RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

RAF 274 Squadron

Motto: Supero (I overcome)

RAF 274 Squadron

Planned as an anti-submarine squadron to be based at Seaton Carew from November 1918, it never actually formed and the number was transferred to No 5 (Communications) Squadron at Bircham Newton. The squadron was equipped with the Handley Page V/1500 but following training, it was decided to concentrate on smaller twin engined bombers and the unit was disbanded on 20 January 1920 with its personnel forming the nucleus of No 207 Squadron.

Reformed at Amtiya in Egypt on 19 August 1940 it was equipped with both Hurricanes ('A' Flight) and Gladiators ('B' Flight). It also 6took over the Free French Flight previously attached to No 80 Squadron, however, this left in September and the following month 'B' Flight re-equipped with Hurricanes.

Between December 1940 and May 1942 the squadron was involved in fighter operations in the Western Desert interspersed with short periods of defensive duty back in Egypt. In May 1942 the squadron's aircraft were converted to the fighter-bomber role and it began ground attack operations in support of the 8th Army. When the squadron reached Tunisia the squadron reverted to the air defence role receiving some Spitfires in April 1943 which had left by August.

In September the squadron moved to Cyprus where it converted to Spitfires in October. These were taken to Italy in February 1944 and for the next two months it carried out offensive operations over the Balkans. However, on 10 April 1944 the squadron embarked for the UK and re-assembled on 24 April at Hornchurch. It was now part of 2nd Tactical Air Force and carried out the usual round of offensive operations in connection with the forthcoming invasion and provided cover to the invasion forces themselves.

August brought conversion to the Hawker Tempest V and these were put to immediate use in combating the V-1 flying bombs being unleashed against Britain at that time. With the V-1 threat abated the squadron moved to the Continent rejoining 2 TAF in September. Based in the Low Countries the squadron continued to support the Allied armies as they moved closer to Germany. In September 1945 the aircrews returned to Warmwell to take part in an armament practice camp and whilst there it was disbanded by being re-numbered No 174.

Squadron Codes used: -
MU Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
YK Aug 1940 - Sep 1940
NH xxx xxxx - Apr 1944
JJ Apr 1944 - Sep 1945

Email me to book a reading!

This webpage was updated 30th June 2023