RAF No 165 (Ceylon) Squadron

Motto: Infensa virtuti invidia (Envy is the foe of honour)

Its formation as a DH10 unit was proposed on 9 May 1918, for a deployment to France on 8 October, later revised to 22 October, but these plans were cancelled on 4 July. Rescheduled to form on 22 August for deployment on 22 October, again as a DH10 unit, these plans were suspended on 27 July and finally cancelled on 17 August.

The squadron eventually formed as a Spitfire equipped fighter squadron at Ayr on 6 April 1942. It spent the rest of the war carrying out the full gamut of operations for this type of unit. These began with defensive patrols in Scotland before moving south in August and beginning offensive operations over France. A return to Scotland in March 1943 was followed by another spell in the south from July.

In August the squadron joined the Kenley Wing but the following month returned to the South-West from where it carried out escort missions, offensive sweeps and defensive duties until after Operation 'Overlord'. The V-1 attacks against South-East England, found the squadron in Kent as part of the anti-'Diver' forces. When this threat receded the squadron moved to East Anglia, where it began re-equipping with Mustangs in mid-December. These were used for long range bomber escort missions from February 1945 until the end of the war. In June it returned to Dyce in Scotland, where it re-equipped with Spitfires, moving to Norway on 20 June. Here it provided air defence cover for the region, pending the re-formation of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, eventually returning to Britain in January 1946 and disbanding at Duxford on 1 September 1946.

Squadron Codes used: - YP Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939; SK Apr 1942 - Sep 1946

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023