No. 113 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.113 Squadron was a bomber and fighter-bomber squadron that served in North Africa and Greece before moving to the Far East to take part in both the unsuccessful defence of Burma and its eventual reconquest.

No.113 Squadron was reformed at Upper Heyford on 18 May 1937 as a bomber squadron, and was equipped with the Hawker Hind. In April 1938 the squadron took its Hinds to the Middle East, where it would remain until the end of 1941. Blenheims arrived in June 1939, and at the outbreak of the Second World War the squadron was part of Egypt Group, RAF Middle East.

The war didn't come to North Africa until 10 June 1940, when Italy entered the war. Even though it was the Italians who had declared war, their forces in Libya were still caught by surprise by the first British raids, on 11 June. No.113 Squadron flew its first mission on the afternoon of 11 June, attacking the Italian base at El Adem. During the first phase of the fighting, which ended with the successful British offensive that pushed the Italians back across Cyrenaica, the squadron was used for both bombing and long range reconnaissance missions.

In March 1941 No.113 became the fourth British squadron to move to Greece, arriving just in time to be caught up in the German invasion. The Germans soon won control of the skies over Greece. On 14 April the squadron was attacked on the ground four times and every single aircraft was either damaged or destroyed. The squadron's personnel were eventually evacuated to Crete and Egypt.

Operations resumed in June 1941, and the squadron took part in Operation Crusader (serving under Air Headquarters Western Desert). The squadron was used to attack Italian aircraft and lorries behind enemy lines.

In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Burma No.113 was moved east, arriving just after Christmas 1941. The squadron was thrown into combat without hours of its arrival, dropping 11,000lb bombs on the Japanese airfields at Bangkok. The squadron fought on until it was forced to retreat back to India, then from bases in Assam attacked Japanese communications and airfields.

The Blenheims were replaced by Hurricane fighter-bombers in September 1943, and by the Republic Thunderbolt in April 1945. During this period the squadron was part of No.221 Group, and with that group took part in the fighting at Imphal, the fighting around Mandalay and the race for Rangoon. The squadron was disbanded on 15 October 1945.

June 1939-March 1940: Bristol Blenheim I
March 1940-April 1941: Bristol Blenheim IV
June 1941-December 1941: Bristol Blenheim I
June 1941-October 1942: Bristol Blenheim IV
October 1942-September 1943: Bristol Blenheim V
September 1943-April 1945: Hawker Hurricane IIC
April-October 1945: Republic Thunderbolt I and II

May-September 1938: Heliopolis
September 1938: Amriya
September-October 1938: Mersa Matruh
October 1938-April 1939: Heliopolis
April-May 1939: El Daba
May 1939-June 1940: Heliopolis
June 1940-January 1941: Maaten Bagush
January-February 1941: Sidi Barrani
February 1941: Gambut
February-March 1941: Kabrit
March 1941: Menidi
March-April 1941: Larissa
April 1941: Niamata
April-June 1941: Menidi (aircraft)
June-November 1941: Maaten Bagush
November 1941: Giarabub
November-December 1941: LG.116
December 1941-January 1942: Helwan
January 1942: Mingaladon
January-February 1942: Toungoo
February-March 1942: Magwe
March-April 1942: Dum Dum
April 1942: Fyzabad
April-December 1942: Asansol
December 1492-January 1943: Jessore
January-February 1943: Feni
February-May 1943: Chandina
May-June 1943: Comilla Main
June-August 1943: Feni
August 1943: Kharkpur
August-October 1943: Yelahanka
October-November 1943: St. Thomas Mount
November-December 1943: Cholavarum
December 1943: Manipur Road
December 1943-March 1944: Dimapur
March-May 1944: Tulihal
May-December 1944: Palel
December 1944-January 1945: Yazagyo
January-March 1945: Onbauk
March-April 1945: Ondaw
April-June 1945: Kwetnge
June 1945: Kinmagan
June-August 1945: Meiktila
August-October 1945: Zayatkwin

Squadron Codes: VA, AD

September 1939: Egypt Group; RAF Middle East
11 November 1941: Air HQ Western Desert; HQ RAF Middle East
1 July 1944: No.170 Wing; No.221 Group; Third Tactical Air Force; Air Command, South East Asia


Blenheim Squadrons of World War Two, Jon Lake. This book looks at the entire RAF service career of the Bristol Blenheim, from its debut as a promising fast bomber, through the deadly disillusionment of the blitzkrieg, on to its work in the Middle East and Mediterranean, where the aircraft found a new lease of life. Lake also looks at the use of the Blenheim as an interim fighter aircraft and its use by Coastal Command.
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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]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (2 December 2010), No. 113 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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