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No.543 Squadron was a short-lived photographic reconnaissance unit that was disbanded in October 1943, one day short of a year after being formed.
The squadron was formed on 19 October and was one of five squadrons formed from the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit. No.543 Squadron was equipped with Spitfires, and was split into two. A Flight was based at St. Eval, Cornwall, and was used to provide cover of the western coast of France and Spain and Portugal. This flight was also used for some specialist flights, including one to assess the impact of No.617’s attack on the Ruhr dams. In September 1943 a detachment from the squadron was sent to Grasnaya in the Soviet Union to assess the impact of midget submarine attacks on the Tirpitz. Other German warships in Norwegian waters were also photographed.
B Flight was based at Mount Farm, a satellite station for Benson, and was used as an Operational Training Unit for pilots about to join reconnaissance units overseas.
October 1942-October 1943: Supermarine Spitfire IV and V
June-October 1943: de Havilland Mosquito IV
September-October 1943: Supermarine Spitfire IX
October 1942-October 1943: Benson
Squadron Codes: -
1942-43: Photographic Reconnaissance and Training
15 February 1943: No.16 Group; Coastal Command; detachment with No.19 Group; Coastal Command