Consolidated Catalina – RAF Squadrons

Number of Squadrons by Year

1 January 1942 - 7
1 January 1943 - 9
1 January 1944 - 15
1 January 1945 - 14

Types used by Squadron

Sqn

I

IB

II

IIA

IIIA

IVA

IVB

119

1941

 

 

 

1942

 

 

190

 

1943

 

 

 

1943

 

191

 

1943-45

 

 

 

 

1944-45

202

1941-42

1942-44

1941-42

 

 

1943-45

 

205

1941-44

1942-45

 

 

 

 

1944-45

209

1941-45

 

 

 

 

 

 

210

1941-43

1942-45

 

1942-43

1942-43

1944-45

1944-45

212

 

1942-45

 

 

 

 

1944-45

240

1941-3

1943-45

1941

1942-45

 

 

1944-46

259

 

1943-45

 

 

 

 

 

262

 

1943-45

 

 

 

 

1944-45

265

 

1943-45

 

 

 

 

 

270

 

1942-44

 

 

 

 

 

321

 

 

1942-44

 

1943-45

1945

1945

330

 

 

 

 

1942

 

 

333

 

1943-45

 

 

 

1944-45

 

357

 

1944-45

 

 

 

 

 

413

1941-44

 

 

 

 

1944-45

 

422

 

1942

 

 

 

 

 

490

 

1943-44

 

 

 

 

 

628

 

1944

 

 

 

1944

 

No.119 Squadron - Iceland
Briefly operated a single Catalina I in 1941, but the main use came in 1942 when it became one of only two RAF squadrons to operate the Catalina IIIA Amphibian, flying operationally from Iceland for a short period from August 1942. The squadron then briefly operated the Catalina to ferry Catalinas across the Atlantic, before converting to the Short Sunderland in November 1942.

No.190 Squadron – Scotland
No.190 Squadron operated the Catalina during 1943, carrying out patrols north from Scotland. Most operations were flown in support of the Russian convoys.

No.191 Squadron - India
No.191 Squadron flew maritime reconnaissance patrols over the Indian Ocean, from bases on both sides of the sub-continent, and on Sri Lanka.

Consolidated Catalina of the No.202 Squadron
Consolidated Catalina of the No.202 Squadron

No.202 Squadron – Gibraltar then Ireland
No.202 Squadron operated from Gibraltar from September 1939 until September 1944. The first Catalinas arrived in May 1941, and were used to protect the Straits of Gibraltar. The squadron returned to the UK in September 1944, and flew anti-submarine patrols from Northern Ireland.

No.205 Squadron – Sri Lanka
No.205 Squadron operated the Catalina from April 1941 until July 1945. From March 1941 it operated from Singapore and Sri Lanka, and suffered heavy losses during after the Japanese invasion of Malaya, Sumatra and Java. The squadron reformed on Sri Lanka in July 1942, flying a mixture of missions over the India Ocean.

No.209 Squadron – UK then East Africa
No.209 Squadron operated the Catalina for four years from April 1941 to April 1945. The squadron received its first Catalinas in April 1941, and used them to fly anti-submarine patrols from Scotland. The squadron spent August-October 1941 operating from Iceland, before making a more dramatic move in March-June 1942, relocated to East Africa. From there it flew anti-submarine patrols over a quiet part of the India Ocean, seeing little action.

No.210 Squadron – UK
No.210 Squadron operated the Catalina from bases in Britain, flying anti-submarine and convoy escort patrols.

No.212 Squadron - India
No.212 Squadron operated the Catalina from bases around India, flying anti-submarine mission for most of the war, adding Air Sea Rescue duties in 1945.

No.240 Squadron - UK, Far East from 1942
No.240 Squadron operated the Catalina from March 1941 until 1946. For the first year it flew them on anti-submarine patrols from Scotland, before in February 1942 the squadron prepared for a move to India. The squadron saw much less action in the new theatre, eventually adding meteorological and special ops flights to its list of duties.

No.259 Squadron – East Africa
No.259 Squadron received its Catalinas when it reformed at Beaumaris in January 1943. The squadron then flew out to East Africa, from where it flew patrols over the Indian Ocean.

No.262 Squadron – East Africa
No.262 formed late in 1942, and received its Catalinas in February 1943. The squadron then flew to East Africa, from where it carried out anti-submarine patrols. It slowly became more South African in nature, and was eventually transferred to the SAAF in February 1945.

No.265 Squadron – Madagascar
No.265 Squadron operated its Catalinas from March 1943 to April 1945 from Diego Suarez, at the northern tip of Madagascar, flying convoy escort missions off the east coast of Africa.

No.270 Squadron – West Africa
No.270 Squadron operated its Catalinas from November 1942 to May 1944, flying anti-submarine patrols from West Africa.

No.321 Squadron – Sri Lanka
No.321 Squadron reformed as a Catalina squadron on Sri Lanka in August 1942, with crew and aircraft that had escaped from the disaster in the Dutch East Indies. The squadron flew anti-submarine patrols over the Indian Ocean, eventually adding transport duties to its role.

No.330 Squadron - Iceland
No.330 Squadron operated the Catalina for a short period in 1942 to supplement its Northrop float planes on anti-submarine patrols from Iceland

No.333 Squadron - Scotland
No.333 Squadron was formed from No.1477 (Norwegian) Flight in May 1943, receiving its Catalinas in October. The squadron used them for anti-submarine patrols from Scotland, while at the same time flying anti-shipping Mosquitoes.

No.357 Squadron – India and Sri Lanka
No.357 Squadron was a special duties squadron, which used its Catalinas to drop special agents on rivers and along the coast of Burma and Malaya.

No.413 Squadron RCAF – Sri Lanka
No.413 Squadron RCAF operated the Catalina with Coastal Command from July 1941 to April 1942, before moving to Sri Lanka. It arrived just as the Japanese made their only move into the Bay of Bengal, but after this active start soon settled into a routine of anti-submarine, Air Sea Rescue and convoy escort work.

No.422 Squadron RCAF - UK
No.422 Squadron RCAF briefly operated the Catalina from August-October 1942. These aircraft were used to fly supplies to the Soviet Union, and then to escort the Russian convoys.

No.490 Squadron RNZAF – West Africa
No.490 Squadron RNZAF operated the Catalina over the South Atlantic from bases on West Africa, from June 1943 until July 1944.

No.628 Squadron - India
No.628 Squadron operated the Catalina flying boat on meteorological missions over the Indian Ocean from March to October 1944.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (31 August 2008), Consolidated Catalina – RAF Squadrons, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_PBY_catalina_RAF_squadrons.html

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