No. 218 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No. 218 Squadron began the war as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force, making it one of the first squadrons to be sent to France. The Fairey Battle suffered very heavy loses during the Battle of France. By the time the squadron was evacuated to Britain on 13 June 1940, not one of No.218 Squadron's aircraft remained intact, and the squadron would never reequip with the type. Instead it operated the Bristol Blenheim from July-November 1940, carrying out attacks on the German invasion barges.

In November 1940 the squadron moved to No.3 Group, converted to the Vickers Wellington, and on 22 December 1940 carried out its first night raid with the new aircraft. The squadron was part of the main bomber force until the end of the war, converting to the Short Stirling in February 1942 and the Avro Lancaster in 1945.

Aircraft
January 1938-June 1940: Fairey Battle I
July-November 1940: Bristol Blenheim IV
November 1940-February 1942: Vickers Wellington IC
March 1941-December 1941: Vickers Wellington II
January 1942-April 1943: Short Stirling I
April 1943-August 1944: Short Stirling III
August 1944-August 1945: Avro Lancaster I and Lancaster III

Location
22 April 1938-2 September 1939: Boscombe Down
2 September 1939-15 May 1940: Suippes
15-16 May 1940: Moscou Ferme
16-21 May 1940: St. Lucien Ferme
21 May-13 June 1940: Chateau Bougon
13 June-18 July 1940: Mildenhall
18 July-25 November 1940: Oakington
25 November 1940-7 July 1942: Marham
7 July 1942-7 March 1944: Downham Market
7 March-4 August 1944: Woolfox Lodge
4 August-5 December 1944: Methwold
5 December 1944-10 August 1945: Chedburgh

Squadron Codes: 218, HA

Duty
26 September 1939: Bomber squadron with No.1 Group, 75 Wing, Advanced Air Striking Force
November 1940: Transferred to No.3 Group

Books
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
Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45, Jon Lake. A well balanced look at the career of the Avro Lancaster in 1944-45, the period most famous for the systematic night bombardment of German cities. This was also the period that saw the Lancaster used to support the invasion of France, and the period that saw 617 Squadron drop Barnes Wallis's huge streamlined bombs with great precision. [see more] Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45 at Amazon.co.uk Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45 at Amazon.com Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45 at Amazon.ca

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 March 2007), No. 218 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/218_wwII.html

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