Bomber Command No.158 Squadron
No. 158 Squadron
Motto: "Strength in unity".
Badge: A circular chain of seven links. The chain is indicative of the combined strength and co-operation of aircrews.
Authority: King George VI, October 1944.
No. 158 Squadron first formed in September 1918, somewhere in England (its intended role is also unknown) and disbanded in November of that year without having become operational.
It next entered the lists in February 1942, when it re-formed at Driffield as a bomber squadron in No. 4 Group, and during the remainder of the Second World War took part in many major raids on naval and industrial targets (including the first 1,000-bomber raid) as well as playing an active part in the minelaying campaign.
Beginning operations with Vickers Wellington medium bombers - as they then were - in February 1942, No. 158 converted to Handley Page Halifax heavy bombers in the summer of 1942 and continued with Halifaxes for the rest of the war. Among its Halifaxes (and a great many passed through its hands) were two particularly distinguished specimens - Halifax IIIs LV907 "F-Freddy", or Friday the 13th, as it was named, and LV917 Clueless, which was successively designated "T-Tare", "H-Harry" and "C-Charlie".
These aircraft both joined the squadron in March 1944, and between then and VE Day flew 128 and 99 (at least) operational sorties, respectively. Both of them participated in No. 158 Squadron's final wartime operation - an attack on Wangerooge on 25th April 1945.
Bomber Command WWII Bases:
- Driffield : Feb 1942-Jun 1942
- East Moor : Jun 1942-Nov 1942
- Detachments at Beaulieu from Oct & Manston from Nov (in both cases for operations with Coastal Command).
- Rufforth : Nov 1942-Feb 1943
- Detachments at Beaulieu & Manston until Dec 1942.
- Lissett : Feb 1943-May 1945
Bomber Command WWII Aircraft:
- Vickers Wellington II : Feb 1942-Jun 1942
- Halifax B.II, B.III and B.VI : Jun 1942-May 1945
First Operational Mission in WWII:
- 14/15th February 1942 : 7 Wellingtons despatched to bomb Mannheim. 4 bombed primary, 1 bombed the alternative (Flushing airfield) & 2 completely aborted.
Last Operational Mission in WWII:
- 25th April 1945 : 27 Halifaxes bombed gun batteries on island of Wangerooge.