No. 98 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No. 98 Squadron went through two incarnations during the Second World War. At the start of the war it was a training unit, operating the Fairey Battle. Although the squadron did move to France in April 1940, it was not involved in the main fighting of the Battle of France. This did not save it from suffered heavy loses - tragically many of the squadron personnel were embarked on the liner Lancastria, which was lost with heavy loss of life off St. Nazaire during the British evacuation.

The squadron was rebuilt at Gatwick during the summer of 1940, before being dispatched to Iceland late in July. Iceland had been occupied by the British after the fall of Denmark, and was a crucial base in the Battle of the Atlantic. There was a real fear that the Germans might try to occupy Iceland in 1940, but by 1941 that danger had passed, and during the year the United States took over the occupation. On 15 July 1941 No. 98 Squadron was reduced in size and redesignated as No. 1423 Flight.

The squadron was reformed on 12 September 1942 as a medium bomber squadron, equipped with Mitchell bombers, which it retained until the end of the war. The new squadron was part of No. 2 Group, operating against enemy communications and airfields in occupied Europe in preparation for the invasion of Europe.

After D-Day the squadron carried out an increasing number of tactical work, in support of the advancing Allied armies, moving to Belgium in October 1944 to be closer to the front. Finally, at the end of April the squadron moved in Germany, remaining there as part of the post-war occupation forces.

Aircraft
June 1938-July 1941:  Fairey Battle I
June-July 1941: Hawker Hurricane I

September 1942-November 1945: Mitchell II
September 1944-November 1945: Mitchell III

Location
21 August 1936-2 March 1940: Hucknall
2-19 March 1940: Scampton
19 March-16 April 1940: Finningley
16 April-8 June 1940: Chateau Bougon
8 June-26 July: Gatwick
26 July: aircraft to Newton
27 July: Ground eschelon leaves for Iceland
27 August 1940-15 July 1941: Kaldadarnes (Iceland)

12 September-15 October 1942: West Raynham
15 October 1942-18 August 1943: Foulsham
18 August 1943-March 1944: Dunsfold
March-10 April 1944: Swanton Morley
10 April-18 October 1944: Dunsfold
18 October 1944-30 April 1945: B.58 Melsbrock
30 April-17 September 1945: B.110 Achmer

Squadron Codes:

Group and Duty
September 1939-August 1940: Pool bomber squadron with No. 6 Group
August 1942-July 1941: Coastal patrols, Iceland
September 1942-end of war: Medium Bomber squadron, No. 2 Group./

Books

Hurricane Aces 1941-45, Andrew Thomas. This book covers the later career of the Hurricane, starting with its final months as a front line fighter in Britain in 1941 before moving on to look at its career in North Africa, the Mediterranean and over the jungles of Burma [see more] cover cover cover
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (31 January 2008), No. 98 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/98_wwII.html

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