No. 225 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.225 Squadron was a tactical reconnaissance squadron that was home-based from 1939 until 1942, before moving to the Mediterranean where it took part in the campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and the Balkans.

The squadron reformed on 3 October 1939 around 'B Flight' of No.614 Squadron, and until 11 October was known as No.614A Squadron. It was equipped with the Westland Lysander, and spent most of its time over the next few months training with the army. The squadron was not operational during the Battle of France, only becoming active in June 1940 when it was used to fly patrols along the coast of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, watching for the expected German invasion fleet. The squadron also began to provide Air-Sea Rescue cover from 6 May 1941.

Westland Lysander II N1256
Westland Lysander II N1256

In January 1942 the squadron converted to the Hawker Hurricane and began to train in the tactical reconnaissance role. A number of Mustangs were also used from May 1942.

In November 1942 the squadron took part in Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. By now the Mustangs had been removed, and the squadron operated a mix of Hurricanes and Hurribombers. It flew into Maison Blanche airfields in Algiers on 13 November, and began operations four days later. 

During the campaign in North Africa the squadron flew a mix of missions. Tactical reconnaissance was most common, but ground attack, pathfinder sorties and tactical bombing missions were also flown. During this period the squadron converted to the Spitfire.

In the summer of 1943 the squadron took part in the attacks on Pantellaria and Lampedusa, then in August helped support the invasion of Sicily. The squadron took part in the Salerno landings in September, moving to the beachhead on 15 September although bombing raids soon forced most of the squadron to move out again.

From mid-December to January 1944 the squadron flew photoreconnaissance missions over Yugoslavia, before moving to the Italian west coast to take part in the advance on Rome. On February it took part in the fighting around Cassino, then from March it was heavily involved in the battle for the Anzio bridgehead.

In July the squadron moved to Corsica in preparation for Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France. The squadron moved onto French soil for the first time on 20 August, and spent the next month supporting the advancing armies, but when the ground forces joined up with the armies advancing from Normandy the squadron returned to Italy. It spent most of the rest of the war supporting the armies as they fought their way into northern Italy. It then became part of the occupation forces in Italy, before being disbanded on 7 January 1947.

October 1939-July 1942: Westland Lysander II, III and IIIA
January-February 1942: Hawker Hurricane I
February 1942-April 1943: Hawker Hurricane IIB and IIC
May 1942-August 1943: North American Mustang I and II
January 1943-January 1945: Supermarine Spitfire VC
June 1944-January 1947: Supermarine Spitfire IX

October 1939-June 1940: Odiham
June-July 1940: Old Sarum
July 1940-August 1941: Tilshead
August 1941-May 1942: Thruxton
May 1942: Abbotsinch
May-September 1942: Thruxton
September-October 1942: Macmerry

November 1942: Maison Blanche
November 1942: Bone
December1 492-May 1943: Souk-el-Arba
May-June 1943: Arjana
June-August 1943: Bou Ficha
August-September 1943: San Francesco
September 1943: Milazzo

A Flight

September 1943: Salerno
September 1943: Serretella
October 1943-January 1944: Capodichino

B Flight

September 1943: Crotone/ Izala
September 1943: Scanzano
September-October 1943: Palazzo
October 1943-January 1944:Foggia

Complete Squadron

January-June 1944: Lago
June 1944: Tre Cancelli
June 1944: Galeria
June-July 1944: Tarquinia
July-August 1944: Follonica
August 1944: Ramatuella
August-September 1944: Sisteron
September 1944: Lyon/ Satolas
September 1944: Salon-de-Provence
September 1944-April 1945: Peretola
April 1945: Bologna
April-May 1945: Villafranca
May-August 1945: Tissano
August-October 1945: Lavariano
October 1945-June 1946: Klagenfurt
June-July 1946: Tissano
July 1946-January 1947: Campoformido

Squadron Codes: LX (Lysander), WU (Spitfire)

1939-1942: Army Cooperation
1942-1945: Tactical Reconnaissance

Part of
Early 1943: No.324 Wing; No.211 Group; Desert Air Force; North African Tactical Air Force
10 July 1943: Tactical Bomber Force; North African Tactical Air Force; Northwest African Air Forces; Mediterranean Air Command


The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force 1942-1945, Bryn Evans. . Looks at the activities of the RAF's tactical air force in the North Africa and Italian Theatres, where it developed many of the close support techniques used with greater fame by 2nd Tactical Air Force in Normandy. This is a valuable account of the services of a key, but often overlooked, part of the wartime RAF. [read full review]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (2 March 2011), No. 225 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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