RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

No 247 (China-British) Squadron

Motto: Rise From the East

Formed on 20 August from No's 336, 337 and 338 Flts at Felixstowe, equipped with Felixstowe F2As, which were used for anti-submarine patrols over the North Sea. It disbanded on 22 January 1919.

The only squadron to be equipped with Gladiators throughout the Battle of Britain, having been formed on 21 August 1940, when the Fighter Flight at Sumburgh having moved south to Roborough, on 1 July 1940, for defensive duties in the South-West of England and particularly around Plymouth was raised to squadron status. Hurricanes began to arrive in December but it was February 1941, before the last Gladiator was retired and these were flown on convoy patrols and both day and night defensive duties until September 1942. In that month it began to use its Hurricanes on night intruder operations over France.

In January 1943, it received its first Typhoon and by the following month was fully equipped with the new type. In June it joined the newly formed 2nd Tactical Air Force and began attacks against enemy airfields, lines of communications and other targets in preparation for the forthcoming invasion. Having supported the actual landings on 6 June 1944, the squadron moved to France two weeks later and continued flying armed reconnaissance operations in support of the advancing Allied armies through France, Belgium, Holland and into Germany.

In August 1945 the squadron returned to Britain and converted to Tempest IIs, but in June 1946, it was moved to Odiham, where it became the first unit to receive the De Havilland Vampire jet fighter. These remained its equipment , being progressively upgrade to the F Mk 3 in 1948 and the FB Mk 5 in 1949, until May 1951, when it began to re-equip with Meteors. The F Mk 8 variant was operated until June 1955, when it received Hunters and these were used until the squadron disbanded on 31 December 1957. The squadron reformed once more on 1 July 1960 as a Bloodhound surface-to-air missile unit at Carnaby. Here it tasked with the protection of the the three Thor IRBM sites in the area at Carnaby, Driffield and Catfoss. It disbanded shortly after the three Thor units on 31 December 1963.

HP Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
HP Aug 1940 - 1942
ZY 1942 - Dec 1949

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023