No. 680 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.680 Squadron was a photographic reconnaissance squadron that served in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans from its formation in 1943 until early in 1945 when it was withdrawn to Egypt for mapping duties.

The squadron was formed at L.G.219 (Matariya) on 1 February 1943 from No.2 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit. The new squadron was equipped with Spitfires and Beaufighters and performed two duties - the aircraft based at L.G.219 operated over the Greek Islands, while A Flight at Castel Benito flew missions over enemy bases in North Africa, as well as the Mareth Line.

In April B Flight moved to Cyrus, where it began to operate over the Dodecanese Islands, preparing for the unsuccessful Allied invasion of September 1943. At the same time A Flight moved into Tunisia, from where it covered Cape Bon, at the northern tip of the country, and the Axis bases on the island of Pantellaria, as well as Sicily and Sardinia.

In May-June 1943 most of the squadron's aircraft withdrew to LG.219, from where they watched the Eastern Mediterranean. C Flight moved to Cyprus, replacing B Flight. In August the squadron began to concentrate on Greece and the Dodecanese Islands.

In February 1944 the squadron received its first Mosquitoes, although it didn’t wasn't entirely Mosquito-equipped until July 1946.

In August 1944 the squadron moved to Italy. A Flight operated over Yugoslavia and Hungary while B Flight continued to operate over Greece. Germany was added to the target list in November, but at the same time the squadron began to fly mapping missions around Italy.

In February 1945 the squadron returned to Egypt and became a mapping and surveying squadron, operating in Egypt, Palestine, Iran and Iraq. The squadron was renumbered as No.13 Squadron in September 1946.

Aircraft
February-March 1943: Bristol Beaufighter I
February 1943-February 1944: Hawker Hurricane I
February 1943-June 1944: Supermarine Spitfire IV and V
February 1943-January 1945: Supermarine Spitfire IX
March 1943-December 1944: Hawker Hurricane IIB
March-June 1943: Supermarine Spitfire VI
August 1943-July 1946: Supermarine Spitfire XI
February-May 1944: Martin Baltimore III and V
February-July 1944: Bristol Blenheim IV
February 1944-September 1946: de Havilland Mosquito IX and XVI
March-September 1945: de Havilland Mosquito PR.34

Location
February 1943-February 1945: LG.129 Matariya
February 1945-July 1946: Deversoir
July-September 1945: Ein Shemer

Detachments to Tunisia (1943), Cyprus (1943-44), Italy (1944), Iran (1945), Iraq (1945) and Palestine (1944-46)

Squadron Codes: -

Duty
February 1943-April 1943: Photo Reconnaissance, Greek Islands and Tunisia
April 1943-May 1943: PR, Dodecanese and Tunisia
May 1943-August 1943: PR, Cyrpus and Eastern Mediterranean
August 1943-August 1944: PR, Greece and Dodecanese Islands
August 1944-November 1944: PR from Italy; targeting Greece and the Balkans
November 1944-February 1945: As above plus Germany
February 1945-September 1946: Mapping duties Egypt and Palestine

Part of
10 July 1943: RAF Middle East; Mediterranean Air Command

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (pending), No. 680 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/680_wwII.html

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