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253 Squadron

253 SQUADRON

Motto:

Come one, come all

Badge:

The back of a dexter arm embowed, fessewise, in Mogul armour, the hand holding an Indian battle-axe. The squadron became the Hyderabad gift squadron and the badge was suggested by the Nizam of Hyderabad as appropriate.

History of 253 Squadron:

No 253 Squadron was formed on 7 June 1918 at Bembridge, Isle of Wight, as a coastal patrol unit. Two flights (Nos 412 and 413) of seaplanes operated from Bembridge Harbour while two more flights (Nos 511 and 512) flew from a nearby airfield at Foreland with DH6s. After flying anti-submarine patrols until the Armistice, the squadron disbanded on 31 May 1919.

On 30 October 1939, No 253 Squadron reformed at Manston and was originally intended as a shipping protection unit with Blenheims. None were delivered, however, and the squadron began to receive Hurricanes in February 1940, becoming operational on 3 April. In May 1940 one flight was sent to France to reinforce the hard-pressed Hurricane squadrons while the second flight flew daily to French airfields from 17 to 23 May. After re-equipping in Lincolnshire, No 253 took part in the Battle of Britain from the end of August and remained in southern England until January 1941. In February the squadron moved to the Orkneys for air defence duties, returning to England in September for convoy patrols off the East Coast. After taking part in the Dieppe raid, No.253 became non-operational in preparation for the invasion of North Africa and arrived in Algeria a few days after the landings. It provided air cover for the Army and its supply lines during the Tunisian campaign and its aftermath, moving to Italy in October 1943. In February 1944, the squadron arrived in Corsica to undertake escort and anti-shipping missions, returning to Italy in April for similar duties over Yugoslvia. In April 1945, it moved to an airfield captured by Yugoslav partisans near Zadar for the last days of the war. After a period in northern Italy and Austria the squadron acquired a flight of Spitfire XIs from No.225 Squadron and disbanded on 16 May 1947.

On 18 April 1955, No 253 reformed at Waterbeach as a night fighter squadron with Venoms which it flew until disbanded on 1 September 1957.

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