No. 92 Squadron
Aircraft: Spitfire Mk.I
Motto: Aut pugna aut morere – ‘Either fight or die’
Badge: A cobra entwining a sprig of maple leaf. The maple leaf signifies the squadron’s association as a Canadian unit in World War One whilst the cobra represents the fact that No 92 was one of the East India gift squadrons in World War Two.
- Pembrey – 18 June 1940
- Biggin Hill – 8 September 1940
No. 92 Squadron was formed at London Colney on 1 September 1917 as a fighter unit and moved to France in July 1918. It was engaged in fighter and ground attack duties over the Western Front for the rest of the war and disbanded on 7 August 1919.
On 10 October 1939, No. 92 reformed at Tangmere and received Blenheims. In March 1940, these were replaced by Spitfires which became operational on 9 May and flew patrols over France during May and June before being sent to South Wales for defensive duties. In September it was transferred to No. 11 Group for the final phase of the Battle of Britain.
No. 111 Squadron
Aircraft: Hurricane Mk.I
Motto: Adstantes – ‘Standing to’
Badge: In front of two swords in saltire a cross potent quadrat charged with three seaxes fesswise in pale. The cross in the badge signifies Palestine, its World War One area of operation, the seaxes signify Essex its base and the swords London which it defended.
- Croydon – 4 June 1940
- Debden – 19 August 1940
- Croydon – 3 September 1940
- Drem – 8 September 1940
No. 111 Squadron was formed at Deir-el-Belah in Palestine on 1 August 1917 as a fighter squadron to support the Army in its offensive against the Turks in Palestine and Syria. Initially it used a variety of types but standardised on Nieuports and SE5As at the beginning of 1918, the latter becoming its standard equipment in July. In October the campaign came to an end and the squadron was withdrawn to Egypt where it re-equipped with Bristol Fighters in February 1919. On 1 February 1920, No. 111 was renumbered 14 Squadron.
On 1 October 1923, No. 111 reformed at Duxford as a fighter squadron, initially with one flight of Grebes. On 1 April 1924, a second flight of Snipes was added and in January 1925, a third flight with Siskins, which became standard equipment soon afterwards. In January 1931, Bulldogs were received and were replaced in May 1936 with Gauntlets. No. 111 became the RAF’s first Hurricane squadron in January 1938 and was engaged in defensive duties during the first months of World War Two. During the German invasion of France in May 1940, the squadron operated across the Channel, occasionally using French Airfields, followed by a short but busy period providing air cover for the evacuation fleet at Dunkirk. During the first half of the Battle of Britain it took part in the defence of south-east England, being withdrawn in September to refit in Scotland.
No. 141 Squadron
Aircraft: Defiant Mk.I
Motto: Caedimus noctu – ‘We stay by night’
Badge: On an ogress a leopard’s face – symbolising fighting in the dark.
Turnhouse – 28 June 1940
West Malling – 12 July 1940
Prestwick – 21 July 1940
Dyce and Montrose (D) – 22 August 1940
Turnhouse – 30 August 1940
Biggin Hill (D) – 13 September to 18 September 1940
Gatwick (D) – 18 September to 22 October 1940
Drem – 15 October 1940
Gatwick (G) – 22 October 1940
Gatwick (A) – 24 October 1940
No. 141 Squadron was formed at Rochford on 1 January 1918 as a home defence unit for the London Area, moving to Biggin Hill in February and giving up its mixed collection of types in favour of Bristol Fighters during March. In March 1919, it moved to Ireland where it was disbanded on 1 February 1920.
On 4 October 1939, No. 141 reformed at Turnhouse and by the end of the month had received some Gladiators followed shortly afterwards by Blenheims and these two types formed the training equipment of the until the arrival of Defiants in April 1940. Becoming operational on this type on 3 June 1940, the first operational patrol was flown by No. 141 on 29 June and in July it moved to West Malling. The maintenance flight was based at Biggin Hill while the Defiants used Hawkinge as an advanced airfield and it was from the latter that the Squadron had its first and last daylight encounter with the enemy. Six out of nine aircraft were lost over the Channel to Me 109s and the sqauadron was withdrawn to Prestwick two days later as the ineffectiveness of the Defiant against single-seat fighters became evident. In September, a detachment was sent back to southern England but this time for night patrols and the whole squadron moved there in October.
No. 145 Squadron
Aircraft: Hurricane Mk.I
Motto: Diu noctuque pugnamus – ‘We fight by day and night’
Badge: In front of a cross couped, a sword in bend, point downward. The sword represents No 145 Squadron’s role, the cross couped the squadron’s association with No 14 Squadron.
- Tangmere – 10 May 1940
- Westhampnett – 31 July 1940
- Drem – 14 August 1940
- Dyce – 31 August 1940
- Tangmere – 9 October 1940
No. 145 Squadron was formed on 15 May 1918 at Aboukir as a half-strength fighter unit and moved to Palestine in August with SE5As to provide fighter cover for Allenby’s final offensive against the Turks which ended the war in the Middle East. The squadron disbanded on 2 September 1919.
On 10 October 1939, No. 145 reformed at Croydon as a fighter squadron, receiving Blenheims in November. In March 1940 it began to re-equip with Hurricanes and in May became operational over northern France. After covering the evacuation from Dunkirk, the squadron took part in the Battle of Britain until withdrawn to Scotland in mid-August, returning south in October.
No. 151 Squadron
Aircraft: Hurricane Mk.I; Defiant Mk.I
Motto: Foy pour devoir – ‘Fidelity into duty’
Badge: On a hurt, an owl affrontee wings elevated, alighting on a seax. The owl represents No. 151 Squadron’s role of night-fighting whilst the seax comes from the Arms of Essex in which county the squadron was formed.
- North Weald – 20 May 1940
- Stapleford Tawney – 29 August 1940
- Digby – 1 September 1940
No. 151 Squadron was formed at Hainault Farm on 12 June 1918 as a night fighter squadron by combining one flight each from Nos 44, 78 and 112 Squadrons. Its purpose was to counter extensive enemy night attacks on British bases behind the Western Front and on 16 June the first flight crossed the Channel. By 26 June the squadron was installed at their base and began night flights on the following day. Several enemy night raiders were destroyed and for a short period the squadron pioneered the technique which was to become common in the Second World War by flying intruder missions over enemy airfields awaiting the return of the enemy night bombers. By the end of the war, twenty-six enemy aircraft had had been claimed destroyed by night without loss. With only primitive equipment, it flew Camels which, even in daylight were tricky to fly. Returning to the UK in February 1919, the squadron disbanded on 10 September 1919.
On 4 August 1936, No. 151 reformed at North Weald with Gauntlets from a detachment of No. 56 Squadron. It began to receive Hurricanes in December 1938 and in February 1939 passed on its remaining thirteen Gauntlets to 602 Squadron. After defensive patrols for the opening months of World War Two, the squadron covered the evacuation fleet at Dunkirk and flew missions over northern France during May and June 1940, before taking part in the Battle of Britain. As the Battle came to a close, 151 were re-equipped with Defiants and became a night fighter squadron.
No. 152 Squadron.
Aircraft: Spitfire Mk.I
Motto: Faithful ally
Badge: A head-dress. No. 152 Squadron became the gift squadron of Hyderabad and took as its badge the head-dress of the Nizam of Hyderabad.
- Arklington – 1 October 1939
- Warmwell – 12 July 1940
No. 152 Squadron was formed on 1 October 1918 at Rochford as a Camel night fighter unit and in mid-October moved to France to defend Allied Bases against enemy night bombers. The war ended three weeks later and 30 June 1919, the squadron disbanded.
On 1 October 1939, No. 152 reformed at Arklington with Gladiators and became operational on 6 November. In January 1940, conversion to Spitfires began and after a period of defensive patrols in the north-east, the squadron moved to Warmwell to help defend southern England against attacks from the Luftwaffe forces now based in northern France. Throughout the Battle of Britain, No. 152 defended this sector which included Portland naval base.