No. 20 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.20 Squadron moved to India in June 1919, and spent the next twenty-two years patrolling the borders of British India, especially the North West Frontier.

In December 1941, at the outbreak of war with Japan, the squadron replaced its Audaxes and Blenheims with the Westland Lysander. At this point the squadron was based at Secunderabad, in Andhra Pradesh on the east coast of India, but it would not enter combat against the Japanese until July 1942, after another brief posting to the north west.

From July-October 1942 the squadron used its Lysanders to fly tactical reconnaissance and to cooperate with the Chinese army in Burma. The squadron then moved to the Arakan, flying army co-operation missions.

In February 1943 the squadron began to convert to the Hawker Hurricane, marking a switch to the ground attack role against the Japanese in Burma. In March the first 40mm cannon armed Hurricane IIDs arrived, and in December the squadron began to fly anti-tank operations. Although the squadron retained it's Hurricane IIDs to the end of the war, between August and December 1944 it was withdrawn from the front to equip with the Hurricane IV, the ultimate ground attack version of the aircraft, armed with either 40mm cannon or rockets. In December 1944 the squadron resumed operations, flying ground attack missions with rocket armed aircraft.

On 18 May 1945 the squadron was withdrawn again, in preparation for the arrival of the Spitfire VIII, but this aircraft did not arrive until September, and the squadron didn't take it into combat. Instead, soon after the Japanese surrender the squadron moved to Thailand, remaining there into 1946.

December 1935-December 1941: Hawker Audax
June-December 1941: Bristol Blenheim I
December 1941-May 1943: Westland Lysander II
February 1943-May 1943: Hawker Hurricane IIB
March 1943-September 1945: Hawker Hurricane IID
December 1944-September 1945: Hawker Hurricane IV
September 1945-April 1946: Supermarine Spitfire VIII

29 August-30 October 1939: Miramshah (Pakistan)
30 October 1939-8 April 1940: Peshawar
8 April 1940-10 June 1941: Kohat
10 June 1941-2 March 1942: Secunderabad/ Begumpet (Andhra Pradesh)
2 March-1 May 1942: Peshawar (Pakistan)
1 May-11 December 1942: Jamshedpur (Eastern India)
11 December 1942-16 May 1943: Chharra
16 May-30 November 1943: Kalyanpur
30 November 1943-25 February 1944: Nidania
25 February-25 May 1944: Madhaibunia (Madarboniya, NW Burmese coast)
25 May-23 July 1944: Chiringa (Chakeri, SE Bangladesh)
23 July-20 September 1944: Kajamalai (Trichinopoly)
20 September-20 December 1944: St. Thomas Mount
20 December 1944-16 January 1945: Sapam
16 January-13 February 1945: Thazi
13 February-13 April 1945: Monywa
13-28 April 1945: Thedaw
28 April-8 May 1945: Toungoo/ Tennant
8 May-5 June 1945: Thedaw
5-7 June 1945: Chettinad
7 June-27 August 1945: St. Thomas Mount
27 August-30 September 1945: Amarda Road

Squadron Codes: HN, Z

1939-May 1942: North West Frontier
July-October 1942: Tactical reconnaissance and liason over Burma
October 1942-February 1943: Army co-operation, Arakan
December 1943-September 1945: Anti-tank/ ground attack, Burma


Hurricane Aces 1941-45, Andrew Thomas. This book covers the later career of the Hurricane, starting with its final months as a front line fighter in Britain in 1941 before moving on to look at its career in North Africa, the Mediterranean and over the jungles of Burma [see more]
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 May 2008), No. 20 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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