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105 Squadron

105 SQUADRON

Squadron badge

Motto:

A battle axe. The battle axe, a powerful weapon, commemorates the fact that at one time the squadron was equipped with Battle aircraft. The handle is emerald green, to commemorate the squadron's service in Ireland.

Badge:

"Fortis in præliis" ("Valiant in battles").

Authority:

HM King George VI, January 1938.

History of 105 Squadron:

No. 105 Squadron, RFC, was formed at Andover, Hampshire, in September 1917, and was originally intended as a bomber unit for service in France. In April 1918, however, plans were changed: it was ordered to mobilize as a corps reconnaissance squadron for service in Ireland and in May it proceeded to Omagh, Co. Tyrone, equipped with RE8 aircraft. In December 1918, it was re-equipped with Bristol Fighters.

Disbanded in 1920, No. 105 was re-formed at Harwell as a bomber squadron in 1937 and equipped with Hawker Audaxes which were replaced later in the year by Fairey Battles. In the early months of the Second World War it served with the Advanced Air Striking Force in France, and in May 1940, was one of the squadrons which attacked the Meuse bridges in an attempt to stem the German advance. In July 1940, following its return to England, the squadron was re-armed with Blenheims and subsequently played a prominent part in No. 2 Group's bombing offensive against fringe targets in Germany, France and the Low Countries, and against shipping in the North Sea. Like most other Blenheim units of No. 2 Group, No. 105 was, for a while, detached to Malta, whence it operated against targets in the Mediterranean and North Africa. In 1942 No. 105 became the first squadron to receive Mosquitoes and with these fast and highly manoeuvrable aircraft it made daring attacks in daylight against objectives as far afield as the Gestapo Headquarters in Oslo (25th September 1942), the Burmeister and Wain Diesel engine works at Copenhagen (27th January 1943), and the main broadcasting station in Berlin (30th January 1943). On this last occasion the attack - it was the first daylight attack made by the RAF on Berlin - was timed to coincide with a speech by Field Marshal Göring and kept him off the air for more than an hour.

In the summer of 1943 No. 105 was equipped with Oboe and, with its Mosquitoes wearing unfamiliar matt black paint, took its place among the first rank of the Pathfinder squadrons. It remained an Oboe Mosquito unit for the rest of the European war and among the many notable highlights of this period was 5/6th June 1944 - the eve of D-Day - when its Mosquitos helped to ground mark ten coastal batteries in support of the Allied invasion of Normandy.

Outstanding among the many decorations won by No. 105 Squadron during the Second World War was the Victoria Cross won by acting Wing Commander Hughie ldwal Edwards for courageous leadership in a raid by Nos 105 and 107 Squadrons on the dock area at Bremen on 4th July 1941. Edwards was the first Australian airman to gain the VC in World War 2.

After the bombing offensive had ceased No. 105 Squadron was employed on marking the areas for Operation Manna, the dropping of food supplies to the people of Holland, until it disbanded on 1 February 1946.

On 21 February 1962, No. 105 was reformed at Benson with Argosy transports and flew these out to Aden in June to provide transport support for the Army in the Aden Proctectorate. In August 1967 it moved to Bahrain where it was disbanded on 20 January 1968.

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