No. 49 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Location - Group and Duty - Books

No.49 Squadron had been created from C Flight of No.18 Squadron in 1936. By the start of the Second World War it was equipped with the Handley Page Hampden, which it kept until 1942. Like most Bomber Command units No.49 Squadron spent the first few months of the war on a mix of reconnaissance, mine laying and leaflet dropping duties, while the Allied governments held their bombers back.

That caution ended on 11 May 1940, when the squadron began operations over Germany. It remained part of the main bomber force until the end of the war, first with the Hampden, then with the Avro Manchester, and after that aircraft was withdrawn with the Avro Lancaster.

Aircraft
September 1938-April 1942:  Handley Page Hampden
April-July 1942: Avro Manchester I
July 1942-March 1950: Avro Lancaster I and Lancaster III

Location
14 March 1938-2 January 1943: Scampton
2 January 1943-16 October 1944: Fiskerton
16 October 1944-22 April 1945: Fulbeck
22 April-28 September 1945: Syerston

Squadron Codes:

Group and Duty
26 September 1939: Bomber squadron with No. 5 Group

Books

Bomber Offensive, Sir Arthur Harris. The autobiography of Bomber Harris, giving his view of the strategic bombing campaign in its immediate aftermath. Invaluable for the insights it provides into Harris’s approach to the war, what he was trying to achieve and the problems he faced. Harris perhaps overstates his case, not entirely surprisingly given how soon after the end of the war this book was written (Read Full Review)
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Lancaster Squadron 1942-43, Jon Lake. This book looks at the early career of the Avro Lancaster. During this period the Lancaster was just one of a number of aircraft used by Bomber Command, important amongst them the Wellington, the Stirling and the Halifax. Only by the end of this period do we see the Lancaster begin to emerge as the most important aircraft in Bomber Command. Lake covers the wide range of activities performed by the Lancaster squadrons during this squadron, including the famous Dam Busters raid. [see more]
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Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45, Jon Lake. A well balanced look at the career of the Avro Lancaster in 1944-45, the period most famous for the systematic night bombardment of German cities. This was also the period that saw the Lancaster used to support the invasion of France, and the period that saw 617 Squadron drop Barnes Wallis's huge streamlined bombs with great precision. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 March 2007), No. 49 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/49_wwII.html

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