RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

RNZAF No 485 Squadron

Motto: Ka whawhai tonu (We will fight on)

Formed as the first New Zealand fighter squadron in the UK on 1 March 1941 at Driffield. It was equipped with Spitfire Is and remained in No 12 Group in Yorkshire until July when it moved south to Redhill, where it began to take part in offensive sweeps and Circus operations.

In October 1941 it moved to Kenley and operated from there and later Kingscliffe until October 1942, when it was sent to Northern Ireland for a rest, returning to Kingscliffe, still equipped with Mk V Spitfires the following month.

From July 1943, equipped with Spitfire IXs, it operated as part of the Biggin Hill Wing and from October as part of the Hornchurch Wing but this was short-lived as the following month it was sent to Drem in Scotland, where it remained (using Spitfire Vs) until Mar 1944.

Its return south coincided with the build up for Overlord and equipped with Spitfire IXs again, it joined No 135 Airfield on 28 March 1944. Initially based at Hornchurch, No 135 Airfield, later renamed No 135 Wing, carried out dive bombing and tactical reconnaissance sorties prior to during and following the D-Day landings.

In August 1944 No 485 moved over to the continent and followed 21st Army Group through Belgium and Holland until February 1945. It was then brought back to the UK to re-equip with Tempests, although these were replaced in March by Typhoons and then in April Spitfire IXs returned and the squadron returned to the continent, where it remained until disbanding at Drope on 26 August 1945.

Standards Battle Honours*

Western Front, 1917: Arras 1917: Messines, 1917: Ypres, 1917: Italian Front & Adriatic, 1917-18: Channel & North Sea, 1939-44: Dunkerque: France & Low Countries, 1940: Battle of Britain 1940: Home Defence, 1940-44: Fortress Europe 1940-44: Dieppe: Normandy, 1944: France & Germany, 1944-45: Walcheren.

Squadron Codes used: -
YJ Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
OU Mar 1941 - Aug 1945

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023