RAF No 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron

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Click here to go to badgesFormed at Dover on 24 April 1918, equipped with DH9s, it moved to Petite Synthe on 23 May, where it joined ex RNAS units operating in the daylight bombing role against targets in the Lille area and Belgium. On 7 February 1919, it returned to Hucknell, where it disbanded on 24 June 1919.

The squadron reformed from 'A' Flight of No 57 Squadron on 16 March 1936 at Upper Heyford and was equipped with Hawker Hinds. These were replaced by Fairey Battles in January 1938 and in September these were taken to France as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force. Along with other Battle units, the squadron suffered heavy casualties in the fighting of May 1940 and by June its personnel had to be evacuated back to the UK due to lack of aircraft.

Back in the UK, the squadron re-equipped with Blenheims, joining No 2 Group and began attacks against coastal shipping and invasion barges in the Channel ports. However, its days as a light bomber unit were numbered and in November it converted to Wellingtons at Marham and transferred to No 3 Group. The squadron conducted it first night raid on 22 December and these continued with Wellingtons until February 1942, when the squadron re-equipped with Stirlings. In July the unit re-located to Downham Market, where it stayed until March 1944, when it moved to Woolfax Lodge. In August it moved again to Methwold, where it converted to Lancasters, but in December it moved to Chedburgh, where it remained until it disbanded on 10 August 1945, but before disbanding, it transferred to the transport role.

After the war the squadron was twice linked to No 115 Squadron, the first time being from 1 February 1949 to 1 March 1950, and again from 13 June 1950 until 1 June 1957. The unit was re-incarnated again on 1 December 1959 at Harrington equipped with Thor IRBM but disbanded there on 23 August 1963.

Squadron Codes used: -

218 Jan 1938 - Apr 1939
SV Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
HA, Sep 1939 - Aug 1945
XH xx xxxx - Aug 1945 (only used by ''C' Flt)

Web References:

  • History of RAF Organisation: http://www.rafweb.org/Squadrons/Sqn146-150.htm
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/
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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023