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No. 61 Squadron was reformed in 1937 as a bomber squadron. In the two years before the war it was equipped with four different types of aircraft, starting with the Hawker Audax, then the Avro Anson, followed by the Bristol Blenheim and finally the Handley Page Hampden.
The squadron went to war with the Hampden, with the first operation over Germany coming on 24 February 1940. The squadron would spent the rest of the war operating as a night bomber squadron with Bomber Command. It was one of the small number of squadrons to use the troubled Avro Manchester. The slow delivery of the Manchester meant that the squadron operated both aircraft from July 1941 when the first Manchesters arrived, through to October 1941 when the Hampdens finally left. The squadron struggled on with the Manchester for six months, before converting to the Avro Lancaster in 1942, retaining that aircraft for the rest of the war.
February 1939-October 1941: Handley Page Hampden I
July 1941-June 1942: Avro Manchester I
June 1942-May 1946: Avro Lancaster I and Lancaster III
8 March 1937-17 July 1941: Hemswell
17 July 1941-November 1941: North Luffenham
November 1941-5 May 1942: Woolfox Lodge
5 May 1942-16 November 1943: Syerston
16 November 1943-1 February 1944: Skellingthorpe
1 February-15 April 1944: Coningsby
15 April 1944-16 June 1945: Skellingthorpe
Group and Duty
Bomber squadron with No. 5 Group