RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

RAF No 256 Squadron

Motto:  Addimus vim viribus (Strength to strength)

Formed in June 1918 from No's 495, 525, 526, 527 and 528 Flights at Seahouses with DH6 aircraft, which it used for coastal patrols along the Northumbrian coast. It disbanded on 30 June 1919.

The squadron reformed on the night fighter role on 23 November 1940 at Catterick, equipped with Defiants. Following its work up it moved to Pembrey, from where it began operations in February 1941. From March 1941 it was based in the North-West to defend the Merseyside area until April 1943, when it moved to Ford. In May 1942, the Defiants were replaced by Beaufighters and a year later these were superseded by Mosquito XIIs. July 1943, saw the squadron supply a detachment to Luqa in Malta to provide night cover for the invasion of Sicily.

Once the invasion of Italy was complete, the rest of the squadron arrived in Malta on October, remaining there until April 1944. Its next move was to Algeria, absorbing the Gibraltar Defence Flight equipped with Spitfires in May, but these had left by August. At the same time as the Spitfires left, the squadron moved to Sardinia and in September to Italy. From here it began intruder operations over the Balkans, which continued for the remainder of the war.

In September 1945, the squadron moved to Egypt, where, from April 1946, it adopted the additional role of meteorological reconnaissance. A further move came in July when it re-located to Nicosia in Cyprus, but on 12 September 1946, the squadron disbanded. It reformed briefly on 27 November 1952 as a night fighter unit at Ahlhorn in Germany. It was part of No 125 Wing and was equipped with Meteor NF Mk 11s, but on 11 January 1959, it was disbanded by being renumbered No 11 Squadron.

Squadron Codes used: -
SZ Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
JT Nov 1940 - Sep 1946

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023