RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

RAF No 149 (East India) Squadron

Motto: Firtis nocte (Strong by night)

Formed at Ford on 3 March 1918 in the night bomber role, equipped with FE2bs, it moved to France in June and carried out raids against targets in Belgium and Northern France until the end of the war. Remaining in Germany from December 1918, it moved to Ireland in March 1919 and disbanded there on 1 August of the same year.

It was reformed from 'B' Flight of No 99 Squadron on 12April 1937 at Mildenhall, where it remained until April 1942. Initially equipped with Heyfords, these were replaced by Wellingtons in January 1939, which it used on some of the earliest daylight raids of the war, but following the mounting losses experienced on these, it moved to night raids in April 1940, along with the rest of Bomber Command.

In November 1941, the squadron converted to Stirlings and in April 1942 moved to a new base at Lakenheath. Continuing to operate as part of Bomber Command's main Force the squadron moved to Methwold in May 1944, where it re-equipped with Lancasters in August and where it remained until April 1946. Having been retained as part of the post-war RAF it moved to Tuddenham in April 1946 and then in November to Stradishall. In February 1949, it returned to Mildenhall, where it re-equipped with Lincolns in October, remaining there until disbanding on 1 March 1950.

The squadron reformed on 14 August 1950 at Marham as the RAF's first Washington bomber unit, moving to Coningsby in October. These were intended as a interim nuclear bomber pending the arrival of the RAF's own jet bomber, the Canberra. These were received in March 1953 and in August of the following year, it re-located to Ahlhorn in Germany, where it joined No 125 Wing. The following moth it moved again, this time to Gutersloh, where it disbanded on 31 August 1956.


Battle Honours:

Squadron Codes used: -

LY Jan 1939 - Sep 1939
OJ Sep 1939 - Mar 1950, Aug 1950 - Apr 1951
TK Apr 1943 - Jun 1945 (only used by ''C' Flt)

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023