No. 195 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.195 Squadron had two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a fighter-bomber squadron and then as a Lancaster squadron in Bomber Command.

The squadron was formed for the first time on 16 November 1942 at Duxford. The first Typhoons arrived later in the same month, but the squadron didn't move to Lancaster for training until February 1943. In May 1943 it moved to East Anglia, from where it flew offensive sweeps and armed reconnaissance missions across northern France. The squadron was disbanded on 15 February 1944.

The squadron reformed as a Lancaster bomber squadron on 1 October 1944 around 'C' Flight of No.115 Squadron. The squadron inherited 'C' Flight's A4 identification code, and its method of painting that code, with a large 'A' and small '4'.

The squadron's first raid was an attack on Leverkusen on 26 October 1944. It remained part of Bomber Command's main force for the rest of the war, suffering eleven operational losses in 1944 and two in 1945. By the end of the war the squadron was taking part in Operation Manna, dropping food to the population of the Netherlands - on the last full day of hostilities it provided sixteen aircraft for this purpose.

The squadron performed transport duties for a short period after the war, before being disbanded on 14 August 1945.

Aircraft
November 1942-February 1944: Hawker Typhoon IB
December 1942-February 1943: Hawker Hurricane I

October 1944-August 1945: Avro Lancaster I and Lancaster III

Location
November 1942: Duxford
November 1942-February 1943: Hutton Cranswick
February-May 1943: Woodvale
May-July 1943: Ludham
July-August 1943: Matlask
August-September 1943: Coltishall
September 1943-February 1944: Fairlop

October-November 1944: Witchford
November 1944-August 1945: Wratting Common

Squadron Codes: JE (Typhoon), JE & A4 (Lancaster)

Duty
19 October 1944: No.3 Group, Bomber Command
25 January 1945: No.3 Group, Bomber Command
April 1945: No.3 Group, Bomber Command

Books

Bomber Offensive, Sir Arthur Harris. The autobiography of Bomber Harris, giving his view of the strategic bombing campaign in its immediate aftermath. Invaluable for the insights it provides into Harris’s approach to the war, what he was trying to achieve and the problems he faced. Harris perhaps overstates his case, not entirely surprisingly given how soon after the end of the war this book was written (Read Full Review)
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Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45, Jon Lake. A well balanced look at the career of the Avro Lancaster in 1944-45, the period most famous for the systematic night bombardment of German cities. This was also the period that saw the Lancaster used to support the invasion of France, and the period that saw 617 Squadron drop Barnes Wallis's huge streamlined bombs with great precision. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 January 2011), No. 195 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/195_wwII.html

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