Battle of Britain No.72 Squadron
Battle of Britain history of No. 72 Squadron.
A swift volant - symbolic of speed.
No 72 Squadron was formed on 2 July 1917 from a nucleus supplied by the Central Flying School. In December it left for Mesopotamia, split into several parties which assembled at Basra on 2 March 1918. Equipped with a variety of single-seat fighters, the squadron was divided into detached flights and allotted to different army formations for fighter protection and tactical reconnaissance duties. Soon after the end of the war, No 72 re-assembled at Baghdad where it was reduced to a cadre on 13 February 1919 on leaving for England, where it was formally disbanded on 22 September 1919.
On 22 February 1937, No 72 reformed at Tangmere from a flight of No 1 Squadron as a fighter squadron with Gladiators. In April 1939, conversion to Spitfires took place and these were engaged in defensive duties until June 1940, when the squadron moved south to help cover the Dunkirk beaches for a few days. In August, it moved to the Biggin Hill sector during the Battle of Britain before returning north in November.
Acklington 6 June 1940
Biggin Hill 31 August 1940
Croydon 1 September 1940
Biggin Hill 14 September 1940
Coltishall 13 October 1940
Matlask 30 October 1940