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No.486 Squadron, RNZAF, began its existence as a night-fighter unit, but after the failure of the Turbinlite experiment it became a standard fighter squadron, taking part in offensive sweeps and the campaign against the V-1 Flying Bomb.
The squadron was formed on 7 March 1942. It was assigned to the Turbinlite programme, and was paired with No.1435 Flight. The idea was that No.1435's Havocs, which carried a massive light, would find and illuminate German night flying aircraft, allowing No.486 Squadron's Hurricanes to intercept them. The idea wasn't a great success, and was phased out as radar-equipped night fighters began to appear in greater numbers.
The squadron used its night flying experience on a few night intruder missions, but in July-August it converted to the Hawker Typhoon (part of the second batch of squadrons to receive the new aircraft), at this stage seen as a promising new fighter. The squadron moved south in September 1942 and used its Typhoons to intercept German fighter-bomber raids that were hitting coastal towns.
In April 1943 the squadron began to fly offensive sweeps over France, and at the same time flew a number of anti-shipping patrols, looking for German ships off the French coast.
In October 1943 the squadron became a fighter-bomber squadron, but in January 1944 it began to convert to the Hawker Tempest (becoming the first squadron to get the Tempest V), a much more capable fighter than the Typhoon. The swap was briefly stopped, but was eventually completed in April.
The squadron provided fighter cover for the D-Day landings. Soon afterwards the V-1 Flying Bomb campaign began and No.486 Squadron's Tempests were needed for the defensive battle that followed.
The squadron took part in the V-1 campaign until September 1944. By then the Allied armies had captured most of the launching areas and the threat was greatly diminished. No.486 Squadron was able to move to the Netherlands, where it flew a mix of defensive patrols and ground-attack sweeps across Germany. In April 1945 the squadron moved forward to Germany where it spent the rest of the war.
The squadron returned to the UK in September 1945, leaving its aircraft behind for No.41 Squadron. It was disbanded on 12 October 1945.
March-April 1942: Hawker Hurricane I, IIA and IIB
July 1942-December 1943: Hawker Typhoon IB
January-February 1944: Hawker Typhoon IB and Hawker Tempest V
March 1944: Hawker Typhoon IB
April 1944-September 1945: Hawker Typhoon IB and Hawker Tempest V
March-April 1942: Kirton-in-Lindsey
April-September 1942: Wittering
July-August 1942: Detachment to Hibaldstow
September-October 1942: North Weald
October 1942: West Malling
October 1942-January 1944: Tangmere
January-February 1944: Beaulieu
February-March 1944: Drem
March 1944: Castle Camps
March 1944: Ayr
March-April 1944: Castle Camps
April-September 1944: Newchurch
September 1944: Matlask
September-October 1944: B.60 Grimbergen
October 1944-April 1945: B.80 Volkel
April 1945: B.112 Hopsten
April-May 1945: B.152 Fassbert
May 1945; B.118 Celle
May-July 1945: B.160 Kastrup
July-September 1945: B.158 Lubeck
September 1945: B.166 Flensburg
September-October 1945: Dunsfold
Squadron Codes: SA
March 1942: Fighter squadron with Turbinlite Flight
September 1942-April 1943: Defensive fighter squadron
April 1943-April 1944: Fighter/ Fighter-Bomber sweeps over northern France
April-June 1944: Fighter squadron
June-September 1944: Anti V-1 Campaign
September 1944 onwards: Fighter cover and offensive sweeps behind German lines.