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118 Sqn Form 540 - Operations Record Book

Click Year to Jump to First F540 for that Year
1955 1956 1957 1958

No 118 Squadron Chronological History
Tuesday 1 January 1918 Squadron formed within the Royal Flying Corps at Catterick, and was intended for night bombing duties in France.  Few DH 6s and BE 2s but destined for large Handley Page 0/400.  
Mid-April 1918 Moved to Netheravon.  
Monday 7 August 1918 Moved to Bicester.  Re-scheduled to receive Vickers Vimy  
Saturday 7 September 1918 Before Vimys delivered Squadron disbanded  
Thursday 20 February 1941 Re-formed at Filton, Spitfire Is, 10 Group, Fighter Command. Sqn Ldr F J Howell DFC
March 1941 Declared Operational with detachment at Pembrey.  
Friday 28th March 1941 1st Operational sortie on convoy patrol  
Sunday 6th April 1941 Lost 1st two aircraft in a collision near Chippenham  
Friday 18th April 1941 Moved to Ibsley equipped with Spitfire IIs, via Colerne and Warmwell  
Sunday 4th May 1941 Shot down 1st aircraft during defensive patrols over the south coast.  It was a damaged Bomber Command Whitley whose crew had baled out..  
Monday 7th July 1941 CO gained the first squadron kill - an He 111.  
July 1941 Spitfire IIbs with port wing slipper tank arrived and were suitable for longer range escort work.  
Saturday 2nd August 1941 Spitfire IIbs gave cover to Whirlwinds returning from Cherbourg.  
Wednesday 6th August 1941 Shot down 2 Bf 109s when escorting Whirlwinds near Cherbourg.  
Monday 1st September 1941 First combat loss when one Spitfire was hit by flak when attacking a convoy.  
Monday 8th September 1941 Escort to Anti-shipping patrols were main role and on this day it escorted Whirlwinds of No 263 Squadron armed with bombs when successfully attacking 4 armed trawlers off Alderney.  
September 1941 Re-equipped with cannon armed Spitfire Vbs.  
Sunday 12th October 1941 3 claimed Bf 109s and 1 probable.  
October 1941 Change of Command Sqn Ldr H A B Russell
November 1941 First decorations of the War were a Bar to Sqn Ldr Howell's DFC, 2 more DFCs and 1 DFM  
December 1941 Detachment maintained in Predannack.  
January 1942 Change of Command Sqn Ldr J C Carver
Thursday 12th February 1942 German battleships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen dashed up the Channel in daylight and No 118 mounted a number of sorties in poor weather to cover the unsuccessful strike aircraft.  
late February 1942 Detached to Warmwell briefly.  
Friday 13th March 1942 CO went missing.  Recovered 3 days later in a dinghy..  
April 1942 CO awarded DFC.  
Saturday 9th May 1942 4 pilots were lost and 2 more Spitfires were damaged.  
Tuesday 9th June 1942 The CO and Sgt Jones were lost; leading to a Change of Command. Sqn Ldr E W "Bertie" Wooten.
Saturday 20th June 1942 Lost 4 more pilots over France.  
Sunday 16th August 1942 Moved to Tangmere for Operation Jubilee - large amphibious raid on Dieppe.  
Wednesday 19th August 1942 During the fighting to cover the withdrawal from Dieppe 2 DFCs were won.  
End August 1942 Moved to Zeals near Salisbury.  
Sunday 3rd January 1943 Bad weather forced a move to Wittering via Ibsley.  
Sunday 17th January 1943 Moved to Coltishall for work over Belgium, Holland and the North Sea.  
Thursday 28th January 1943 Squadron visited by the King during his tour of Coltishall  
Friday 29th January 1943 Escorting a raid on Zeebrugge, 1 Spitfire was lost and 2 more damaged.  1 FW 190 killed and 2 more damaged.  
Wednesday 24th February 1943 2 Spitfires lost off the Dutch coast and Norfolk.  
Sunday 4th March 1943 Escorted Ventura bombers to Rotterdam.  2 FW 190s killed and 5 more damaged. 1 Spitfire lost.  
Monday 3rd May 1943 Escorting Venturas on a raid to Amsterdam, the raid ran into 70 FW 190s. The Squadron destroyed 2 FW 190s but only 1 Ventura returned.  Wing Leader Blashford was lost in the sea and Sqn Ldr Wooten promoted to replace him and awarded a bar to his DFC.  
Mid-June 1943 Change of Command. Sqn Ldr J C Freeborn DFC
Monday 5th July 1943 Blew up an armed ship off the Dutch coast.  
July 1943 For the loss of 4 Spitfires, 5 1/3 Bf 109s were killed.  
Sunday 22nd August 1943 Moved to Merston near Chichester.  
Saturday 18th September 1943 Flew final mission in the South.  
Monday 20th September 1943 Moved to Peterhead for defensive duties in Northern Scotland.  
Mid-October 1943 1 or 2 high altitude Spitfire Vis for dawn and dusk patrols against German reconnaissance aircraft.  Moved North to Castletown with a detachment left at Peterhead.  
Mid-January 1944 Change of Command and re-equipped with Spitfire XIs. Sqn Ldr P W E Hippell DFC
Beginning February 1944 Moved back South to Detling.  
Monday 14th February 1944 Escorted USAAF Liberators attacking V-1 flying bomb sites in France.  
Friday 10th March 1944 Moved back to Skeabrae for the defence of Scapa Flow.  Re-equipped with old Spitfire Vs again.  Also had some high altitude Spitfire VIIs with extended wingtips.  
Monday 1st May 1944 Lost an aircraft on an ASR patrol.  
Wednesday 12th July 1944 Moved back to Detling and re-equipped with Spitfire IXs for bomber escorts over Normandy battlefield.  
Wednesday 9th August 1944 Returned to Peterhead.  
End August 1942 Moved South again to Westhampnet for bomber escort duties.  
Monday 25th September 1944 In support of Arnhem destroyed 1 Bf 109.  Moved to Manston.  
Mid-December 1944 Moved to Bentwaters and ready to re-equip with long range Mustangs for escorting daylight bombers.  
Saturday 23rd December 1944 First operational Spitfire sorties escorting 150 Lancasters to Trier.  
Thursday 18th January 1945 First 2 Mustangs arrived.  
Sunday 11th February 1945 Declared operational with 18 Mustangs.  
Wednesday 14th February 1945 CO led 12 Mustangs escorting an abortive Lancaster raid on a viaduct near Paderborn.  
Monday 19th February 1945 Escorted 700 Lancasters against Wesel.  
Friday 2nd March 1945 Flt Lt Tony Drew A Flight Commander promoted to become CO. Sqn Ldr Tony Drew
Friday 23rd March 1945 The Squadron led by Flt Lt Paddy Harbison, escorting an attack on Hamburg, engaged by 15-20 Me 262 jet fighters.  3 Damaged in spite of the difficulty of closing with the faster jets.  Final air combat claims of the war.  
Tuesday 10th April 1945 During the Leipzig raid met some Me 163 rocket fighters.  
Wednesday 25th April 1945 Longest escort mission - 5 1/4 hours - to Berchtesgaden.  
Thursday 3rd May 1945 Final operational mission of the war when they escorted Beaufighters against shipping off Denmark.  
May 1945 At the end of the war the Squadron had an air combat score of 29 destroyed, 9 probables and 27 damaged.  The Squadron had been awarded 11 DFCs, five bars and 2 DFMs.  
Saturday 2nd June 1945 4 Mustangs escorted Viscount Trenchard on a visit to Luneburg.  
August 1945 Squadron attended an air firing course at Fairwood Common. Then moved to Horsham St Faith  
Saturday 15th September 1945 Squadron took part in a large flypast over London.  
Sunday 10th March 1946 Squadron disbanded.  
Thursday 10th May 1951 Squadron re-formed at Fassberg, Germany. Sqn Ldr H A Asker DFC DFM
July 1951 Work up for Fighter Bomber role on Vampire FB.5s.  Attended APC at Sylt  
September 1953 Began re-equipping with Venom FB.1s.  
Tuesday 21st December 1953 First fatality - Vampire crashed near Soltau practicing cine-gun attacks.  
February 1954 Change of Command. Sqn Ldr C M Gibbs DFC
Friday 6th May 1955 Moved to Jever and re-equipped with Hunter F.4s in purely day fighter role.  
Thursday 20th October 1955 2 Hunters collided near Hamburg killing both pilots.  
January 1956 Change of Command. Sqn Ldr N C P Buddin
March 1956 3 weeks air-to-air firing at APC Sylt.  
Wednesday 22nd August 1957 Squadron disbanded.  
Tuesday 1st September 1959 Squadron re-formed at Aldergrove, Northern Ireland equipped with 3 Sycamore HR 14 helicopters, part of No 38 Group, Transport Command for short range transport duties in support of the Royal Ulster Constabulary for patrols along the border. Flt Lt F M Taylor AFC
Friday 11th September 1959 First internal security sortie on a recce in the Limavady area.  
October 1959 Change of Command. Sqn Ldr D A Toon
Thursday 8th October 1959 Search for gun runners over Lough Neagh.  
Early 1960 CO's Sycamore shot at by IRA snipers when landing at Magerafelt.  
Friday 29th July 1960 Squadron flew Earl Mountbatten from Sydenham to various locations in the Province.  
Sunday 26th March 1961 CO transported Lord Brookborough, the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and Lady Brookborough from Colebrooke to Stormont.  
Friday 14th April 1961 Squadron disbanded.  
Saturday 15th April 1961 Squadron re-formed as before.  Change of Command. Sqn Ldr P H Hart
Friday 13th October 1961 Sycamore lost landing at Aldergrove when rotor hit the ground and it rolled over.  No injuries..  
Friday 31st August 1962 Disbanded at the cessation of IRA violent border campaign.  
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