RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

RAF No 212 Squadron

Motto: Motto: Amari ad astra (From the sea to the stars)

No 12 Squadron RNAS was formed as a training unit within No 1 Wing at Hondschoote on 8 June 1917, however, unlike other RNAS units it was not absorbed into the RAF as No 212 Squadron and disbanded on 1 April 1918. On the same day the assets of RNAS Great Yarmouth were formed into Flights but on 20 August these flights were formed into squadron, the landplane flights (No's 490, 557 & 558) becoming No 212 Squadron. Equipped with DH4s, DH9s and DH9As it carried out anti-submarine patrols over the North Sea until the end of the war. In March 1919 it moved to Swingate Down, where it disbanded on 9 February 1920.

Experiments by the Photographic Development Unit in the use of unarmed Spitfires for photographic reconnaissance had lead to early examples being sent to France in February 1940. This detachment was given the designation No 212 Squadron on 10 February 1940 and continued to operate from continental bases until its evacuation in June. During this period it operated its Spitfires and Blenheims on strategic reconnaissance sorties over Germany. On its return to Britain it was absorbed back into the PDU and disbanded on 18 June 1940.

The squadron reformed again on 22 October 1942. It was now destined to operate Catalinas from Korangi Creek near Karachi, but its first aircraft did not arrive until December. It continued to carry out anti-submarine patrols and air sea rescue missions over the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea as well as along the Indo-Burmese coastline. It moved to Madras in May 1945, where it was re-numbered No 240 Squadron on 1 July 1945.

Squadron Codes used: - QB Allocated Apr 1939- Sep 1939

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023