No. 95 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.95 Squadron was formed in 1941 to operate the Short Sunderland flying boat from bases in West Africa, where it remained until the end of the war.

On 15 January 1941 No.210 Squadron at Oban was ordered to send three of its Sunderlands to Freetown to form a new No.95 Squadron. On the following day the aircraft left for Pembroke Dock, before in March making the flight to West Africa. One of the three aircraft made a forced landing during the trip, and was interned in Portugal, but the other two arrived safely, and the squadron began operations on 24 March 1941. It remained at Freetown for a year, before moving to Jui, where it stayed for another year before moving to Bathurst in March 1943 (having briefly operated a detachment from there in April 1941).

At first one of the biggest threats to the squadron's aircraft came from Vichy French fighter units based in West Africa, and in July 1941 the squadron formed a Hawker Hurricane wing to deal with this threat. The wing remained part of No.95 Squadron until October, when it was formed into No.128 Squadron. After that engine failures became the biggest threat, and seven aircraft had to make forced landings at sea, several with the loss of their entire crews. Only two survived to be towed into friendly ports.

Although the squadron made few contacts with enemy submarines, and was involved in even fewer attacks, it was still a great success. No ships were lost to U-boat range within the area covered by Sunderland patrols during the squadron's entire time in West Africa.

Operations continued until 25 May 1945, and just over a month later, on 30 June, the squadron was disbanded.

Aircraft
January 1941-January 1944: Short Sunderland I
July 1941-October 1941: Hawker Hurricane I
July 1942-June 1945: Short Sunderland III

Location
January-March 1941: Pembroke Dock
March 1941-April 1942: Freetown
April 1942-March 1943: Jui
March 1943-June 1945: Bathurst

Squadron Codes: SE, DE, Z

Duty
1941-1945: Anti-submarine patrols, West Africa

Books

Short Sunderland Squadrons of World War 2, Jon Lake. A look at the service carrier of the most successful British flying boat of the Second World War, and a key component in Coastal Command's battle against the U-boat. Covers the introduction of the aircraft, its role in the Battle of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, West Africa and other theatres.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (2 December 2009), No. 95 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/95_wwII.html

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