No. 83 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No. 83 Squadron spent the first half of the Second World War operating as a night bomber squadron with Bomber Command. Unlike many Bomber Command squadrons, No. 83 Squadron went into action on the first day of the war, carrying out a sweep over the North Sea looking for German warships.

Bombing missions did not begin until 20 April 1940, after the German invasion of Norway. It retained it's Hampdens for just over two years, and when it did get new aircraft they were Avro Manchesters. The first Manchester mission was flown on 28 January 1942 and the flaws in the aircraft soon began apparent. After only four months of operations, the Manchesters were replaced by Avro Lancasters, which the squadron kept for the rest of the war. In August 1942 No. 83 Squadron became part of the Pathfinder Force, carrying out target marking duties for the rest of the war.

November 1938-January 1942:  Handley Page Hampden I
December 1941-May 1942: Avro Manchester I
May 1942-July 1945: Avro Lancaster I and Lancaster III

14 March 1938-15 August 1942: Scampton
    21 February-20 March 1940: Detachment to Lossiemouth
15 August 1942-18 April 1944: Wyton
18 April 1944-5 October 1945: Coningsby

Squadron Codes:

Group and Duty
26 September 1939: Bomber squadron with No. 5 Group


Bomber Offensive, Sir Arthur Harris. The autobiography of Bomber Harris, giving his view of the strategic bombing campaign in its immediate aftermath. Invaluable for the insights it provides into Harris’s approach to the war, what he was trying to achieve and the problems he faced. Harris perhaps overstates his case, not entirely surprisingly given how soon after the end of the war this book was written (Read Full Review)
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Lancaster Squadron 1942-43, Jon Lake. This book looks at the early career of the Avro Lancaster. During this period the Lancaster was just one of a number of aircraft used by Bomber Command, important amongst them the Wellington, the Stirling and the Halifax. Only by the end of this period do we see the Lancaster begin to emerge as the most important aircraft in Bomber Command. Lake covers the wide range of activities performed by the Lancaster squadrons during this squadron, including the famous Dam Busters raid. [see more]
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Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45, Jon Lake. A well balanced look at the career of the Avro Lancaster in 1944-45, the period most famous for the systematic night bombardment of German cities. This was also the period that saw the Lancaster used to support the invasion of France, and the period that saw 617 Squadron drop Barnes Wallis's huge streamlined bombs with great precision. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 March 2007), No. 83 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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