RAF No. 238 Squadron

Motto: Ad Finem (To the end)

Formed on 20 August 1918 from No's 347, 348 and 349 Flights at Cattewater, equipped with Short 184s for patrolling the Channel. Some Felixstowe F2As and F3s were received in October and both types were operated until disbanding on 15 May 1919.

Reformed as a Spitfire unit on 16 May 1940 at Tangmere, these were exchanged for Hurricanes in June.  It operated throughout the Battle of Britain from Middle Wallop and St Eval until moving to Chilbolton in September 1940.  In May 1941, the squadron was embarked aboard HMS Victorious and it sailed for Malta.  It flew its aircraft from Victorious on 14 June 1941 and the following day continued its journey to Egypt, the ground echelon having travelled via South Africa.

Until its own ground personnel arrived, at the end of July,  the squadron's Hurricanes were serviced by No 274 Squadron. It was then involved in flying bomber escort missions and offensive sweeps until the end of 1942, when it returned to Egypt for defensive duties and to convert to Spitfires. In March 1944 the squadron moved to Corsica with its Spitfire IXs and took part in the Allied invasion of southern France in August, after which it moved onto the French mainland  for two months before going to Naples, where it disbanded on 31 October 1944.

A new 238 Squadron formed at Merryfield on 1 December 1944 as a transport unit, intended to operate Albemarles, but when its equipment arrived it was in the form of Dakotas.  These were taken to India in February 1945, where it began supply dropping operations and casualty evacuation from Burma.  However, its stay in India was short and in June it moved to Australia, where it operated in support of the British Pacific Fleet until disbanding on 27 December 1945.  Just under a year later on 1 December 1946, No 525 Squadron was renumbered 238 at Abingdon.  It was still flying Dakotas and these were operated throughout the Berlin Airlift but on 5 November 1948, the squadron was disbanded by being renumbered No 10 Squadron.

The squadron was re-formed in 2007 by re-naming the Line Training Flight at the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering at Cosford.

Motto: Ad Finem (To the end)

Squadron Codes used: -
TR Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
VK May 1940 - May 1941
KC 1942 - Oct 1944
FM Dec 1944 - Dec 1945
WF Dec 1946 - Oct 1948

Web Reference:http://www.rafweb.org/Sqn236-240.htm

Additional Information:

No 238 Squadron was formed in August 1918 from Nos 347, 348 and 349 Flights at the seaplane station at Cattewater, Plymouth, and flew anti-submarine patrols until the end of the war, being reduced to a cadre on 15 May 1919. It remained as a storage unit until disbanded on 20 March 1922.

On 16 May 1940, No 238 reformed at Tangmere as a fighter squadron with Spitfires but in June these were replaced by Hurricanes. It became operational on 2 July and spent the period of the Battle of Britain in the Middle Wallop sector, apart from four weeks in Cornwall.

In May 1940, No.238 reformed at Tangmere as a fighter squadron with Spitfires but in June these were replaced with Hurricanes. It became operational on 2 July and spent the period of the Battle of Britain in the Middle Wallop sector, apart from four weeks in Cornwall. In May 1941 the squadron left for the Middle East its aircraft being flown off HMS 'Victorious' to Malta while the ground echelon sailed round the Cape of Good Hope. After refuelling in Malta the Hurricanes flew on to the Western Desert where they were attached to No.274 Squadron, pending the arrival of the squadron's own ground crews. By the end of July, No238 was again operating as a complete unit, flying escort missions and fighter patrols throughout the campaign in the desert until after the battle of El Alamein. It was then withdrawn to Egypt for air defence duties and converted to Spitfires in September 1943. In March 1944, the squadron moved to Corsica for sweeps over northern Italy and in August convered the Allied landings in southern France. After moving there for two months, it was withdrawn to Naples and disbanded on 31 October 1944.

On 1 December 1944, No.238 reformed at Merryfield as a transport squadron and was originally intended to fly Albemaries. In January 1945 it received Dakotas and on 14 February its first wave of ten aircraft left for India where they began supply-dropping and casualty evacuation missions over Burma. In June the squadron moved to Australia to provide transport support for the British Pacific Fleet, officially disbanding there on 27 December 1945. Its remaining aircraft left for Singapore on 9 February 1946, others having been flown back to the UK during January.

On 1 December 1946, No.525 Squadron at Abingdon was renumbered 238 Squadron and flew Dakotas until renumbered 10 Squadron on 4 October 1948, during the Berlin airlift.

Web Reference:http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/238squadron.cfm


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This webpage was updated 25th January 2019