No. 610 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.610 (County of Chester) Squadron was a fighter squadron that took part in the Battle of Britain, before taking part in fighter sweeps,  shipping reconnaissance duties and the anti flying-bomb campaign

The squadron was formed as a day bomber squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force in 1936. It became a fighter squadron early in 1939. The squadron was expected to operate the two-seat Defiant, so it kept its Hawker Hinds until the outbreak of war when it briefly received Hurricanes before converting to Spitfires by the end of September.

The squadron went operational on 21 October. After the start of the German offensive in the west the squadron moved to Biggin Hill, moving to Gravesend to take part in the air battles over Dunkirk.

The squadron was based at the Biggin Hill sector station from 2 July to 13 September 1940, so took part in the main parts of the Battle of Britain, including the assault on Fighter Command in which Biggin Hill was a main target. The squadron was thus in near constant action. On 18 August it helped fight off an attack on Biggin Hill (alongside No.32 Squadron). The squadron moved north to rest on 13 September, during the fourth phase of the battle – the daylight attacks on London.

In December 1940 the squadron returned south and began a period of nine months of offensive sweeps. In August 1941 it moved back to Yorkshire for a further rest.

In April 1942 the squadron moved to East Anglia and spent the next few months flying shipping reconnaissance missions. In October 1942 it moved to the north of Scotland, to help provide cover for key naval bases.

In January 1943 the squadron returned to southern England and was based in the south-west until July 1944 when it moved to the south-east to take part in the campaign against the V-1 flying bomb.

In December 1944 the squadron joined No.127 Wing, 2nd Tactical Air Force and moved to bases in liberated Europe. It spent the next two months flying sweeps over Germany, but returned to the UK on 21 February 1945 and was disbanded on 3 March.

The squadron was reformed in 1946 as a day fighter squadron in the revived Auxiliary Air Force.

Aircraft
May 1938-September 1939: Hawker Hind
September 1939-February 1941: Hawker Hurricane I
September 1939-February 1941: Supermarine Spitfire I
February 1941-July 1941: Supermarine Spitfire IIA and IIB
July-August 1941: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
August-November 1941: Supermarine Spitfire IIA and IIB
November 1941-March 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
December 1943-March 1946: Supermarine Spitfire XIV

Location
February 1936-October 1939: Hooton Park
October 1939-April 1940: Wittering
April-May 1940: Prestwick
May 1940: Biggin Hill
May-July 1940: Gravesend
July-September 1940: Biggin Hill
September-December 1940: Acklington
December 1940-August 1941: Westhampnett
August 1941-January 1942: Leconfield
January-April 1942: Hutton Cranswick
April-October 1942: Ludham
October 1942-January 1943: Castletown
January-April 1943: Westhampnett
April-June 1943: Perranporth
June-December 1943: Bolt Head
December 1943-January 1944: Fairwood Common
January-April 1944: Exeter
April 1944: Culmhead
April 1944: Fairwood Common
April-May 1944: Culmhead
May 1944: Bolt Head
May-July 1944: Harrowbeer
July-September 1944: Friston
September-December 1944: Lympne
December 1944: B.56 Evere
December 1944-January 1945: Y.32 Ophoven
January-February 1945: B.78 Eindhoven
February-March 1945: Warmwell

Squadron Codes: DW

Duty
1939-December 1944: Fighter Command
December 1944-February 1945: 2nd TAF

Part of
September 1939: No.12 Group, Fighter Command
8 August 1940: No.11 Group, Fighter Command
6 June 1944: No.10 Group; Air Defence of Great Britain; Allied Expeditionary Air Force

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 April 2012), No. 610 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/610_wwII.html

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