Bristol Beaufighter - Squadrons

Night Fighter squadrons

No. 25: Mk IF – October 1940 to January 1943
No. 29: Mk I – November 1940 to June 1943; Mk VI – March to May 1943
No. 68: Mk I – May 1941 to March 1943; Mk VI – January 1943 to July 1944
No. 96: Mk II – May 1942 to June 1943; Mk VI – September 1942 – August 1943 (Intruder duties from April 1943)
No. 125: Mk IIF – February 1942 to September 1942; Mk VI – September 1942 to February 1944
No. 141: Mk I – June 1941 to June 1943; Mk VI – May 1943 to February 1944
No. 219: Mk I – October 1940 to May 1943
No. 255: Mk IIF – July 1941-May 1942; Mk VI: March 1942-November 1942
No. 256: Mk I: May 1942-January 1943; Mk VI: June 1942-May 1943
No. 307 (Polish): Mk IIF: August 1941-May 1942; Mk VI: May-December 1942
No. 409 (RCAF): Mk IIF: August 1941-June 1942; June 1942-May 1944
No. 410 (RCAF): Mk IIF: April 1942-January 1943
No. 456 (RAAF): Mk II: September 1941-January 1943; Mk VI: July 1942-March 1943
No. 488 (RNZAF): Mk II: June 1942-March 1943; Mk VI: March 1943-September 1943
No. 600: Mk I: September 1940-June 1941; Mk II April 1941-April 1942; Mk VI: February 1942-September 1942 (Then to North Africa)
No. 604: Mk I: September 1940-April 1943; Mk IV: April 1943-April 1944 (Intruder duties from early 1943)

 

Coastal Command

No. 143
Mk I: June 1941-December 1941; Mk IIF: September 1942-March 1943; Mk XI: March 1943-April 1944; Mk X: February 1944-October 1944
July 1941-December 1941: Convoy patrols on east coast
November 1942-August 1943: Anti-shipping raids as part of strike wing
August 1943-February 1944: Fighter support for anti-submarine warfare over Bay of Biscay
February 1944-October 1944: Anti-shipping raids
No. 144
Mk X: May 1943 – May 1945
May 1944-June 1944: Covering D-Day invasion
June 1944-January 1945: Torpedo bomber squadron in strike wing
January 1945-end of war: Anti-flak squadron in strike wing
No. 235
Mk I: December 1941-May 1942; Mk VI: May 1942-October 1943; Mk X: October 1943-May 1944; Mk XI: March 1944-June 1944
June 1941-May 1942: Anti shipping from Scotland
May 1942-January 1943: Anti shipping from East Anglia
January-August 1943: Back to Scotland
August 1943- June 1944: Supporting anti submarine aircraft over Bay of Biscay
No. 236
Mk I: October 1941-February 1942 & March-July 1942; Mk VI: June 1942-August 1943; Mk X: June 1943-May 1945
October 1941-February 1942: Anti-shipping from Cornwall and Pembrokeshire
March 1942-April 1943: Anti-shipping duties from East Anglia
April 1943-May 1945: Part of North Coates strike wing
No. 248
Mk IC: July 1941-February 1942; Mk VIC: February 1942 – June 1943; Mk X: June 1943-January 1944
Anti shipping duties from a variety of UK bases. One brief (two day) trip to Malta in August 1942 to deliver aircraft
No. 252
Coastal Command’s first Beaufighter squadron
Mk I: December 1940-December 1942; Mk VI: November 1942-April 1944; Mk X: January 1944-December 1946; Mk XI: June 1943-January 1944
November 1940-May 1941: Convoy protection from Northern Ireland, then to Malta
No. 254
Mk VI: June 1942-October 1943; Mk X & XI: October 1943-October 1946
November 1942-January 1946: Torpedo bomber element of North Coates strike wing
No. 404 (RCAF)
Mk IIF: September 1942-March 1943; Mk XI: March 1943-December 1943; Mk X: September 1943-April 1945
Various anti-shipping duties around British coast
No. 406 (RCAF)
Mk IIF: June 1941-June 1942; Mk VIF: June 1942-August 1944
Various anti-shipping duties around British coast
No. 455 (RAAF)
Mk X: December 1943-May 1945
March 1944-May 1945: Anti shipping operations from Scotland, then over Dutch Coast, then finally back to Scotland
No. 489 (RNZAF)
Mk X: November 1943-August 1945
Anti-shipping strikes along Dutch coast and then from Scotland 

Target Tug (TT Mk 10)

No. 5: January 1950 to September 1951
No. 17: May 1949 to March 1951
No. 20: February 1950 to September 1951
No. 34: February 1949 to July 1951
No. 42: October 1946 to October 1947
No. 45: December 1946 to February 1950
No. 84: November 1946 to March 1949
No. 695: December 1948 to February 1949

Far East

No. 22:
Mk X – June 1944 to September 1945 (Anti-shipping December 1944, ground attack over Burma after than)
No. 27:
Mk VI: November 1942 to March 1944, Ground attack over Burma to late 1943;
Mk X: March 1944-February 1946. Anti-shipping from March to November 1944; Ground attack from November 1944.
No. 47:
Mk X: November 1944-April 1945: Ground attack over Burma
No. 89
Mk VI (with some Mk Is to October 1944): October 1943-April 1945: Night fighter duties for entire period, intruder duties over Burma from September 1944.
No. 176
Mk I: January 1943 – December 1943; Mk VI: January 1943 – July 1945
Night fighter duties from January 1943; Intruder duties over Burma from January 1944
No. 177
Mk VI: May 1943 – August 1944; Mk X and XI: November 1943 – July 1945
May 1943-July 1945: Ground attack missions over Burma
No. 211
Mk X: October 1943 – June 1945
January 1944-May 1945: Ground attack over Burma
No. 217
Mk X: June 1944 – September 1945
July 1944-May 1945: Defensive duties in India
May 1945-September 1945: Preparing for invasion of Malaya
No. 684
Mk VI and X: August 1945-October 1945
Post war reconnaissance duties

Mediterranean

No. 39:
Mk X: June 1943 to February 1945: Anti-shipping duties, later combined with intruder duties, from North Africa, Sardinia then Italy.
No. 46:
Mk I: May 1942-July 1942; Mk VI: May 1942- December 1944; Mk X: April 1944-July 1944
Night fighter duties from May 1942 to December 1944; Intruder duties from August 1943, return to UK and converted to Stirlings, December 1944.
No. 47:
Mk X: June 1943-October 1944: Anti shipping strikes as both torpedo bombers and fighters
No. 69:
Mk I: January 1941-February 1942: Only in small numbers, performing reconnaissance
No. 89
Mk I: November 1941-October 1943: Night fighter duties from various bases
No. 108
Mk VI: March 1943-February 1945: Night fighter duties combined with intruder duties
No. 144
Mk VI: January 1943-May 1943; Mk X: May 1943 – May 1945
June-August 1943: Anti-shipping from North Africa
No. 153
Mk I: January 1942 – January 1943; Mk VI: August 1942 – September 1944
May 1942-September 1944: Night fighter and intruder duties
No. 219
Mk VI: May 1943 – January 1944: Night fighter duties
No. 227
Mk I and VI: August 1942 – August 1944; Mk X and XI: September 1943 – August 1944
Anti-shipping duties from Malta and later Egypt
No. 252
Coastal Command’s first Beaufighter squadron
Mk I: December 1940-December 1942; Mk VI: November 1942-April 1944; Mk X: January 1944-December 1946; Mk XI: June 1943-January 1944
May 1941-: Anti shipping duties from Malta, then Egypt, then Libya
No. 255
Mk VI: March 1942-February 1945
November 1942-November 1943: Night fighter duties from Algeria and Sicily
November 1943-January 1945: Intruder duties over Balkans
No. 272
Mk I: April 1941-June 1943; Mk VI: November 1942-February 1944; Mk XI: September 1943-August 1944; Mk X: February 1944-April 1945
May 1941-November 1942: Long range fighter missions over Crete, convoy escort, ground attack from Egypt
November 1942-September 1943: Ground attack against Sicily and Tunisia, from Malta
September 1943-April 1945: Ground attack from Sicily, Sardinia and finally Italy
No. 600
Mk VI: February 1942-February 1945
November 1942-June 1943: Night fighter duties from North Africa
June-September 1943: Night fighter and intruder duties from Malta
September 1943 to end of war: As above but from Italy
No. 603
Mk I and VI: February 1943- October 1943; Mk X and XI: August 1943-December 1944
February 1943-December 1944: Anti-shipping strikes along African and Greek coasts
No. 16 SAAF
Mk X: December 1943-June 1945
Anti-shipping strikes with rockets over Aegean, then over Adriatic
No. 19 SAAF
Mk X and XI: August 1944-July 1945
Ground attack missions to support partisans over the Balkans

Other Duties

No. 285
Mk 1: September 1943-November 1944
Used to help train anti-aircraft gunners to target fast moving aircraft.
No. 287
Mk I, VI and X: November 1944-July 1946
Target towing and gun laying targets duties
No. 288
Mk I: March 1944-November 1944
Practise targets for anti-aircraft guns
No. 515
Mk IIF: June 1943-February 1944
Worked with the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment and the Telecommunications Research Establishment working on electronic countermeasures. 
No. 577
Mk I and X: November 1944-July 1945
Army cooperation squadron

Bristol Beaufighter, Jerry Scutts (Crowood Aviation). A detailed look at the development and service career of the Bristol Beaufighter, the first dedicated night fighter to enter RAF Service. Superceded by the Mosquito in that role, the Beaufighter went on to serve as a deadly anti-shipping weapon, and to earn the nickname "whispering death" over the jungles of Burma.
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (pending), Bristol Beaufighter - Squadrons, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_beaufighter_squadrons.html

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