and the squadron flew its first operation on 1 April 1943. The squadron was used to catch enemy fighter-bombers making smash and grab attacks on towns on the south coast, and to escort fighter-bombers attacking enemy coastal shipping. The arrival of drop tanks also allowed the squadron to operate some way into France, as seen on 1 December when No.193 and 266 Squadrons provided cover for a shipping strike off southern Brittany.

In January 1944 the squadron's aircraft began to carry 500lb bombs and began a series of attacks on enemy communications, bases and flying bomb sites. The squadron moved to the south-east of England in February 1944, and on 20 February joined No.136 Wing, No.84 Group, part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force. The squadron moved to No.146 Wing in April, and remained with that unit to the end of the Second World War.

On 23 May the squadron took part in an attack on a railway tunnel in which both ends of the tunnel were sealed while a train was inside.

On 27 June the squadron took part in an attack on the HQ of General Dohlman's infantry division in the St Lo area in which Dohlman was killed and the division's HQ badly disrupted.

On 29 June the squadron was involved in one of the few major dog-fights with German aircraft to be fought by Typhoons from 2nd Tactical Air Force, claiming five of the nine victories claimed during June.

The squadron moved to Normandy in mid-July, after an earlier attempt to make the move was abandoned after their new airfield came under artillery fire. The squadron's main role over the next few months was to support the army during the battle of Normandy and the breakout. 

On 17 July Feldmarschall Erwin Rommel was badly injured when his staff car was attacked by British fighters. At the time No.193 Squadron was given the credit for the attack, but post-war research suggests that the squadron's Typhoons were not operating in the right area at the time.

In October the squadron reached Belgium, from where it flew offensive sweeps over Germany, attacking transport targets and troops.

On 24 October the squadron took part in an attack on the HQ of the German 15th Army in a part in the centre of Dordrecht, in which two generals, 17 staff officers and 36 other officers were killed.

The squadron then focused its attentions on isolated strong points around Arnhem and Nijmegen, as well as attacking a 'human torpedo' factory at Utrecht on 4 November. The squadron also took part in a successful attack on the Gestapo HQ in Amsterdam on 26 November.

The squadron moved to German in April 1945 to take part in the final offensives of the war, before disbanding on 31 August 1945.

Aircraft
January-February 1943: Hawker Hurricane I and Hurricane IIC
January 1943-August 1945: Hawker Typhoon IB

Location
December 1942-August 1943: Harrowbeer
August-September 1943: Gravesend
September 1943-February 1944: Harrowbeer
February-March 1944: Fairlop
March-April 1944: Thorney Island
April 1944: Llanbedr
April-July 1944: Need's Oar Point
July 1944: Hurn
July 1944: B.15 Ryes
July-September 1944: B.3 St. Croix
September 1944: Manston
September 1944: B.51 Lille-Vendeville
September 1944-October 1944: Fairwood Common
October 1944-February 1945: B.70 Deurne
February-April 1945: B.89 Mill
April 1945: B.105 Drope
April-June 1945: B.111 Ahlhorn
June-August 1945: R.16 Hildesheim

Squadron Codes: DP

Duty
1942-January 1944: Home based fighter squadron
January 1944 onwards; Fighter Bomber squadron, 2nd Tactical Air Force

Part of
20 February 1944-6 April 1944: No.136 Wing; No.84 Group; 2nd TAF
6-11 April 1944: APC Llanbedr
11 April-18 September 1944: No.146 Wing; No.84 Group; 2nd TAF
18 September-6 October 1944: APC Fairwood Common
6 October 1944 onwards: No.146 Wing; No.84 Group; 2nd TAF

Books

Typhoon and Tempest Aces of World War War 2, Chris Thomas. This book tells the tale of the troubled Hawker Typhoon, concentrating on its use as a fighter rather than its more successful career as a ground attack aircraft, and its transformation into the excellent Tempest, one of the best fighters of the later years of the Second World War [see more]
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (11 February 2011), No. 193 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/193_wwII.html

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