No. 58 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

At the start of the Second World War No. 58 Squadron was part of RAF Bomber Command, equipped with the Whitley bomber, but it would spend most of the war serving with Coastal Command.

The squadron was first attached to Coastal Command from October 1939 until February 1940, in the period before Bomber Command began offensive operations. During this period the squadron carried out convoy escort patrols.

The squadron returned to Bomber Command in February 1940. Another quiet period followed, before the start of the German invasion of Norway. No. 58 Squadron carried out its first bombing raid on 17 April 1940, and remained with Bomber Command for the next two years.

In April 1942 the squadron was returned to Coastal Command, this time as an anti-submarine squadron. It continued to perform this role until the autumn of 1944, with a break at the end of 1942 while the squadron converted to the Halifax. For most of this period the squadron was operating over the Western Approaches, before moving north to Scotland.

In October 1944 the squadron switched from anti-submarine duties to anti-shipping duties, carrying out attacks on German shipping off the coast of Norway and in the Skaggerak.

Aircraft
May 1939-March 1940: Armstrong Whitworth Whitley III
March 1940-December 1942: Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V
May 1942-December 1942: Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V
December 1942-March 1945: Handley Page Halifax GR Mk. II
March 1945-May 1945: Handley Page Halifax GR Mk. III

Location
20 April 1938-6 October 1939: Linton-on-Ouse
6 October 1939-14 February 1940: Boscombe Down
14 February 1942-8 April 1942: Linton-on-Ouse
8 April 1942-30 August 1942: St. Eval
29 July 1942-11 August 1492: Detachment at Wick
30 August-2 December 1942: Stornoway
2 December 1942-6 December 1943: Holmsley South, Hampshire
31 March 1943-29 June 1943: Detachment at St. Eval, Cornwall
6 December 1943-28 August 1944: St. Davids
28 August 1944-25 May 1945: Stornoway

Squadron Codes: BY

Group and Duty
On 26 September 1939: Bomber squadron with No. 4 Group
October 1939-February 1940: Coastal Command
February 1940-April 1942: Bomber Command
April 1942-August 1944: Anti-submarine squadron with No. 19 Group
September 1944 onwards: Coastal Command, ASV squadron, No. 18 Group at Stronoway
Disbanded: 25 May 1945

Books

Review of Halifax Squadrons by John lake Halifax Squadrons of World War II , Jon Lake. This is a very good book on the combat record of the Handley Page Halifax. It covers much more than just its role as a front line bomber, with chapters on the Halifax with Coastal Command, the Pathfinders and SOE, amongst others. [see more]
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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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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 January 2008), No. 58 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/58_wwII.html

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