No. 280 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.280 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron that provided cover off the south-east of England, East Anglia and into the North Sea.

The squadron was formed on 10 December 1941 at Thorney Island. It was part of a second batch of air-sea rescue squadrons, and was allocated to Coastal Command, with the intention that it would be operating at greater distances from the coast than the squadrons in the first batch, which went to Fighter Command. It was originally going to be equipped with the Lockheed Hudson, but these aircraft were still in great demand in 1941, and so the squadron received the older Avro Anson instead. Theses aircraft were used to provide air-sea rescue cover off the coast of the south-east of England and off East Anglia.

In October 1943 the Ansons were replaced by the Vickers Warwick. Designed as a heavy bomber, this aircraft had the range required for longer patrols, and so the squadron's area of responsibility expanded to include more of the North Sea. The Warwick could also carry air droppable life boats, instead of the dinghies carried by the Ansons. 

The squadron survived for a year after the end of the war, but was split into smaller detachments, which were spread out from Cornwall to Scotland and even Iceland. The squadron finally disbanded on 21 June 1946.

February 1942-October 1943: Avro Anson I
October 1943-June 1946: Vickers Warwick I

December 1941-February 1942: Thorney Island
February-July 1942: Detling
July-November 1942: Langham
November 1942-September 1943: Bircham Newton
September-October 1943: Thorney Island
October 1943-May 1944: Thornaby
May-September 1944: Strubby
September-October 1944: Langham
October 1944-November 1945: Beccles
November 1945: Langham
November 1945-June 1946: Thornaby

Squadron Codes: YF (Anson), ME (Warwick)

1941-1945: Air sea rescue

Part of
15 February 1943: No.16 Group; Coastal Command



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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 September 2011), No. 280 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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