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No. 226 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. No.226 Squadron was forced to retreat west, and had to be evacuated from Brest in mid-June, reforming at RAF Sydenham in North Ireland.
In the spring of 1941 the squadron moved to East Anglia, and began a series of attacks on German occupied ports and shipping, swapping its Blenheims for Bostons in November 1941 and for Mitchells in May 1943.
In 1944 the squadron became part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, operating in support of the Normandy invasions. As the Allies advanced towards Germany, the squadron moved to France, operating in support of the advancing armies to the end of the war.
October 1937-May 1941: Fairey Battle I
February-November 1941: Bristol Blenheim IV
November 1941-May 1943: Boston III and IIIA
May 1943-September 1945: North American Mitchell II
January-September 1945: North American Mitchell III
16 April 1937-2 September 1939: Harwell
2 September 1939-16 May 1940: Reims/ Champagne
16 May-15 June 1940: Faux-Villecerf
15-16 June 1940: Artins
18-27 June 1940: Thirsk
27 June 1940-26 May 1941: Sydenham
26 May-9 December 1941: Wattisham
9 December 1941-13 February 1944: Swanton Morley
13 February-17 October 1944: Hartfordbridge
17 October 1944-22 April 1945: B.50 Vitry-en-Artois
22 April-20 September 1945: B.77 Gilze-Rijen
Squadron Codes: 226, MQ
26 September 1939: Bomber squadron with No.1 Group, 72 Wing, Advanced Air Striking Force
|Blenheim Squadrons of World War Two, Jon Lake. This book looks at the entire RAF service career of the Bristol Blenheim, from its debut as a promising fast bomber, through the deadly disillusionment of the blitzkrieg, on to its work in the Middle East and Mediterranean, where the aircraft found a new lease of life. Lake also looks at the use of the Blenheim as an interim fighter aircraft and its use by Coastal Command.|
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 March 2007), No. 226 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/226_wwII.html