RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

RAF No 151 Squadron

Motto: Foy Pour Devoir (Fidelity unto duty)

Formed at Hainault Farm as a night fighter unit on 12 June 1918 by taking a flight from Nos 44, 78 and 112 Squadrons. The first flight moved to France on 16 June and ten days later the rest of the squadron was also in France. It operated Camels in defence of British bases in the area and by the end of the war had destroyed 26 enemy aircraft. It also introduced the principle of night intrusion, when it made attacks against German bombers returning to their airfields. Having returned to Britain in February 1919, it disbanded at Drem on 10 September.

The squadron reformed on 4 August 1936 at North Weald, equipped with Gauntlets from a detachment of No 56 Squadron. Hurricanes began to arrive in December 1938 and conversion was completed in February 1939. Unlike many Hurricane units, it remained in Britain on defensive duties, instead of going to France. It then covered the Dunkirk evacuation and took part in most of the Battle of Britain, before moving to Digby in September 1940.

The following November, it was decided to transfer the squadron to the night fighting role and it moved to Bramcote where it also received Defiants. Night operations were commenced in February 1941 from its base at Wittering and a detachment at Coltishall. In April 1942, Mosquitos began to arrive and the Hurricanes were immediately retired although it was July before the Defiants left, leaving the squadron solely equipped with the Mosquito. From April 1943, as a result of the declining night interceptions being made, the squadron moved to Colerne, from where it began intruder operations. In October 1944, a move to Castle Camps led to it adopting the bomber support role and these were continued from East Anglia until the end of the war. A few days later the squadron moved back to the West Country, disbanding at Weston Zoyland on 10 October 1946.

From 11 February 1949 until 14 September 1951, the squadron number was linked to No 23 Squadron, but on the 15th, the squadron regained its independence, when it reformed at Leuchars as a Vampire night fighter unit. In April 1953 Meteor NF Mk 11s replaced the Vampires and in July 1955, these were replaced by Venom NF Mk 3s. The squadron's role changed in July 1957, when it became an all-weather fighter unit on re-equipping with Javelins, these being retained until 19 September 1961, when the squadron disbanded, still being at Leuchars.

Its final incarnation lasted from 1 January 1962 to 25 May 1963, when the Signals Command Development Squadron was given the number. Bases at Watton, this unit operated a range of aircraft including Lincolns, Hastings, Varsities and Canberras on radar research and development. The squadron was disbanded by being renumbered No 97 Squadron.

Squadron Codes used: -

TV Sep 1938 - Dec 1938
GG Dec 1938 - Sep 1939
DZ Sep 1939 - Oct 1946

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023