No. 234 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.234 Squadron was a fighter squadron that served in the United Kingdom throughout the Second World War, taking part in the Battle of Britain and the offensive sweeps across France. The squadron was reformed on 30 October 1939 as a fighter squadron, but was equipped with a mix of Blenheim, Battle and Gauntlet fighters and was allocated to shipping protection duties. Only in March 1940 did the squadron begin to convert to the Spitfire, and it was fully operational from 11 May.

At the start of the Battle of Britain the squadron was based at St. Eval, on the north coast of Cornwall, but on 13 August it moved to Middle Wallop where it remained until 11 September. The squadron was thus present during the hardest period of the Battle of Britain in early September. By the time the squadron returned to St. Eval the Germans had turned away from their attack on Fighter Command to begin the period of daylight raids on London, and the crisis in the battle had passed.

In April 1941 the squadron went onto the offensive, flying offensive sweeps over northern France as well as defensive patrols. The squadron spent most of the rest of the war in the south of England, but with two brief moves to Scotland. The first of these came in January 1943 when the squadron moved to the Orkney Islands, and lasted until June of the same year. One year later the squadron was used to provide cover over the D-Day invasion beaches, before converting from the Spitfire to the Mustang. The new aircraft were used to fly long range escort missions supporting bombers operating from East Anglia. The second move to Scotland came just before the end of the war, and saw the squadron spend a short period escorting strike wings operating off the Norwegian coast.

The squadron returned to East Anglia after the end of the war, and converted back to the Spitfire. A brief period operating the Meteor jet followed before the squadron was renumbered as No.266 on 1 September 1946. 

Aircraft
November 1939-March 1940: Fairey Battle I
November 1939-March 1940: Bristol Blenheim IF
November 1939-December 1939: Gloster Gauntlet II
March-November 1940: Supermarine Spitfire I
November 1940-September 1941: Supermarine Spitfire IIA
September 1941-September 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
March-May 1943: Supermarine Spitfire VI
September 1944-August 1945: North American Mustang III
March-August 1945: North American Mustang IV
August 1945-February 1946: Supermarine Spitfire IX

Location
October 1939-May 1940: Leconfield
May-June 1940: Church Fenton
June-August 1940: St. Eval
August-September 1940: Middle Wallop
September 1940-February 1941: St. Eval
February-November 1941: Warmwell
November-December 1941: Ibsley
December 1941: Predannack
December 1941-March 1942: Ibsley
March-April 1942: Warmwell
April 1942: Ibsley
April-August 1942: Portreath
August 1942: Charmy Down
August-October 1942: Portreath
October-November 1942: Perranporth
November 1942-April 1943: Portreath
    December 1942-January 1943: Detachments to Grimsetter and Sumburgh
April-June 1943: Skeabrae
June-July 1943:Church Stanton
July-August 1943: Honiley
August-September 1943: West Malling
September-October 1943: Rochford
October-December 1943: Hutton Cranswick
December 1943-January 1944: Church Fenton
January-March 1944: Coltishall
March-April 1944: Bolt Head
April-June 1944: Deanland
June-August 1944: Predannack
August-December 1944: North Weald
December 1944-May 1945: Bentwaters
May-July 1945: Peterhead
July 1945: Dyce
July-August 1945: Bentwaters
August 1945-February 1946: Hawkinge
February-March 1946: Molesworth
March-September 1946: Boxted

Squadron Codes: AZ (1940-1945), FX (Spitfire IX)

Duty
8 August 1940: No.10 Group; Fighter Command
6 June 1944: No.11 Group; Air Defence of Great Britain; Allied Expeditionary Air Force

Role
1939-1945: Home based Fighter Squadron

Books

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 March 2011), No. 234 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/234_wwII.html

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