No. 244 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.244 Squadron served in the Middle East for the entire Second World War, first as a patrol and army co-operation squadron and later as an anti-submarine squadron. On 21 August 1939 S Squadron was formed at Habbaniya in Iraq, to carry out patrol duties. The squadron moved south to Shaibah in September 1940, and was redesignated as No.244 Squadron on 1 November 1940. It was equipped with aging Vickers Vincents.

The squadron had a quiet war patrolling over Iraq until the Iraqi uprising of May 1941. Although the situation around Shaibah wasn't as critical as at Habbaniya, the squadron was kept busy, bombing troop concentrations and the railway to Baghdad. Things were quiet again after the defeat of the uprising, although the squadron did fly some patrols over Persia in August 1941.

In January 1942 the squadron trained on Oxfords in preparation for the arrival of twin engined Blenheims. The squadron went operational with its Blenheims in May 1942 at Sharjah, from where it few anti-submarine patrols. The last Vincent went in January 1943, and the first Wellington arrived in February 1944. In March 1944 the squadron moved to Masirah, where it was officially part of South East Asia command, although it remained under the operational control of RAF Middle East. The squadron was fully converted to the Wellington in April, and anti-submarine patrols continued until the squadron was disbanded on 1 May 1945. During this period the squadron was responsible for the sinking of one U-boat, U-244 which was sunk in the Gulf of Oman on 16 October 1943.

Aircraft
November 1940-January 1943: Vickers Vincent I
April 1942-January 1943: Bristol Blenheim IV
October 1942-April 1944: Bristol Blenheim V
February 1944-May 1945: Vickers Wellington XIII

Location
November 1940-March 1944: Shaibah
    January-May 1942: Detachment to Sharjah
March 1944-May 1945: Masirah

Squadron Codes: G, F, Q

Duty
1939-1942: Patrols over Iraq and Iran
1942-1945: Anti-submarine patrols

Part of
11 November 1941: Air HQ Iraq; RAF Middle East
27 October 1942: No.215 Group; Air HQ Iraq; RAF Middle East
10 July 1943: No.215 Group; Air HQ Iraq and Persia; RAF Middle East; Mediterranean Air Command
1 July 1944: No.222 Group; Air Command South-East Asia (controlled by A.H.Q. Aden)

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 July 2011), No. 244 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/244_wwII.html

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