No. 35 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.417 Squadron (RCAF) was a Canadian fighter squadron that served in North Africa from 1942-43, then took part in the invasions of Sicily and Italy, ending the war as a ground attack unit.

The squadron was formed at Charmy Down on 27 November 1941, and was equipped with the Spitfire. It became operational on 17 November 1942, a few days before it was moved to Scotland.

The squadron was withdrawn on 25 March ready to be posted to Egypt. The personnel embarked on 13 April, and arrived in Egypt on 4 June, but there were now aircraft for them. As a result the ground crews were used to support the B-25s of the US 12th Bombardment Group, which was based at Deversoir, while the pilots were used to ferry aircraft.

The squadron reassembled at Shandur on 5 September 1942, where it received some Hurricanes. It then became part of the air defence forces for Egypt.

The first Spitfires arrived in November 1942, and the squadron had fully converted by January 1943. In February the squadron moved west to join the Eighth Army as it advanced into Tunisia. It was used to fly escort missions and ground attack missions until the German surrender in Tunisia.

In June 1943 the squadron was moved to Malta, from where it flew sweeps over Sicily.

The squadron moved to Sicily in July 1943, as soon as possible after the invasion.

In September the squadron moved to Italy, and was used to provide fighter cover over the front line.

From January 1944 the squadron was used to support the fighting at Anzio.

After this the Luftwaffe and Italian air force largely disappeared, so the squadron spent the rest of the war on close support duties, attacking battlefield targets and enemy communications.

The squadron was disbanded on 30 June 1945.

Aircraft
November 1941-February 1942: Supermarine Spitfire IIA
February 1942-April 1942: Supermarine Spitfire VB
September 1942: Hawker Hurricane I and IIB
September 1942-January 1943: Hawker Hurricane IIC
November 1942-September 1943: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
July 1943-April 1945: Supermarine Spitfire VIII
March-July 1944: Supermarine Spitfire IX
April-June 1945: Supermarine Spitfire IX

Location
27 November 1941-26 January 1942: Charmy Down
26 January-23 February 1942: Colerne
23 February-13 April 1942: Tain
13 April-4 June 1942: Heading to Middle East
4 June-18 July 1942: Kasfareet
18 July-5 September 1942: Shandur
     7 October-22 November 1942: Detachment to Heliopolis
10 October 1942-25 January 1943: Edku
     4-25 November 1942: Detachment to Kufra
     9 December 1942-7 January 1943: Detachment to Nicosia
25 January-28 February 1943: LG.175
     19-24 February 1943: Detachment to Castel Benito
28 February-11 April 1943: Mellaha
     18 March-10 April 1943: Detachment to Ben Gardane
15 April-5 May 1943: Goubrine South
6-21 May 1943: Hergla
21 May-15 June: Ben Gardane
15 June-16 July: Luqa
16-26 July 1943: Cassibile
26 July-20 September 1943: Lentini West
     20-25 September 1943: Air echelon at Grottaglie
     25 September-5 October 1943: Air echelon at Gioia del Colle
5-18 October 1943: Foggia No.2
18 October-26 November 1943: Trioli
26 November 1943-17 January 1944: Canne
17 January-23 April 1944: Marcianise
23 April-12 June 1944: Venafro
12-15 June 1944: Littorio
15 June-3 July 1944: Fabrica
3 July-26 August 1944: Perugia
26 August-4 September 1944: Loreto
4 September-4 December 1944: Fano
4 December 1944-3 May 1945: Bellaria
3 May-30 June 1945: Treviso

Squadron Codes: AN

Duty
-27 October 1942-: No.252 Wing, Air Headquarters Egypt, RAF Middle East
-10 July 1943-: No.244 Wing, Desert Air Force, North African Tactical Air Force, Northwest African Air Forces

Books

 

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 September 2021), No. 35 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RCAF/417_wwII.html

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