RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

RNZAF 486 Squadron

Motto: Hiwa hau Maka (Beware of the wild winds)

Formed at Kirton in Lindsey as the second New Zealand fighter squadron on 3 March 1942 in the night fighting role. Initially equipped with Hurricanes it moved to Wittering, where it co-operated with the Turbinlite equipped Havocs on No 1453 Flight. However, in July the squadron began to convert to the day fighter role and was re-equipped with Typhoons.

Moving south it participated in Rhubarbs, Ramrods and Roadsteads as well as the occasional night intruder mission until January 1944 when the squadron began to re-equip with the Tempest V. This re-equipment was short-lived, however, as the Tempests were transferred to No 3 Squadron and it received Typhoons again. Tempest arrived eventually in April and the squadron began training as part of 2 TAF, but a few days after D-Day, the squadron was transferred to defensive duties in an attempt to combat the V1 flying bombs now being targeted against the UK.

During the three month campaign against the V1, the squadron accounted for 223.5 V1s destroyed. The squadron then returned to 2 TAF and moved on to the continent, ending the war in Denmark. In July 1945 it moved into Germany but in September it returned to the UK and was disbanded at Dunsfold on 12 October 1945.

Squadron Codes used: SA: Mar 1942 - Sep 1945

486 Squadron Record

486 squadron flew over 11,000 sorties claimed 81 enemy aircraft, (including two Messerschmitt 262 jets) and destroyed 223½ (or 241) V-1 "flying bombs", 323 motor vehicles, 14 railway engines and 16 ships. Pilots attached to the squadron won 22 DFCs,a DSO and six Mentioned in Dispatches. While mounted on Tempests 486 Sqn claimed 59.5 enemy aircraft shot down; first place for Tempest victories. 56 Sqn. was second with 59

The first flight of a production Tempest V took place on 21 June 1943. First deliveries of Tempests to squadrons began in January 1944, No 486 (RNZAF) Squadron at Tangmere being the first to receive the type. It was No. 3 Squadron, however, that was first to fully equip with the Tempest, having received a full compliment by March. No. 3 Squadron began operations in April, by which time 486 had also fully equipped with the Tempest, both squadrons by then having moved to Newchurch. No. 56 Squadron, also with the Newchurch Wing, began receiving Tempests in June, with their first operation flown on 2 July 1944. The Tempests equipping the Newchurch Wing were known as Tempest V Series I, 100 of which were built, and were indentifiable by the four Hispano Mk II cannons protruding from the wings. The Tempest Mk V Series II, equipped with the short barreled Hispano Mk V cannon and capable of carrying long range drop tanks, began reaching the squadrons during June. During July and August three more squadrons were equipped with Tempests; Nos. 80, 274, and 501 comprising the Manston Wing.

Tempest V of 486 Squadron at Beulieu, March 1944

In September the Newchurch Wing tranferred to 122 Wing at Grimbergen, Belgium. Nos. 80 and 274 of the Manston Wing moved to Antwerp in September and by October, after a stint at Grave with 125 Wing, joined with 122 Wing at Volkel, Holland to form a five squadron Tempest Wing under the control of the 2nd TAF. The Tempest's role was that of low and medium altitude air superiority figher, being nicely complimented by, and coordinating with, the medium and high altitude specialized Spitfire Mk XIVs of 125 and 126 Wings. In January 1945 33 and 222 Squadrons converted to Tempests, joining 135 Wing of 85 Group at Gilze-Rijen, Holland in February. 122 Tempest Wing was reinforced during February by the addition of 41 Squadron's Spitfire XIVs tasked with providing high cover for the Tempests. 274 Squadron transferred to 135 Wing in March to better balance the Tempest Wings. In April the Wings moved to keep up with the advancing Allied armies; 135 Wing to Kluis, Holland followed by a move to Quackenbrück, Germany and 122 Wing to Hopsten, Germany. A total of 801 Tempest Vs were produced.

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023