RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

RAF No 141 Squadron

Motto: Caedimus Noctu (We slay by night)

Formed at Rochford on 1 January 1918 as a home defence unit, it initially operated a variety of types until standardising on the Bristol F2B in March. From February it was based at Biggin Hill until March 19919, when was sent to Ireland, disbanding there on 1 February 1920.

No 141 reformed on 4 October 1939 at Turnhouse equipped with Gladiators and shortly afterwards Blenheims. These were both used for training until April 1940, when new equipment arrived in the form of Defiants. Declared operational on 3 June, the squadron moved to West Malling in July, from where it began patrolling the English Channel. On the 19th nine of its aircraft encountered a force of Bf109s and despite shooting down four of the German aircraft, it lost six of its own and two days later was moved to Prestwick to recover and re-equip.

It was now obvious that the lack of forward armament on the Defiant could be a serious disadvantage in daylight operations and so it was decided to transfer the squadron to night fighting. 'B' Flight returned south in September and soon shot down its first enemy aircraft at night. The following month the rest of the squadron also moved south, remaining until April 1941. In that month it moved north to Ayr, converting to the Beaufighter and providing night defence of Scotland and Northern England. Tangmere became its new base in June 1942 and Predannack in February 1943, but in April it moved to Wittering, from where it began night intruder operations over German airfields in support of Bomber Command. October 1943 saw the arrival of Mosquitoes and in December was transferred to No 100 Group and it remained on these duties until the end of war, disbanding on 7 September 1945.

It reformed on 17June 1946, again in the night fighter role equipped with Mosquitoes but in October 1951, these were replaced by Meteor NF Mk 11s. From 11 February 1949 to 27 June 1952, the squadron had No 42 Squadron linked to it. Venom NF Mk 3s arrived in Jun 1955 and when these were replaced by Javelins in February 1957, the squadron adopted a new role as an all weather fighter unit, however, on 1 February 1958 the squadron was disbanded at Coltishall. Its final incarnation was as a Bloodhound surface to air missile unit at Dunholme Lodge from 1 April 1959 until 31 March 1964.

Squadron Codes used: -

UD Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
TW Apr 1940 - Sep 1945, Jun 1946 - Apr 1951

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023