No. 611 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.611 (West Lancashire) Squadron was a fighter squadron that flew a mix of offensive and defensive missions, ending the war as an escort squadron.

The squadron was formed in 1936 as a day bomber squadron in the Auxiliary Air Force. It became a fighter squadron in January 1939, and converted to the Spitfire in May. After the outbreak of war it was posted to the east coast, where it provided defensive cover against the few German raids on mainly shipping targets of this early period.

In May 1940 the squadron temporarily moved further south to take part in the fighting over Dunkirk, but it then moved to Lincolnshire, where it remained throughout the Battle of Britain.

From January to November 1941 the squadron took part in offensive sweeps over France. From November until June 1942 it was based in the north of Scotland.

In June 1942 the squadron returned south and began to fly an unusually varied mix of operations, including defensive duties, shipping reconnaissance and bomber escort. During the D-Day invasions it provided cover for the invasions fleets.

In August 1944 the squadron moved to East Anglia, from where it flew long range escort missions. In October it moved to the Orkneys, where it converted to the Mustang. In March 1945 the squadron returned to the south of England and resumed escort duties, a role it performed for the last few months of the war. The squadron was disbanded in August 1945, but reformed as a day fighter squadron in July 1951.

May 1939-March 1941: Supermarine Spitfire I
August 1940-June 1941: Supermarine Spitfire IIA and IIB
June-November 1941: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
November 1941-February 1942: Supermarine Spitfire IIA and IIB
February-July 1942: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
July 1942-July 1943: Supermarine Spitfire IX
July 1943-July 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB, VC and IX
October 1944-December 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VII
January-August 1945: North American Mustang IV

February-May 1936: Hendon
May 1936-August 1939: Speke
August-October 1939: Duxford
October 1939-December 1940: Digby
December 1940-January 1941: Rochford
January-May 1941: Hornchurch
May-June 1941: Rochford
June-November 1941: Hornchurch
November 1941-June 1942: Drem
June-July 1942 Kenley
July 1942: Martlesham Heath
July 1942: Redhill
July-August 1942: Ipswich
August-September 1942: Redhill
September 1942-July 1943: Biggin Hill
July 1943: Matlask
July-August 1943: Ludham
August-September 1943: Coltishall
September 1943: Southend
September 1943-February 1944: Coltishall
February 1944: Ayr
February-April 1944: Coltishall
April-June 1944: Deanland
June-July 1944: Harrowbeer
July 1944: Predannack
July-August 1944: Bolt Head
August-October 1944: Bradwell Bay
October-December 1944: Skeabrae
December 1944-March 1945: Hawkinge
March-May 1945: Hunsdon
May-August 1945: Peterhead

Squadron Codes: FY

1939-45: Fighter Command

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



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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 April 2012), No. 611 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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