No. 517 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.517 Squadron was a meteorological squadron, forming as part of Coastal Command from No.1404 (Met) Flight in August 1943. A shortage of Halifaxes meant that the squadron was initially equipped with Hampdens and Hudsons, and even had to borrow four B-17F Flying Fortresses from the 379th Squadron, USAAF, to fill a gap between the end of Hudson and Hampden operations and the arrival of the Halifax. The squadron's main duty was to carry out meteorological flights over the western approaches, to help forecast the weather.

After the arrival of the Halifax in November 1943 the squadron moved to Pembrokeshire, continuing to carry out weather flights while also performing anti-submarine patrol duties.

Aircraft
August-October 1943: Handley Page Hampden I
August 1943-September 1943: Lockheed Hudson III
September 1943-23 November 1943: Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress (from 378th Squadron, USAAF)
November 1943 to June 1945: Handley Page Halifax Met.Mk V
March 1945 to June 1946: Handley Page Halifax Met.Mk III

Location
11 August-26 November 1943: St. Eval
26 November 1943-1 February 1944: St. Davids
1 February 1944 to 26 November 1945: Brawdy
26 November 1945 to 21 June 1946: Chivenor

Squadron Codes: X9

Duty
November 1943 onwards: Meteorological Squadron with 19 Group, Coastal Command
June 1946: Disbanded

Books

RAF Coastal Command in Action, 1939-45, Roy C. Nesbit. This is an excellent photographic history of Coastal Command during the Second World War. The book is split into six chapters, one for each year of the war. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction to the events of the year, and the aircraft that equipped the command before moving on to the photos. Each chapter contains a mix of pictures of the aircraft used by the command and pictures taken by the command. [see more]
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Lockheed Hudson Aircraft in WWII, Andrew Hendrie, Crowood Press. A look at the development of the Hudson, and its career with the RAF, USAAF, RNZAF and RAAF. Covers the anti-submarine and anti-shipping uses of the Hudson, as well at its role in Air-Sea Rescue and special operations. The text is supported by a good collection of first hand accounts.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 March 2007), No. 517 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/517_wwII.html

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