Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books
No.97 Squadron went through three incarnations during the Second World War, of which only the third saw active service.
At the start of the war the squadron was a training squadron in No. 6 Group, operating a mix of Avro Ansons and Armstrong Whitworth Whitley. In April 1940 the squadron was redesignated as No. 10 Operational Training Unit.
The second incarnation was very short lived, lasting from 1-20 May 1940, disbanding before it received any aircraft.
The third and final incarnation of the squadron formed on 25 February 1941 around a nucleus provided by No. 207 Squadron. The new squadron was equipped with the troubled Avro Manchester, beginning operations on 8 April 1941. This aircraft was so unreliable that for a short time in the summer of 1941 the squadron had to supplement it with a number of Handley Page Hampden Is.
The much superior Avro Lancaster began to arrive in January 1942, and the squadron operated that type for the rest of the war, mostly with the main bomber force but from April 1943 to April 1944 with the Pathfinder Force.
February 1939-April 1940: Avon Anson I, Armstrong Whitworth Whitley II and Whitley III
March 1941-February 1942: Avro Manchester I and IA
July 1941-August 1941: Handley Page Hampden I
January 1942-July 1946: Avro Lancaster I and Lancaster III
7 January-17 September 1937: Leconfield
17 September-6 April 1940: Abingdon
1-20 May 1940: Driffield
25 February-10 March 1941: Waddington
10 March 1941-2 March 1942: Coningsby
2 March 1943-18 April 1943: Woodhall Spa
18 April 1943-18 April 1944: Bourn
18 April 1944-5 November 1946: Coningsby
Group and Duty
26 September 1939-April 1940: Pool bomber squadron with No. 6 Group
February 1941-April 1943: Bomber Command, Heavy Bomber Squadron
April 1943-April 1944: Pathfinder Force
April 1944-end of war: Bomber Command, Heavy Bomber Squadron