No. 621 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.621 Squadron was a general reconnaissance squadron that spend 1943-45 engaged in anti-submarine warfare and general maritime patrols in the seas off East Africa and in the Red Sea.

The squadron was formed in Kenya on 12 September 1943. Its first operation, an ant-submarine patrol, didn't begin well when the aircraft involved ran out of fuel and crashed. Luckily the crew survived and were rescued three days later.

From September 1943 Allied convoys were able to pass through the Mediterranean. This made the approaches to the Gulf of Aden much more important. In October 1943 No.621 Squadron moved from Kenya to Somalia, from where it could more easily cover the approaches to the Gulf of Aden. At the end of 1943 it moved again, this time to Aden. As expected Axis submarines were sighted in the area, and on 2 May 1944 No.621 Squadron made an assault on one such U-boat. After prolonged attacks over two days the crew of U-852 were forced to abandon ship.

As well as the anti-submarine warfare patrols the convoy also provided aircraft for convoy escorts, air-sea rescue, shipping searches and reconnaissance. It was also sometimes involved in overland searches.

At the start of 1945 the squadron's strength was reduced from sixteen to eight aircraft. After the end of the fighting it became a regular transport squadron, before moving to Egypt late in the year. The squadron was renumbered as No.18 Squadron on 1 September 1946.

Aircraft
September 1943-December 1945: Vickers Wellington XIII and XIV
November 1945-August 1946: Vickers Warwick V
April-September 1945: Avro Lancaster ASR.3

Location
September-November 1943: Port Reitz
November-December 1943: Mogadishu
December 1943-November 1945: Khormaksar
November 1945-April 1946: Mersa Matruh
April-June 1946: Aqir
June-September 1946: Ein Shemer

Squadron Codes: G, V

Duty
September 1943-November 1945: General Reconnaissance, East Africa and Red Sea

Part of
1 July 1944: No.222 Group; Air Command South-East Asia

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 April 2012), No. 621 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/621_wwII.html

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