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No. 215 Squadron R.A.F.

Description of the Squadron's Badge
A porcupine
Squadron's Motto: Surgite nox adest (Arise night is at hand)
Formation date:

Disbanded Became No.215 RAF on 1/4/18. Disbanded 9/19. Reformed 10/35 (bomber) Transferred Training 27/10/39 and then abosrobed into 11 OTU Reformed 8/4/40 and absorbed into No.11 OUT 22/5/40. Reformed 9/12/41 and Transferred to Transport Command 4/45. Renumbered No.48 in 2/46. Reformed Transport 8/47 and renumbered No.70 5/48. Reformed 5/56 (transport and communications) and renumbered No.230 on 1/9/58 Reformed 1963 as Transport and disbanded 31/12/68

Brief History:

This squadron was formed at Coudekerque, near Dunkirk, on 10th March 1918, as No. 15 Squadron, RNAS, and on 1st April 1918, became No. 215 Squadron, RAF. Its role was that of a heavy-bomber unit and it was equipped with Handley Page twin-engined bombers - initially O/1OOs. On the night of 11/12th April, two of its O/1OOs participated with Naval Forces in the first attempt to block Ostend and Zeebrugge harbours, and in spite of bad weather, one aircraft attacked the Zeebrugge mole by desultory bombing for two hours. Towards the end of April the squadron returned to England to be brought up to full strength. It returned to France early in July equipped with ten Handley Page O/400s, and until 19th August was based at Alquines. From here night-bombing raids were made on the enemy's communications. On 19th August the squadron joined the Independent Force (83rd Wing) at Xaffévillers, and during the remainder of the war made many notable bombing raids on railway junctions, munitions factories and airfields. No. 215 returned to England in February 1919, and eight months later it disbanded. It re-formed as a bomber squadron with Virginia aircraft in October 1935, converted (after having partially re-equipped with Ansons) to Harrows in 1937 and was flying Harrows and Wellingtons at the outbreak of the Second World War. In April 1940, it merged with SHQ, RAF Bassingbourn, to form No. 11 OTU, but after a false start re-formed in December 1941 - once again as a bomber unit - and early in 1942 went to India to operate against the Japanese in Burma. At first it was engaged in supply dropping flights during the aftermath of the retreat from Burma and in August coastal patrols began along the east coast of India. In October airbourne forces training began and it was in March 1943 before the squadron undertook bombing missions over Burma. Wellingtons were withdrawn from operations on 23 June 1944, and No.215 moved back to Kolar for Liberator conversion training. Operations were resumed on 1 October by both day and night and in April the squadron's role was changed to transport duties, Liberators being replaced Dakotas. Supply dropping missions for the 14th Army continued while Burma was cleared of the Japanese and in October the Squadron was moved to Malaya, Java and Hong Kong until the squadron was renumbered 48 Squadron on 15 February 1946. On 1 August 1947, No.215 reformed at Kabrit as a transport squadron equipped with Dakotas. It was renumbered 70 Squadron on 1 May 1948. The squadron was reformed at Dishforth on 30 April 1956 with Pioneers for Army support and communications duties, being renumbered 230 Squadron on 1 September 1958. On 1 May 1963, No.215 reformed at Benson as an Argosy squadron and moved to Singapore in August to provide supply-dropping aircraft to support the army in Malaysia until disbanded on 31 December 1968.

Squadron Bases & Airfields   Equipment Used and Dates

Honington 25/7/1938

Bramcote 10/9/1939

Bassingbourn 24/9/1939-8/4/1940

Detachments Silloth, Jurby, Squires Gate, Harwell
Honington 8/4/1940

Bassingbourn 18/5/1940-22/5/1940

Newmarket 9/12/1941

Stradishall 5/1/1942

Ground echelon en route India 12/2/1942

Air echelon formed at Waterbeach 21/2/1942

Air echelon en route India 19/3/1942

Asansol 14/4/1942

Pandeveswar 17/4/1942

Detachments Dum Dum, Alipore
St Thomas Mount 13/8/1942

Detachment Vizagapatam
Chaklala 13/10/1942

Detachment St Thomas Mount

Jessore 12/3/1943

Detachments Digri, Chittagong and Cuttack.

Detachments Kolar, Amarda Road circa 9/1943

Digri 17/9/1944

Detachment Amarda Road

Dhubalia 28/12/1944

Tulihal 5/5/1945

Basal 3/6/1945

Chittagong 9/7/1945

Hmawbi 19/8/1945

Kallang 23/10/1945-15/2/1946

Detachment Kai Tak


Harrow 8/37-late 1939

Wellington 7/39-5/40

Anson 1940

Wellington 3/42-mid-1944

Liberator 8/44-4/45

Dakota III 4/45-2/46


Related Squadron Documents & Articles

215 Squadron Details of Raids

215 Squadron Operation and Crew Details

Ken Kemp - Memoirs of a Rear Gunner with 215 Squadron

David Golding - How I Didn't Win the War- Davids story of his RAF days in SE Asia

Memoir of Arthur David Harding - One of Thousands


Odds and Ends - interesting snippets concerning the squadron

S/Ldr Clive Beadon's DFC citation - Details of Beadon and his crews actions which led to his DFC

Unlucky Libs- Ken Kemps details of incidents in unlucky Liberator "A"

Rough Trip - Flight Details from 215 ORB- Flight report of Dakota flight in extremly bad weather

Squadron Personnel (Membership will be Required to access this area)
Operations Records of 215 Squadron (Membership will be Required to access this area)

Squadron Photos


Aircraft Photos



Personnel Photos



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Squadron Codes Used:-


BH Apr 1939 - Sep 1939
LG Sep 1939 - Apr 1940



















Squadron Colours












Posted: 9 years 1 month ago by Gary #1603
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