No. 70 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.70 Squadron served as a heavy bomber squadron, first in North Africa and then from bases in Italy.

At the outbreak of the Second World War the squadron was operation the Valentia I bomber-transport aircraft, and had just moved to Egypt after eighteen years spent in Iraq.

After Italy entered the war the squadron converted to the Vickers Wellington, and on 18 September it began operations over the Western Desert. The squadron retained its Wellingtons throughout the war in North Africa, eventually moving west behind the victorious Allied armies, first into Libya then Tunisia. During 1941 the squadron was also involved in the fighting against the pro-Axis revolt in Iraq and in the campaign to conquer Vichy-occupied Syria.

In December 1943 No.70 Squadron moved to the Foggia area, remaining there until October 1945, when it returned to the Middle East. The Wellingtons remained in use until the start of 1945, when they were replaced by the long range Consolidated Liberator. The squadron was already active over the Balkans, but the Liberator gave it the range to drop mines in the Danube, as well as to continue bombing targets in northern Italy.

Aircraft
November 1935-October 1940: Valentia I
September 1940-February 1943: Vickers Wellington IC
January-December 1943: Vickers Wellington III
June 1943-February 1945: Vickers Wellington X
January 1945-March 1946: Consolidated Liberator VI

Location
October 1937-August 1939: Habbaniya
August 1939-June 1940: Helwan
    August 1939-October 1940: Detachment to Habbaniya
June-September 1940: Heliopolis
September 1940-January 1942: Kabrit
    November 1940: Detachment to Tatoi
January 1942: LG.75
January-June 1942: LG.104
June 1942: LG.224
June-November 1942: Abu Sueir
November 1942: LG.224
November 1942: LG.106
November 1942-January 1943: LG.140
January 1943: Benina
January-February 1943: El Magrun
February 1943: Gardabia East
February-May 1943: Gardabia West
May-November 1943: Kairouan/ Temmar
November-December 1943: Djedeida
December 1943-October 1945: Cerignola

Squadron Codes: K, X, L, J

Duty
Bomber Squadron, North Africa and Italy

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. cover cover cover
Hitler's Gulf War - The Fight for Iraq 1941, Barrie G James. A compelling account of one of the more obscure but important campaigns of the Second World War, presented from the point of view of the British, Iraqi and German participants in the Iraqi revolt that threatened to hand the Germans a commanding position in the Middle East. [read full review]

cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 June 2009), No. 70 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/70_wwII.html

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