Battle of Britain

205 Squadron



"Pertama di-Malaya" ("First in Malaya")


A kris and a trident in saltire

History of 205 Squadron:

No. 205 Squadron was formed on 1 April 1918 from No.5 Squadron RNAS at Bois de Roche in northern France. Equipped with D.H.4s, and later D.H.9As, it was engaged in bombing duties over Western Front for the rest of the war, returning to the UK in March 1919, where it disbanded on 22 January 1920, after ten months as a cadre unit.

No.205 reformed at Leuchars on April 1920 as a fighter-reconnaissance squadron in No.29 Group for co-operation with the Navy and carrier operations but on 1 April 1923, it became No.441 Flight. On 8 January 1929, the Far East Flight which had out to Singapore between October 1927 and February 1928 was redesignated No.205 Squadron. As the first RAF squadron to be based in the Far East, it carried out survey flights with Southamptons until Singapores arrived to replace them in April 1935, although it was February 1936 before the last Southamptons was withdrawn. By the end of May 1936 the squadron was fully equipped with six Singapores and on outbreak of war these flew patrols over the approaches to Singapore and the Indian ocean, using bases in Ceylon and the Nicobar Islands as out-stations. In April 1941, No.205 received its first Catalina and by October the last Singapore had been flown away by RNZAF for service in Fiji. With the coming war to the Far East, the squadron was engaged in trying to locate Japanese naval forces on their way to invade Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. After losing several boats on this task, it moved to Java at the end of the year from its exposed base at Seletar and when Japanese forces landed it retired to the south coast of the Island and in March 1942 to Australia, where it disbanded on 31 March 1942.

On 23 July 1942 No. 205 reformed at Koggala in Ceylon from detachments supplied by No.202 and 240 Squadrons with eight Catalinas. Anti-submarine ans air sea rescue patrols occupied the squadron for the rest of the war. An additional task was the operation of mail and passenger flights between Ceylon and Australia. Conversion to Sunderlands began in June 1945 and soon after the Japanese surrender, detachments moved back to Singapore. In October 1950 its first Sunderlands moved to Japan to patrols off the Korean coast until June 1954. Conversion to Shackeltons began in May 1958 at Changi and on 15 May 1959 the Sunderland flew its last flight with the RAF and No.205 became fully equipped with landplanes. It remained the RAF's maritime reconnaissance force in the Far East until disbanded on 31 October 1971.

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