No. 15 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 15 Squadron began the war as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force, making it one of the first squadrons to be sent to France. By the time the fighting began in May 1940, the squadron had retunred to Britain and re-equipped with the Bristol Blenheim, with which it made a series of desperate attacks on the German columns, from Wyton.

Short Stirling Mk.I of No.15 Squadron, June 1942
Short Stirling Mk.I
of No.15 Squadron,
June 1942

After the collapse of France the squadron's Blenheims were used to make attacks on the German invasion barges, gathered in the channel ports.

In April 1941 the squadron became the second to receive the Short Stirling. Between June and August those bombers were used in the RAF's efforts to "lean over the channel", as bait for German fighters. However, too many Stirlings were lost to anti-aircraft fire, and the squadron turned to night bombing, and then to mine laying.

In December 1943 the squadron converted to the Avro Lancaster, and spent the rest of the war as part of the main bomber force.

Location

Aircrew of No.15 Squadron in front of Short Stirling I, December 1941
Aircrew of No.15
Squadron in front of
Short Stirling I,
December 1941
1 June 1934-2 September 1934: Abingdon
2-12 September 1939: Betheniville (France)
12 September-20 December 1939: Conde-Vraux
10 December 1939-14 April 1940: Wyton (U.K.)
14 April-15 May 1940: Alconbury
15 May 1940-13 August 1942: Wyton
13 August 1942-14 April 1943: Bourn
14 April 1943-20 August 1946: Mildenhall

Aircraft
June 1938-December 1939: Fairey Battle
December 1939-November 1940: Bristol Blenheim IV
November 1940-May 1941: Vickers Wellington IC
April 1941-January 1943: Short Stirling I
January 1943-December 1943: Short Stirling III
December 1943-March 1947: Avro Lancaster I and Lancaster III

Squadron Codes:

Group and Duty
26 September 1939: Bomber squadron with No.1 Group, 71 Wing, Advanced Air Striking Force
December 1939: Re-equips with Blenheim
August 1940: Begins attacks on invasion barges
November 194o: Squadron converts to Wellington
April 1941: Second squadron to convert to Stirling

Known Raids

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 March 2007), No. 15 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/15_wwII.html

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