No. 515 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.515 Squadron began its existence as an experimental electronic counter-measures squadron, before joining No.100 Group and ending the war as a Mosquito intruder squadron.

The squadron was formed on 1 October 1942 from the Defiant Flight, an experimental unit that provided aircraft for the Telecommunications Research Establishment and the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment. The Defiant was seen as a suitable aircraft for their experiments, at least in part because it was no longer usable as fighter.

These aircraft were used in Operation ‘Moonshine’, jamming German radar sets in an attempt to protect the bomber stream. By 1943 larger aircraft had taken over the electronic counter measures role, and the task had become so important that No.100 Group had been formed to perform it. In June 1943 No.515 Squadron began to convert to the Beaufighter, but in August it became non-operational.

In January 1944 the squadron joined No.100 Group, and in February it converted to the Mosquito. These aircraft were used for night intruder missions over occupied Europe, intended to disrupt German night fighter operations. The first intruder mission was flown on 5 March 1944, and the squadron performed this role until the end of the war. The squadron was disbanded on 10 June 1945.

Aircraft
December 1942-December 1943: Boulton Paul Defiant
June 1943-February 1944: Bristol Beaufighter IIF
February-March 1944: de Havilland Mosquito II
March 1944-June 1945: de Havilland Mosquito VI

Location
October 1942: Northolt
October 1942-May 1943: Heston
May-December 1943: Hunsdon
December 1943-June 1945: Little Snoring

Squadron Codes: P, N, 3P

Duty
1942-1943: Experimental counter-measures
1944-1945: Counter-measures, No.100 Group

Part of

Books

Thunder Bird in Bomber Command, Sean Feast. A biography of Lionel Anderson, the brother of Gerry Anderson, covering his all too brief career in the RAF during the Second World War, and built around the lively letters he sent home while training in the United States, covering his flying training, descriptions of the local area and adventures while on leave. Concludes with a look at his period of active service, which tragically ended on his first mission on the de Havilland Mosquito. The result is a very entertaining biography that covers an unusual area of the RAF experience of the war [read full review]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 January 2012), No. 515 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/515_wwII.html

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