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242 Squadron


Squadron badge


Toujours prĂȘt - 'Always ready'


A moose's head erased. At the time that the badge was awarded the officers serving with the squadron were Canadian.

History of 242 Squadron:

No 242 Squadron was formed in August 1918 from Nos 408, 409 and 514 Flights at the seaplane station at Newhaven and nearby airfield at Telscombe Cliffs. It carried out anti-submarine patrols over the English Channel until the end of World War One. On 15 May 1919, the squadron was disbanded.

On 30 October 1939, No 242 reformed at Church Fenton as a fighter squadron and initially had a large number of Canadian personnel on strength. In December it received Blenheim fighters which were replaced in January 1940 by Hurricanes, the squadron becoming operational on 23 March. Operations over France began on 16 May, a detachment being based at French airfields until evacuated on 16 June to take part in the Battle of Britain.

After taking part in the Battle of Britain, the squadron began offensive sweeps and bomber escort missions in December. These lasted until September 1941, when No.242 was withdrawn to North Wales for patrols over the Irish sea shipping lanes. It became non operational on 3 October to prepare for overseas and in December the squadron left for the Far East. En route its pilots were flown off to Malta where they were later absorbed no No.126 Squadron. The ground echelon arrived in Singapore in January 1942, being merged with other personnel of Nos.232 and 605 Squadrons to service Hurricanes of a composite unit. The Japanese advance and air superiority forced a withdrawal to Sumatra and Java, where it was dispersed by 10 March 1942.

On 10 April 1942, No.242 reformed at Turnhouse and after flying defensive patrols, moved its Spitfires to North Africa in November to provide air cover for the 1st Army during the Tunisian campaign. In June 1943, the squadron moved to Malta to support the landings in Sicily, following the Army there for a period before moving to Italy in mid-September. In April 1944, No.242 was sent to Corsica to fly sweeps over northern Italy and covered Allied landings in southern France in August. After a month in France, the squadron disposed of its aircraft on 27 September and left for Naples a week later to be disbanded on 4 November 1944.

On 15 November 1944, No.242 reformed at Stoney Cross as a transport squadron and eighty crews were posted in from Nos.232 and 242 Squadrons. Training began on Wellington XVIs and in February 1945, Stirling Vs began to arrive. In April the squadron's establishment of twenty-five Stirlings was amended to fifteen Yorkds, but in July Yorks were withdrawn and replaced by Stirlings for a short time. Yorks re-appeared in December and by January 1946 the squadron was fully equipped with Hastings in 1949. On 1 May 1950, No.242 was disbanded.

Reformed at Marham on 1 October 1959, No.242 was a Bloohound surface to air missile squadron until disbanded on 30 September 1964.

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