RAF No 253 (Hyderabad State) Squadron
Motto: Come One, Come All
Formed by amalgamating Nos 412, and 413 (Seaplane) Flights with Nos 511, 512 and 513 (Special Duties) Flights at Bembridge on 7 June 1918. The seaplane flights were equipped with Short 184s and Short Campanias, whilst the land based special duties flights used DH6s. All types were used for anti-submarine patrols right up until the Armistice, with the unit being disbanded on 5 May 1919.
The squadron reformed on 30 October 1939 at Manston as a Blenheim coastal fighter unit, however, no aircraft were received and in February 1940, it began to receive Hurricanes, becoming operational in April. As the losses in France mounted, one flight was detached to join the BAFF, whilst the other flew over daily to operate from French bases but returned to Kenley every evening. With the fall of France, the squadron retired to Kirton-in-Lindsey, where it re-equipped until July, when it moved even further north to Turnhouse and later Prestwick.
The squadron finally joined the action in the south in August when it moved to Kenley, remaining there until January 1941 when it was rested at Leconfield. From February to September 1941, the squadron provided air defence cover for the Orkneys, returning south to fly convoy and coastal patrols along the East Coast. In August 1942, it was detached to Friston, from where it flew in support if the Dieppe landing, but two months later it was preparing for a move overseas.
It arrived in Algeria on 13 November 1942 and provided air cover for the 1st Army and its supply lines for the remainder of the North African campaign. In June 1943 it moved over to Sicily and the following October transferred to Italy. During this period, the squadron converted from Hurricanes to Spitfires and from February to April 1944 it flew anti-shipping operations and escort mission from Corsica, before returning to Italy, from where it continued these types of operations over the Balkans. The squadron finally moved into its area of operations in April 1945 when it relocated to Prkos in Yugoslavia itself. With the end of the war, it undertook occupation duties in Northern Italy and Austria, disbanding at Treviso on 16 May 1947.
No 253s final incarnation began on 18 April 1955 when it reformed as a night fighter squadron at Waterbeach, equipped with Venom NF Mk 2s, but this part of its career was short-lived as it was disbanded on 1 September 1957.
Squadron Codes used: - TL Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939; SW Oct 1939 - May 1947
RAF No 253 (Hyderabad State) Squadron bases
From - To Stationed October 1939-February 1940 Manston February-May 1940 Northolt May 1940 Kenley May-July 1940 Kirton-in-Lindsey July-August 1940 Turnhouse August 1940 Prestwick August 1940-January 1941 Kenley January-February 1941 Leconfield February-September 1941 Skeabrae September 1941-June 1942 Hibaldstow June-July 1942 Friston July-October 1942 Hibaldstow August 1942 Detachment to Friston November 1942 Maison Blanche November 1942-January 1943 Philippeville January-February 1943 Setif February-March 1943 Jemappes March-April 1943 Maison Blanche April-June 1943 Jemappes June-August 1943 Lampedusa August-October 1943 La Sebala I October-November 1943 Montecorvino November 1943-February 1944 Capodichino February-April 1944 Borgo April-July 1944 Foggia July 1944-April 1945 Canne September-November 1944 Brindisi April-May 1945 Prkos May-June 1945 Brindisi June 1945-September 1946 Treviso September 1946-January 1947 Zeltweg January-May 1947 Treviso
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