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274 Squadron

274 SQUADRON

Motto:

"Supero" ("I overcome")

Badge:

Eight arrows in saltire

History of 274 Squadron:

No 274 Squadron began to form at Seaton Carew in November 1918, a few days before the end of World War One. It was intended to fly Vimys on coastal patrol duties but the squadron's formation was cancelled. On 15 June 1919, it was reformed as a Handley Page V/1500 unit at Bircham Newton. After training duties for some months, the four engined V/1500 was abandoned in favour of smaller twin engined bombers and the squadron disbanded on 30 January 1920, its personnel passing to the newly formed No.207 Squadron.

On 19 August 1940, No.274 reformed at Amriya as a fighter squadron and consisted of A Flight with Hurricanes and B flight with Gladiators also attached was the French Flight transferred from No.80 Squadron with two Morane 406S and two Potez 63-11s. The latter left on 28 September and during October No.274 became completely equipped with Hurricanes. In December fighter sweeps over the Western Desert began and continued with short breaks for fighter defence in Egypt, until May 1942, when the squadron's Hurricanes were modified for fighter-bombing duties. It was active in a ground attack role during the Battle of El Alamein and began moving forward through Libya as the 8th Army captured airfields. After the army reached Tunisia, No.274 was given an air defence, covering convoys along the Libyan coast, receiving some Spitfires in April 1943, and completely re-equipping with this type shortly after moving to Cyprus in September. In February 1944 the squadron moved to Italy for two months and took part in sweeps over Yugoslavia and Albania before leaving for the UK.

On 24 April 1944, No.274 re-assembled at Hornchurch with Spitfires and began fighter sweeps over Northern France in preparation for the invasion of Europe. After covering the Normandy landings, it converted to Tempests in August which it used against flying bombs until their launching sites were captured by the army. At the end of September it joined Second TAF in the Low Countries and flew sweeps over Germany until the end of the war. Early in September 1945 it returned to Warmwell for an armament training course, leaving its ground echelon in Germany and while so engaged was renumbered 174 Squadron on 7 September 1945.

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