No. 684 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.684 Squadron was a photographic reconnaissance squadron that carried out long range missions over South-East Asia.

The squadron was formed on 29 September 1943 around a nucleus from No.681 Squadron. The older squadron kept its Spitfires, while No.684 Squadron received its Mosquitoes and Mitchells (the later aircraft were originally from the Dutch air force). The new squadron carried out longer range missions while No.681 took the shorter range duties.

No.684 Squadron operated over Rangoon, the Andaman Islands, Thailand, the Shan States, Akyab and other targets in the area. Although there were some problems with the Mosquito, the squadron withdrew to convert to the Mosquito Mk IX and Mk XVI in February-May 1944. After its return to the front the squadron continued to operate over a wide area, but also took part in a major photographic survey of Burma, producing valuable information for the campaigns of 1944 and 1945. After the re-conquest of Burma the squadron moved on to Malaya, but the Japanese surrender meant that these maps weren't needed.

In September 1944 a detachment (including the Mitchells) moved to Ceylon, partly for survey work and partly to operate over the Dutch East Indies.

At the end of the war the squadron was used to transport film showing the Japanese surrenders at Rangoon, Singapore and Penang. It was then used on courier flighjts before in October moving to Saigon from where it began a survey of French Indo-China and Thailand.

In January 1946 the squadron moved to Bangkok to carry out surveys over Siam. In September 1946, while still at Bangkok, it was renumbered as No.81 Squadron.

Aircraft
September 1943-May 1945: de Havilland Mosquito II and VI
September 1943-May 1945: North American B-25C
October 1943-May 1945: de Havilland Mosquito IX
February 1944-February 1946: de Havilland Mosquito XVI
July 1945-September 1946: de Havilland Mosquito 34
August-October 1945: Bristol Beaufighter VI and X
December 1944-September 1946: Supermarine Spitfire IX and XIX

Location
September-December 1943: Dum Dum
December 1943-January 1944: Comilla
January-May 1944: Dum Dum
May 1944-October 1945: Alipore
October 1945-January 1946: Tan Son Nhut
January-September 1946: Don Muang

Squadron Codes: -

Duty
1943-1945: Long range photographic reconnaissance, South East Asia

Part of
1 July 1944: No.171 Wing; Photographic Reconnaissance Force; Eastern Air Command; Air Command South-East Asia

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 June 2012), No. 684 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/684_wwII.html

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