No. 43 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.43 Squadron fought as a Hurricane squadron during the Battle of Britain and in Operation Torch, then as a Spitfire squadron in North Africa and Italy.

No.43 Squadron spent the early months of the Second World War flying defensive patrols in the north of England and Scotland, but moved south in May 1940 to take part in the fighting over Dunkirk. The squadron remained in the south for the first half of the Battle of Britain, operating from Tangmere and Northolt.

From December 1940 the squadron operated from Scotland, flying defensive patrols and acting as a training unit. It returned to the south of England from June-September 1942, flying a mix of daylight sweeps and night intruder missions. The squadron was also involved in the costly failure at Dieppe in August 1942.

These ended in September, when the squadron joined the forces allocated to Operation Torch. It moved to Gibraltar in November, and then later in the month to the newly captured airfield at Maison Blanche.

The squadron's Hurricanes were replaced by Spitfires in February 1943. These aircraft were used during the campaign in North Africa, during the invasions of Sicily, Italy and the south of France. After the campaign in the south of France was over, the squadron returned to Italy, remaining there to the end of the war.

Aircraft
November 1938-April 1941: Hawker Hurricane I
April 1941-August 1942: Hawker Hurricane IIA and IIB
December 1941-August 1942: Hawker Hurricane IIC
September 1942-October 1942: Hawker Hurricane I
November 1942-March 1943: Hawker Hurricane IIC
February 1943-January 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
August 1943-May 1947: Supermarine Spitfire IX
August-November 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VIII

Location
December 1926-November 1939: Tangmere
November 1939-February 1940: Acklington
February-May 1940: Wick
May-September 1940: Tangmere
   July-August 1940: Detachment to Northolt
September-December 1940: Usworth
December 1940-February 1941: Drem
February-March 1941: Crail
March-October 1941: Drem
October 1941-June 1942: Acklington
June-September 1942: Tangmere
September-October 1942: Kirton-on-Lindsey
October-November 1942: Moving to Gibraltar
November 1942: Gibraltar
November 1942-March 1943: Maison Blanche
March-April 1943: Jemappes
April-May 1943: Tingley
May 1943: Nefza
May-June 1943: Mateur
June-July 1943: Hal Far
July 1943: Comiso
July-August 1943: Pachino
August 1943: Panebianco
August-September 1943: Catania
September 1943: Cassala
September 1943: Falcone
September-October 1943: Tusciano
October 1943-January 1944: Capodichino
January-May 1944: Lago
May-June 1944: Nettuno
June 1944: Tre Cancelli
June 1944: Tarquinia
June-July 1944: Grossetto
July 1944: Piombino
July-August 1944: Calvi Main
August 1944: Ramatuelle
August-September 1944: Sisteron
September 1944: Lyon/ Bron
September-October 1944: La Jasse
October-November 1944: Peretola
November 1944-February 1945: Rimini
February-May 1945: Ravenna
May 1945: Rivolto
May-September 1945: Klagenfurt

Squadron Codes: NQ (Hurricane), FT (Hurricane, Spitfire)

Duty
1939-1942: Fighter Command
1942-1945: Fighter Squadron: North Africa, Italy

Books

Hurricane Aces, 1939-40, Tony Holmes. A look at the men who flew the Hawker Hurricane during the first two years of the Second World War, when it was arguably the most important front line fighter in RAF service. This book covers the Phoney War Period, the German invasion of the West, the Battle of Britain and the early use of the Hurricane in North Africa and from Malta. [see more]
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Hurricane Aces 1941-45, Andrew Thomas. This book covers the later career of the Hurricane, starting with its final months as a front line fighter in Britain in 1941 before moving on to look at its career in North Africa, the Mediterranean and over the jungles of Burma [see more]
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Spitfire Mark V Aces, 1941-45, Dr Alfred Price. A well written and nicely balanced look at the combat career of the Spitfire Mk V and of the men who flew it. The Spitfire V fought in more theatres than the more famous Mk I/II, including over France in 1941, on Malta, in North Africa and even in northern Australia. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (1 October 2008), No. 43 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/43_wwII.html

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