No. 644 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No. 644 Squadron was formed around a nucleus from No. 298 Squadron on 23 February 1944, in preparation for the invasion of Europe. In the months before D-Day it carried out a mix of glider-towing practice and supply-drop flights over occupied Europe.

On the morning of D-Day No.644 Squadron towed three gliders in the force that attacked the coastal gun batteries before the main landings, and seventeen gliders for the main assault. It also provided twenty aircraft on the first day at Arnhem and thirty for the crossing of the Rhine. The squadron also carried out supply dropping missions over Norway. During 1945 it was also used to carry out tactical bombing strikes in advance of the Allies armies. At the end of the war the squadron was used to carry troops to Norway to accept the German surrender, and to return POWs to Britain.

Aircraft
March 1944 to December 1944: Handley Page Halifax A.Mk V
August 1944 to November 1945: Handley Page Halifax A.Mk III
March 1945 to September 1946: Handley Page Halifax A.Mk VII
August-September 1946: Handley Page Halifax A.Mk IX

Location
25 February 1944 to November 1945: Tarrant Rushton
November 1945 to 1 September 1946: Qastina, Palestine

Squadron Codes: 9U, 2P

Duty
February 1944 to September 1946: Glider tug squadron with No. 38 Group, Allied Expeditionary Air Force

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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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 March 2007), No. 644 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/644_wwII.html

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