No. 9 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 9 Squadron was a heavy bomber squadron for the length of the Second World War, flying the Vickers Wellington for the half of the war, and the Avro Lancaster for the second half.

For the first four months of the war, No. 9 Squadron conducted day-light anti-shipping sweeps over the North Sea, taking steadily increases loses, until 18 December 1939, when five aircraft were shot down by German fighters. After that the squadron concentrated on night time operations.

The main result of this was that No. 9 Squadron, like the rest of Bomber Command, had a relatively quite time until the spring of 1940. This ended in April 1940 with the German invasion of Norway. A detachment from No. 9 Squadron moved to Lossiemouth in Scotland, to support the allied expedition to Norway.

No. 9 played a full part in the strategic bombing offensive against Germany. However, it was also used on special operations, including most notably the raid of 12 November 1944 which finally sank the German battleship Tirpitz. For this mission No. 9 Squadron (with No. 617) flew Lancaster B.Mk I Specials, modified to carry the 12,000lb Tallboy bomb.

No. 9 was one of the squadrons allocated to Tiger Force, the RAF contribution to the invasion of Japan. Unlike many other squadrons allocated to that force, No. 9 did at least reach India, arriving there in January 1946 to spend four months on photographic survey duties.

Aircraft
February 1939-September 1939: Vickers Wellington I
September 1939-March 1940: Vickers Wellington IA
March 1940-September 1941: Vickers Wellington IC
September 1941-August 1942: Vickers Wellington III
August 1942-November 1945: Avro Lancaster I and Lancaster III

Squadron Codes:

Group and Duty
26 September 1939: Bomber squadron with No. 3 Group

Known Raids/ Significant Dates
July 1942: Last sortie with Wellington
12 November 1944: Took part in raid that sank the Tirpitz at Tromso using the 12,000lb bombs

Books

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)
cover cover cover

Location
15 July 1939-7 August 1942: Honington
1940: Detachment to Lossiemouth
7 August 1942-14 April 1943: Waddington
14 April 1943-6 July 1945: Bardney

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 March 2007), No. 9 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/9_wwII.html

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