No. 25 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.25 Squadron served as a night fighter squadron throughout the Second World War. It had received its Blenheim IFs in December 1938 to replace the obsolete Demon biplane, at a time when the Blenheim was not seen as a night fighter, but experiments during 1939 proved that it could carry the large early AI sets. On 17 July 1939 it was decided to fit radar into 21 Blenheim IFs, and on 31 July deliveries began to No.25 Squadron. At the start of the war the squadron had received 15 AI-equipped aircraft.

The Blenheim was an indifferent night fighter, lacking the speed needed to catch the German bombers it was attempting to intercept. The development of faster, more capable night fighters meant that it was soon replaced by the Bristol Beaufighter, with early examples reaching No.25 Squadron in October 1940, while the last Blenheims left in January 1941. The Beaufighters remained with the squadron until January 1943, by which time the ultimate British night fighter of the war, the de Havilland Mosquito, had begun to enter service. No.25 Squadron would operate the Mosquito until 1951.

No.25 Squadron spent the first three years of the war flying defensive patrols. On 16 February 1943 it began to fly intruder missions over occupied Europe using its newly arrived Mosquito IIs. For the rest of the war the squadron flew a mix of defensive, intruder and bomber support missions.

Aircraft
December 1938-January 1941: Bristol Blenheim IF
August-November 1939: Bristol Blenheim IVF
October 1940-January 1943: Bristol Beaufighter I
July 1941-September 1941: Havoc I
October 1942-February 1944: de Havilland Mosquito NF Mk II
September 1943-February 1945: de Havilland Mosquito FB Mk VI
December 1943-November 1944: de Havilland Mosquito XVII
December 1944-September 1946: de Havilland Mosquito FN Mk 30

Location
22 August-15 September 1939: Northholt
15 September-4 October 1939: Filton
4 October 1939-16 January 1940: Northolt
16 January-19 June 1940: North Weald
19 June-1 September 1940: Martlesham Heath
1 September-8 October 1940: North Weald
8 October-27 November 1940: Debden
27 November 1940-24 January 1942: Wittering
24 January-16 May 1942: Ballyhalbert
16 May 1942-19 December 1943: Church Fenton
19 December 1943-5 February 1944: Acklington
5 February-27 October 1944: Coltishall
26 October 1944-11 January 1946: Castle Camps

Squadron Codes: ZK

Duty
1939-1945: Night Fighter Squadron

Books

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.
cover cover cover
 Mosquito Fighter/ Fighter-Bomber Units of World War 2, Martin Bowman. The second of three books looking the RAF career of the Mosquito covers its use as a night fighter, first on the defensive in the skies over Britain, and then as an intruder over Occupied Europe and Germany, and finishing with a look at the "Mosquito Panic" [see more]
cover cover cover

Bookmark this page: Bookmark with Delicious  Delicious  Bookmark with Facebook  Facebook   Bookmark with StumbleUpon  StumbleUpon

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 May 2008), No. 25 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/25_wwII.html

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us -  Subscribe in a reader - Join our Google Group - Cookies