No. 265 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.265 was a flying boat squadron that was formed in 1943 to provide patrols over the India Ocean and that continued in that role until it was disbanded in April 1945. The squadron was reformed in East Africa in the spring of 1943. The new squadron's personnel sailed out on the troopship 'Lancashire', arriving at Mombasa on 11 March 1943. At this point no aircraft were available, and so the squadron's personnel were used to support other squadrons, from Kenya to South Africa.

The first aircraft (a Catalina) didn't leave Britain until 26 March, and it would take almost exactly one month to reach the squadron's new base at Diego Suaraz on Madagascar, arriving on 25 April.

Operations began soon after this. The squadron's role was to provide patrols over a large area of the Indian Ocean, and so it operated from a number of scattered bases. Diego Suaraz remained the official head quarters for the entire period, but the maintenance base and a large part of the squadron moved to Kipevu in Kenya in May 1943. The squadron also used bases at Tulear (southern Madagascar), Mauritius and Pamanza. In October 1943 its area of operations expanded to include the Red Sea, and Aden and Masirah were added to the list of bases. This move came in response to a German decision to send more U-boats to the Gulf of Aden after the Mediterranean was effectively closed to them (and was opened to Allied shipping, making the Suez canal an important route once again). Finally, operations began from St. Lucia in South Africa in April 1944.

The squadron flew its last patrol on 12 April 1945. On 21 April it began to move to Mombasa, and on 30 April the squadron was disbanded. 

April 1943-April 1945: Consolidated Catalina I and IB

March 1943: Mombasa
March 1943-April 1945: Diego Suarez

Squadron Codes: L

1943-1945: Seaplane squadron, Indian Ocean and Red Sea

Part of
10 July 1943: No.246 Wing; AHQ East Africa; RAF Middle East; Mediterranean Air Command
1 July 1944: No.222 Group; Air Command South-East Asia.



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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 August 2011), No. 265 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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