No. 238 Squadron

Aircraft: Hurricane Mk.I
Motto: Ad finem – ‘To the end’
Badge: A three headed hydra. Hydras, in Greek mythology, were most difficult creatures to destroy.


  • Middle Wallop – 20 June 1940
  • St Eval – 14 August 1940
  • Middle Wallop – 10 September 1940
  • Chilbolton – 30 September 1940


No. 238 Squadron was formed in August 1918 from Nos 347, 348 and 349 Flights at the seaplane station at Cattewater, Plymouth, and flew anti-submarine patrols until the end of the war, being reduced to a cadre on 15 May 1919. It remained as a storage unit until disbanded on 20 March 1922.

On 16 May 1940, No. 238 reformed at Tangmere as a fighter squadron with Spitfires but in June these were replaced by Hurricanes. It became operational on 2 July and spent the period of the Battle of Britain in the Middle Wallop sector, apart from four weeks in Cornwall.

A Hawker Hurricane Mk I in 238 Squadron markings

No. 242 Squadron

Aircraft: Hurricane Mk.I
Motto: Toujours prêt – ‘Always ready’
Badge: A moose’s head erased. At the time that the badge was awarded the officers serving with the squadron were Canadian.


  • Coltishall – 18 June 1940
  • Duxford – 26 October 1940


No. 242 Squadron was formed in August 1918 from Nos 408, 409 and 514 Flights at the seaplane station at Newhaven and nearby airfield at Telscombe Cliffs. It carried out anti-submarine patrols over the English Channel until the end of World War One. On 15 May 1919, the squadron was disbanded.

On 30 October 1939, No. 242 reformed at Church Fenton as a fighter squadron and initially had a large number of Canadian personnel on strength. In December it received Blenheim fighters which were replaced in January 1940 by Hurricanes, the squadron becoming operational on 23 March. Operations over France began on 16 May, a detachment being based at French airfields until evacuated on 16 June to take part in the Battle of Britain.

A Hawker Hurricane Mk I in 242 Squadron markings

No. 245 Squadron

Aircraft: Hurricane Mk.I
Motto: Fugo non fugio – ‘I put to flight, I do not flee’
Badge: In front of a fountain, an eagle volant. The eagle symbolises readiness to attack and the fountain the sea over which No 245 Squadron flew many patrols.


  • Aldergrove – 20 July 1940


No. 245 Squadron was formed in August 1918 at Fishguard from Nos 426 and 427 Flights with Short seaplanes for anti-submarine patrols over the southern half of the Irish Sea. It was disbanded on 10 May 1919.

On 30 October 1939 No. 245 reformed at Leconfield with Blenheims as a fighter squadron, but in January 1940 received a few Battles for training purposes pending the arrival of Hurricanes in March. In May, the squadron’s aircraft moved to Hawkinge to help cover the evacuation from Dunkirk and in July went to Northern Ireland for air defence and convoy patrols.

A Hawker Hurricane Mk I in 245 Squadron markings

No. 247 Squadron

Aircraft: Gladiator Mk.II
Motto: Rise from the east
Badge: In front of a sun a lion, crowned, bearing a scroll. No. 247 Squadron was the China-British gift squadron in World War Two and also served for a long time in Devon and Cornwall. China is represented by the characters on the scroll, meaning ‘Hurricane’, Devon by the demi-lion and Cornwall by the sun.


  • Roborough – 1 August 1940


No. 247 Squadron was formed on 20 August 1918 from Nos 336, 337 and 338 Flights at the former Royal Naval Air Station, Felixstowe, and for the remaining months of the war its flying boats flew patrols over the North Sea. On 22 January 1919 the squadron disbanded.

On 21 July 1940, the Fighter Flight, Sumburgh, was transferred to Roborough for the defence of Plymouth and became 247 Squadron on 1 August. It flew Gladiators on defensive patrols, mainly at night.

A Gloster Gladiator Mk II in 247 Squadron markings

No. 248 Squadron

Aircraft: Blenheim Mk.IVF
Motto: Il faut en finir – ‘It is necessary to make an end of it’
Badge: A demi-sword in bend partly withdrawn from the scabbard.


  • Dyce – 22 May 1940
  • Sumburgh (A) – 20 July 1940
  • Sumburgh (G) – 31 July 1940


No. 248 Squadron was formed in august 1918 form Nos 404, 405 and 453 Flights at the seaplane station at Hornsea Mere and flew coastal patrols off the Yorkshire coast until the end of the war. It was disbanded on 6 March 1919.

On 30 October 1939, No. 248 reformed at Hendon with an establishment of eighteen Blenheim 1fs for night defence duties and received its first operational aircraft early in December. Lacking any form of radar, its initial night flying was ineffective and at the end of February 1940 it was transferred to Coastal Command, equipped with seven Blenheim Mk.IVFs. It moved to North Coates and later to Thorney Island and Gosport, where it acquired its full number of Blenheims. On 22 May the squadron returned to Fighter Command on its movement to Dyce, a detachment being based at Montrose to extend the coverage of its patrols over the coastal waters of eastern Scotland. On 20 June, it was once more transferred to Coastal for reconnaissance flights off the Norwegian coast and attacks on enemy shipping from the Shetlands, where it had moved at the end of July.

A Bristol Blenheim Mk IVF in 248 Squadron markings