No. 260 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.260 Squadron was a fighter squadron that briefly served in Scotland, before moving to the Mediterranean, where it remained for the rest of the war, acting as a fighter-bomber squadron.

The squadron was reformed on 22 November 1940, and became operational in the north of Scotland, flying a mix of air defence and convoy patrols. In April 1941 the squadron was withdrawn to prepare to move overseas, and in August it reached Egypt. On 11 August the squadron resumed operations, providing part of the air defence of Palestine and the Lebanon.

In October the squadron moved to the Western Desert, where it began to fly a mix of ground attack and bomber escort missions. The squadron also took part in the Allied invasion of Vichy occupied Syria in the summer of 1941. The Hurricanes were replaced with Kittyhawks in February 1942, and the Mustang in April 1944, and both of these aircraft were used in the fighter bomber role.

The squadron took part in the defeat at Gazala, and advanced with the army from El Alamein into Tunisia. It moved onto Sicily soon after the Allied landings, then onto Italy, where it was used to support the army. In April 1944 the Mustangs arrived, and the squadron's area of operations expanded to include Italy and Yugoslavia. This later duty involving flying the squadron's single engined aircraft over one hundred miles of open sea twice during each mission. The squadron was disbanded on 19 August 1945.

Aircraft
November 1940-February 1942: Hawker Hurricane I
February 1942-May 1943: Curtiss Kittyhawk I and II
December 1942-April 1944: Curtiss Kittyhawk III
April 1944-August 1945: North American Mustang III
June-August 1945: North American Mustang IV

Location
November-December 1940: Castletown
December 1940-January 1941: Skitten
January-February 1941: Castletown
February-April 1941: Skitten
April-May 1941: Drem

August-October 1941: Haifa
October-November 1941: LG.115
November 1941: LG.109
November-December 1941: LG.124
December 1941: Sidi Rezegh
December 1941: Gazala 2
December 1941-January 1942: Msus
January 1942: Antelat
January-February 1942: Benina
February 1942: LG.101
February-March 1942: LG.115
March-May 1942: Gasr el Arid
May-June 1942: Gambut 2
June 1942: Bir el Baheira
June 1942: LG.76
June-July 1942: LG.115 and LG.85
July-November 1942: LG.97
November 1942: LG.75
November 1942: Sidi Azeiz
November 1942: Gambut Main
November 1942: Gazala
November-December 1942: Martuba 4
December 1942: Belandah
December 1942: Marble Arch
December 1942-January 1943: Gzina
January 1943: Hamraiet 1
January 1943: Hamraiet 3
January 1943: Bir Dufan
January 1943: Sedada
January 1943: Bir Dufan
January-February 1943: Castel Benito
February 1943: Sorman
February-March 1943: El Assa
March 1943: Ben Gardane
March 1943: Nefatia
March-April 1943: Medenine Main
April 1943: El Hamma
April 1943: El Djem
April-May 1943: Kairouan
May-July 1943: Zuara
July 1943: Luqa
July-August 1943: Pachino
August-September 1943: Agnone
September-October 1943: Bari
October 1943: Foggia Main
October 1943-January 1944: Mileni
January-May 1944: Cutella
May-June 1944: San Angelo
June 1944: Guidonia
June-July 1944: Falerium
July-August 1944: Crete
August-November 1944: Iesi
November 1944-February 1944: Fano
February-May 1945: Cervia
May-August 1945: Lavariano

Squadron Codes: J, HS

Duty
1940-1941: Home based fighter squadron
1941-1943: Fighter/ fighter-bomber squadron North Africa
1943-1945: Fighter-bomber squadron, Italy and Balkans

Part of
11 November 1941: No.262 Wing; AHQ Western Desert; Middle East Command
27 October 1942: No.233 Wing; No.211 Group; AHQ Western Desert; RAF Middle East
10 July 1943: No.239 Wing; Desert Air Force; North African Tactical Air Force; Northwest African Air Forces; Mediterranean Air Command

Books

The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force 1942-1945, Bryn Evans. . Looks at the activities of the RAF's tactical air force in the North Africa and Italian Theatres, where it developed many of the close support techniques used with greater fame by 2nd Tactical Air Force in Normandy. This is a valuable account of the services of a key, but often overlooked, part of the wartime RAF. [read full review]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 July 2011), No. 260 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/260_wwII.html

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