No. 165 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.165 'Ceylon' Squadron was a home based fighter squadron that was operational from the spring of 1942 until the end of the Second World War. The squadron reformed on 6 April 1942 at Ayr, and was soon equipped with the Spitfire, becoming operational on defensive duties on 1 May 1942.

The squadron moved to the south east of England in August 1942 to take part in the disaster at Dieppe, and then took part in offensive sweeps over Northern France, before returning to Scotland in March 1943. The squadron returned to the south in July 1943 to join the Kenley Wing, where it provided bomber escorts for one month before moving to the south west.

From its new base the squadron took part in the build-up to D-Day, providing bomber escorts and convoy patrols as well as flying sweeps over north-west France.

After D-Day the squadron moved to Kent where it took part in the campaign against the V-1 flying bombs. In mid-December it moved again, this time to East Anglia where it converted to the Mustang. This was completed by February 1945 and the squadron began to fly long range bomber escort missions.

After the end of the war in Europe the squadron moved to Dyce where it converted to the Spitfire, before in mid June it moved to Norway. For the next six months it provided part of the air defence of Norway, before the Royal Norwegian Air Force was ready to return from exile and take over those duties. No.165 Squadron returned to the UK in January 1946 and was disbanded on 1 September 1946, with its aircraft going to No.66 Squadron.

April 1942-October 1943: Supermarine Spitfire VA and VB
October 1943-February 1945: Supermarine Spitfire IX
February-June 1945: North American Mustang III
June 1945-September 1946: Supermarine Spitfire IX

April-August 1942: Ayr
August-November 1942: Gravesend
November 1942-March 1943: Tangmere
March-July 1943: Peterhead
July 1943: Ibsley
July-August 1943: Exeter
August-September 1943: Kenley
September 1943-February 1944: Culmhead
February-March 1944: Colerne
March-April 1944: Culmhead
April-June 1944: Predannack
June-July 1944: Detling
July-August 1944: Lympne
August-December 1944: Detling
December 1944-May 1945: Bentwaters
May-June 1945: Dyce
June 1945-January 1946: Vaernes
January 1946: Charterhouse
January-September 1946: Duxford

Squadron Codes: SK

1942-1945: Fighter Command

Part of
6 June 1944: No.10 Group; Air Defence of Great Britain; HQ Allied Expeditionary Air Force


Spitfire Mark V Aces, 1941-45, Dr Alfred Price. A well written and nicely balanced look at the combat career of the Spitfire Mk V and of the men who flew it. The Spitfire V fought in more theatres than the more famous Mk I/II, including over France in 1941, on Malta, in North Africa and even in northern Australia. [see more]
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 January 2011), No. 165 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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