No. 11 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 11 Squadron had been based in India since 1929. At the outbreak of the war in Europe, No. 11 was one of the better equipped squadrons in India, having just received the Bristol Blenheim I. This made it too valuable to be left in India when the war began to spread to the Middle East. In May 1940, the squadron began the move to Egypt, threatened by the likely entry of Italy into the war.

When Italy did enter the war, on 10 June 1940, the squadron was moved to Aden, from where it launched bombing raids on Italian bases in East Africa. This began a period of rapid movement that saw the squadron move to Egypt (December 1940-January 1941), then to Greece (January-May 1941). A planned move to Suda Bay on Crete was aborted after the German capture of that island, and the squadron moved to Palestine (May-August 1941), from where it took part in the campaign to occupy Syria.

From Palestine, the squadron moved to Iraq, recently occupied by British forces after a pro-German coup. After six weeks in Iraq, the squadron moved to the Western Desert. It was while the squadron was based in the Desert that Japan finally entered the war. In April 1942 No. 9 Squadron moved back to India, this time to Ceylon. From there it took part in the costly attacks on the Japanese fleet that approached Ceylon that month.

No. 9 Squadron spent the rest of 1942 on Ceylon. At the start of 1943 it was moved to the Burma front, flying bombing raids against Japanese bases inside Burma. After three years of constant movement, the squadron now settled down for three years on the same front, with breaks in August 1943 to re-equip with the Hawker Hurricane, and June 1945 to receive Supermarine Spitfires. After receiving the Spitfire, No. 9 Squadron was allocated to the force being prepared for the invasion of Malaya, but the Japanese surrender removed the need for that operation. After the war the squadron spent time in Malaya and then Japan, before disbanding (temporarily) on 23 February 1948.

February 1932-July 1939: Hawker Hart
July 1939-January 1941: Bristol Blenheim I
January 1941-September 1943: Bristol Blenheim IV
September 1943-June 1945: Hawker Hurricane IIC
June 1945-February 1948: Supermarine Spitfire XIV and Spitfire XVIII

Squadron Codes:

Group and Duty
1929-August 1939: India
August 1939-April 1940: Singapore
April-May 1940: Pakistan (north west frontier)
May-June 1940: Egypt
June-December 1940: Aden
December 1940-January 1941: Egypt
January-May 1941: Greece
May-August 1941: Palestine
August-September 1941: Iraq
September 1941-April 1942: Western Desert
April 1942-January 1943: Ceylon
January 1943-May 1945: India, Burmese front
May 1945: To Southern India to prepare for invasion of Malaya.

22 January 1929-5 August 1939: Risalpur
5 August-9 September 1939: Tengah (Singapore)
9 September 1939-20 April 1940: Kallang
20 April-9 May 1940: Lahore (aircraft) (Pakistan)
9 May-16 June 1940: Ismailia (aircraft) (Egypt)
10 June: Ground staff to Sheikh Othman (Aden)
16 June-1 December 1940: Entire squadron at Sheikh Othman
1 December 1940-24 January 1941: Helwan (aircraft first) (Egypt)
24-28 January 1941: Eleusis (Greece)
28 January-23 February 1941: Larissa
23-26 February 1941: Paramythia
26 February-16 March 1941: Larissa
16 March-16 April 1941: Almyros
16-22 April 1941: Menidi
22-23 April 1941: Heraklion
23-26 April 1941: Heliopolis
26 April-2 May 1941: Suda Bay (Ground staff only)
2-24 May 1941: Ramleh (Palestine)
24 May-9 August 1941: Aqir
9 August-27 September 1941: Habbaniya (Iraq)
27 September-9 October 1941: LG.09 (Western Desert)
9-25 October 1941: LG.104
25 October-30 December 1941: LG.116
30 December 1941-27 January 1942: Bu Amud
27 January-20 February 1942: LG.116
20-28 February 1942: Helwan
28 February-2 April 1942: Ratmalana
2 April 1942-7 January 1943: Colombo Racecourse (Ceylon)
7 January-14 February 1943: Baigachi (India, Burmese border)
14 February-11 August 1943: Feni
11 August-15 October 1943: Ranchi
15 October-2 December 1943: Cholavarum
2 December 1943-25 January 1944: Lalmai
25 January-2 March 1944: Ramu
2-5 March 1944:Sapam
5 March-12 April 1944: Tulihal
12 April-30 June 1944: Lanka
30 June-3 October 1944: Dimapur
3 October-5 November 1944: Imphal
5 November 1944-26 January 1945: Tamu
26 January- 9 February 1945: Kan
9 February-30 April 1945: Sinthe
30 April-19 May 1945: Magwe
19 May-22 May 1945: Feni
22 May-31 May 1945: Chettinad (South India)
31 May-7 June 1945: Tanjore
7 June-8 August 1945: Chettinad
8 August-1 September 1945: Madura
1-9 September 1945: HMS "Trumpeter" (Aircraft only)

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]
cover cover cover
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (2 May 2007), No. 11 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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