No. 24 "Commonwealth" Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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Throughout the Second World War No.24 Squadron served as a communications and transport squadron, operating a wide range of aircraft. When war broke out it had been planned to replace the mixed bag of aircraft then in use with twenty Miles Mentors, but this plan had to be abandoned, and the squadron would not begin to concentrate on a single type until April 1942.

As the senior transport squadron it often carried V.I.P.s. In March 1943 it was given the task of operating Churchill's personal Avro York, soon named "Ascalon". The first two production Yorks were also given to the squadron, also as V.I.P. transports. The month after the arrival of the first York, the squadron began to standardise on the Douglas Dakota. The smaller aircraft remained with the squadron until August 1943, when they were transferred to No.512 Squadron.

The scope of the squadron's operations reflects the nature of the war. From 1939 until the summer of 1940 No.24 frequently flew into France. From 1940 until April 1942 the majority of flights were within Britain. In that month the squadron joined Ferry Command and began to operate between Britain and Malta. In the last few years of the war the squadron was used to transport Churchill and other key personnel to the wartime conferences.

From 1920 to April 1943 No.24 Squadron used a mix of aircraft in small numbers, amongst them the Hudson I, Hudson V, Percival Proctor I, Ensign, Douglas DC-3, Savoia-Marchetti S-73, Curtiss Cleveland, Blackburn Roc, Hind, Wellington XVI, Reliant and Skymaster I

April 1943-December 1950: Douglas Dakota I, Dakota III and Dakota IV
May 1943-November 1951: Avro York C.I

8 July 1933-25 February 1946: Hendon

Squadron Codes: NQ, U

1920-April 1942: Communications
April 1942 onwards: Ferry Command


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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 May 2008), No. 24 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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