Battle of Britain

223 Squadron


Squadron badge


"Alae defendunt Africam" ("Wings defend Africa")


A lion statant

History of 223 Squadron:

No 223 Squadron was formed on 1 April 1918 at Mitylene from B Squadron RNAS for operations in the Aegean. Consisting of Nos.559, 560 and 561 flights, it flew bombing and reconnaissance missions in the area until the end of the war disbanding on 16 May 1919.

On 15 December 1936, No.223 reformed at Nairobi from a detached flight of No.45 squadron which has been based in Kenya since 25 September 1935. It remained as a single flight of Gordons and from February 1937, Vincents until re-equipped with Wellesleys in June 1938. On the outbreak of war with Italy in June 1940 the squadron began raids on Italian East Africa from the Sudan. With the main campaign almost over, No.223 moved to Egypt in April 1941, where it became a training unit for converting crews on to Blenhiems, Marylands, Bostons and Baltimores and resumed operations as a bomber unit in May. After moving westwards through Libya after the battle of El Alamein, No.223 arrived in Tunisia in April 1943, and moved to Malta in July for attacks on tactical targets in Sicily and by the end of September was operating from southern Italy. Until July 1944, it carried out interdiction raids on enemy communications in Italy and was renumbered 30 Squadron, South African Air Force, on 12 August 1944.

On 23 August 1944, No.223 reformed at Oulton in No.100 Group as a bomber support squadron. On 19 September it flew its first counter-measure missions with Liberators, adding some Fortresses in April 1945. On 29 July 1945, the squadron disbanded. On 1 December 1959, No.223 reformed at Folkingham as a Thor strategic missile squadron disbanding on 23 August 1963.

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