RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

RAF No 142 Squadron

Motto: Determination

Formed at Ismailia on 2 February 1918 in the Corps Reconnaissance role, it was employed in support of the Army in both Egypt and Palestine, settling in Egypt after the war, where it was disbanded by being renumbered No 55 Squadron on 1 February 1920.

The squadron reformed at Netheravon on 1 July 1934 as a light bomber unit equipped with Hawker Harts, which it took to Egypt in October 1935 during the Abyssinian crisis. Returning to the UK in November 1936, it re-equipped with Hinds in January 1937 and just over a year later in March 1938, with Battles. The squadron was earmarked as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force and moved to France in September 1939. Following the German invasion, it undertook attacks against enemy columns and lines of communication, until being evacuated to Britain in mid-June. Operations continued from Binbrook and then Eastchurch but in November the squadron began to convert to Wellingtons, a process completed by January 1941.

The squadron was now a night bombing unit and commenced operations in April 1941. In December 1942 a detachment was sent to Algeria and on 27 January 1943, the contingent left in the UK was amalgamated with No 150 Squadron, forming No 166 Squadron; the Middle Eastern element then took over the No 142 and continued operations in the area. Still a night bomber unit, it operated against targets in Tunisia, Sicily, Sardinia and Italy, moving onto the Italian mainland in December 1943. Attacks were now moved to Northern Italy and the Balkans, but on 5 October the squadron was disbanded.

Almost three weeks later on 25 October , the squadron was reformed at Gransden Lodge. It was now a Mosquito unit in No 8 Group's Light Night Striking Force, duties it maintained until the end of the war, disbanding on 28 September 1945. No 142 briefly reformed on 1 February 1959 in the fighter-bomber role at Eastleigh in Kenya, equipped with Venom FB Mk 4s, but on 1 April it was renumbered as No 208 Squadron. Its final incarnation was as a Thor equipped Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile unit at Coleby Grange from 22 July 1959 to 24 May 1963.

Squadron Codes used: -

KB April - Sep 1939
QT Sep 1939 - Oct 1944
4H Oct 1944 - Sep 1945

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023