No. 8 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 8 Squadron was based at Aden for most of the duration of the Second World War. Aden was an important British naval base, but was potentially vulnerable to attack from Italian East Africa. No. 8 was a bomber squadron equipped with the Vickers Vincent and Bristol Blenheim when Italy declared war in 1940. The Blenheims were used to attack Italian bases across the Red Sea.

Between August 1940 and January 1941 No. 8 Squadron was a multi-national squadron, one flight being made up of Free French Marylands.

The conquest of the Italian empire in East Africa removed the direct threat to Aden. No. 8 Squadron concentrated on anti-submarine duties over the Indian Ocean, continuing with that duty until disbanding in 1 May 1945.

Two weeks later, on 15 May 1945, No. 200 Squadron, based in what is now Bangladesh, was renumbered as No. 8 Squadron. The renumbered squadron dropped supplies to guerilla forces in Malaya until the end of the war. On 15 November the new No. 8 Squadron disbanded.

Aircraft
April 1935-March 1942:  Vickers Vincent
April 1939-March 1942: Bristol Blenheim I
August 1940-January 1941: Martin Maryland I
August 1941-April 1943: Bristol Blenheim IV
September 1942-January 1944: Bristol Blenheim V
February 1943-January 1944: Lockheed Hudson VI
December 1943-May 1945: Vickers Wellington XIII
May 1945-November 1945: Liberator VI

Squadron Codes:

Books

Lockheed Hudson Aircraft in WWII, Andrew Hendrie, Crowood Press. A look at the development of the Hudson, and its career with the RAF, USAAF, RNZAF and RAAF. Covers the anti-submarine and anti-shipping uses of the Hudson, as well at its role in Air-Sea Rescue and special operations. The text is supported by a good collection of first hand accounts.
cover cover cover

Group and Duty
1927-May 1945: Bomber squadron based at Aden
May-November 1945: Supply drop duty over Malaya

Location
27 February 1927-1 May 1945: Khormaksar (Aden)
15-21 May 1945: Jessore
21 May-15 November 1945: Minneriya

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 April 2007), No. 8 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/8_wwII.html

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