No. 69 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.69 Squadron was formed on Malta as a reconnaissance squadron, and spent three years operating a wide range of aircraft from the island, before in 1944 returning to Britain to take part in the invasion of north western Europe.

The squadron was formed on 10 January 1941 by the re designation of No.431 Flight. Over the next three years it operated the Martin Maryland, Bristol Beaufighter, Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire, Bristol Beaufort, Bristol Blenheim, de Havilland Mosquito and Martin Baltimore. Most important of these were the Maryland, which made up the bulk of its strength until May 1942, the Spitfire, which then took over the reconnaissance tasks and the Baltimore, which was used for anti-submarine patrols.

In April 1944 No.69 Squadron moved to Britain, where it converted to the Vickers Wellington and was allocated to the 2nd Tactical Air Force. Operations began on D-Day, when the squadron was used to drop flares to locate German troop movements at night. The squadron continued to fly reconnaissance missions with its Wellingtons until 7 May 1945. It then spent several months surveying Norway and Denmark, before being disbanded on 7 August 1945.

Aircraft
January 1941-May 1942: Martin Maryland I and II
January 1941-February 1942: Bristol Beaufighter I
January 1941-February 1942: Hawker Hurricane I and IIA
January 1941-February 1943: Supermarine Spitfire IV
August-September 1941: Bristol Beaufort I
September-October 1941: Bristol Blenheim IV
January-March 1942: de Havilland Mosquito I
June 1942-August 1943: Martin Baltimore I and II
June 1943-April 1944: Martin Baltimore III, IIIA and IV
August 1942-August 1943: Vickers Wellington IC and VIII
May 1944-August 1945: Vickers Wellington XIII

Location
January 1941-February 1944: Luqa
February-April 1944: Montecorvino

May-September 1944: Northolt
September 1944: A.12 Balleroy
September 1944: B.48 Ameins-Glissy
September 1944-April 1945: B.58 Melsbroek
April-August 1945: B.78 Eindhoven
    July-August 1945: Detachment to Aalborg West

Squadron Codes: N, B, D, Z

Duty
Reconnaissance, 1941-45

Books

Wellington in Action, Ron Mackay. A well illustrated guide to the development and service career of this classic British bomber. Mackay looks at the early development of the Wellington and the unusual geodetic frame that gave it great strength, the period when the Wellington was the mainstay of Bomber Command and the many uses found for the aircraft after it was replaced in the main bomber stream.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 June 2009), No. 69 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/69_wwII.html

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