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502 Squadron

502 SQUADRON

Motto:

"Nihil timeo" ("I Fear nothing")

Badge:

A red hand erased

History of 502 Squadron:

No.502 Squadron was formed as a Special Reserve unit at Aldergrove on 15 May 1925. As a heavy bomber squadron, it began to receive Vimys in June, but replaced these with Hyderabads in July 1928. In December 1931 the squadron received Virginias, which it gave up in October 1935 on being redesignated a day bomber squadron, re-equipping with Wallaces. These were replaced by Hinds in April 1937, the squadron being transferred to the Auxiliary Air Force on 1 July 1937. On 28 November 1938, No.502 was transferred to Coastal Command, converting to Ansons in January 1939. On the outbreak of war, the squadron began patrols off the Irish coast, first with Ansons and then, from October 1940, with Whitleys. In January 1942 the squadron moved to East Anglia, where a maintenance base was set up at Bircham Newton, though from February all operations were flown from St.Eval in Cornwall. No.502 pionneered the use of air-to-surface radar and had, on 30 November 1941, made the first successful attack on a U-boat by a Coastal Command aircraft using ASV, when U-206 was sunk in the Bay of Biscay. In January 1943 conversion to Halifaxes began, the first patrol by this type being flown on 12 March. In addition to anti-submarine patrols, attacks on enemy shipping off the French coast were made. In September 1944 the squadron moved to Scotland for attacks on enemy shipping off Norway and disbanded on 25 May 1945.

On 10 May 1946, No.502 was reformed as a Mosquito unit of the Auxiliary Air Force and began to form up on 17 July. In 1948 it became a day fighter squadron with Spitfires, converting to Vampires in March 1951 and flying this type until disbanded on 10 March 1957.

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