No. 68 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.68 Squadron was formed in January 1941 as a defensive night fighter squadron, and continued to perform that role until it was disbanded in April 1945.

No.68 Squadron was the last night fighter squadron to be formed around the Bristol Blenheim IF, but although it formed in January 1941 the squadron didn't begin operations until April, and in the following month it converted to the new Bristol Beaufighter.

In the same month the squadron moved to East Anglia, and it would spend the next two years at Coltishall, mostly flying defensive patrols. This period was followed by three months spent in South Wales.

In June 1944 the V-1 offensive began. Towards the end of the month No.68 Squadron moved back to East Anglia, where in the following month it converted to the de Havilland Mosquito to take part in the campaign against the flying bombs. When the Allied armies overran the V-1 launching areas the Germans attempted to carry the flying bombs into range under bombers, and No.68 Squadron concentrated on shooting down these launch aircraft. On 20 April 1945, with this threat defeated, the squadron was disbanded.

Aircraft
January-May 1941: Bristol Blenheim IF
May 1941-March 1943: Bristol Beaufighter I
January 1943-July 1944: Bristol Beaufighter VI
July 1944-February 1945: de Havilland Mosquito XVII and XIX
February-April 1945: de Havilland Mosquito 30

Location
January-April 1941: Catterick
April 1941-March 1942: High Ercall
March 1942-February 1944: Coltishall
February-March 1944: Coleby Grange
March-June 1944: Fairwood Common (the Gower)
June-October 1944: Castle Camps
October 1944-February 1945: Coltishall
February 1945: Wittering
February-March 1945: Coltishall
March-April 1945: Church Fenton

Squadron Codes: WM

Duty
Night fighter squadron: 1941-45

Books

Blenheim Squadrons of World War Two, Jon Lake. This book looks at the entire RAF service career of the Bristol Blenheim, from its debut as a promising fast bomber, through the deadly disillusionment of the blitzkrieg, on to its work in the Middle East and Mediterranean, where the aircraft found a new lease of life. Lake also looks at the use of the Blenheim as an interim fighter aircraft and its use by Coastal Command.
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Bristol Beaufighter, Jerry Scutts (Crowood Aviation). A detailed look at the development and service career of the Bristol Beaufighter, the first dedicated night fighter to enter RAF Service. Superceded by the Mosquito in that role, the Beaufighter went on to serve as a deadly anti-shipping weapon, and to earn the nickname "whispering death" over the jungles of Burma.
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 Mosquito Fighter/ Fighter-Bomber Units of World War 2, Martin Bowman. The second of three books looking the RAF career of the Mosquito covers its use as a night fighter, first on the defensive in the skies over Britain, and then as an intruder over Occupied Europe and Germany, and finishing with a look at the "Mosquito Panic" [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 June 2009), No. 68 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/68_wwII.html

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