No. 174 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.174 Squadron was a ground attack and fighter-bomber squadron that was formed in 1942 and took part in the D-Day landings before moving to Europe to support the advancing armies. The squadron was formed at Manston on 3 March 1942 around seventeen Hurricanes and eight pilots from No.607 Squadron, and as a result was able to begin operations on the same day. The squadron carried out fighter-bomber attacks against German shipping and coastal shipping for the rest of 1942, before being withdraw for army co-operation training. It also took part in the attack on Dieppe in August 1942. The Hurricanes were replaced with Typhoons in February 1943, and in June the squadron was one of the founder members of the Second Tactical Air Force, created to support the upcoming landings in Normandy.

Ground attack missions with the new Typhoons began in July 1943, at first with guns and bombs, but the aircraft is best known for its rocket attacks. Rocket firing equipment arrived in January 1944, and the squadron spent the next few months attacking radar stations, flying bomb sites and German communication links in northern France. On the day before D-Day the squadron (along with Nos.175 and 254) made an attack on the Jobourg radar station near Cap de la Hague that was one of three attacks in this period singled out for mention by Leigh Mallory. The squadron moved to Normandy soon after D-Day and provided close support for the army, mostly attacking German tanks and transport. The squadron had reached the Netherlands by September, from where it flew offensive sweeps over German until it was disbanded on 8 April 1945.

Aircraft
March 1942-April 1943: Hawker Hurricane IIB
April 1943-April 1945: Hawker Typhoon IB

April-September 1945: Hawker Typhoon IB

September 1945-March 1946: Hawker Tempest V

Location
March-July 1942: Manston
July 1942: Fowlmere
July-August 1942: Manston
August-September 1942: Warmwell
September-December 1942: Manston
December 1942-March 1943: Odiham
March 1943: Chilbolton
March 1943: Grove
March-April 1943: Zeals
April-June 1943: Gravesend
June-July 1943: Merston
July-October 1943: Lydd
October 1943-January 1944: Westhampnett
January-February 1944: Eastchurch
February-April 1944: Westhampnett
April-June 1944: Holmsley South
June-August 1944: B.2 Bazenville
August-September 1944: B.24 St. Andre
September 1944: B.42 Beauvais-Tille
September 1944: B.50 Vitry-en-Artois
September 1944: B.70 Deurne
September-November 1944: B.80 Volkel
November 1944: Warmwell
November 1944-March 1945: B.80 Volkel
March-April 1945: B.100 Goch

August-September 1945: B.158 Lubeck

September 1945: Warmwell
September-October 1945: Dedelstorf
October-November 1945: Gatow
November 1945-March 1946: Fassberg

Squadron Codes: XP

Duty
March 1942-April 1945: Fighter-bomber/ Ground attack squadron

Part of
From June 1943: 2nd Tactical Air Force
6 June 1944: No.121 Wing; No.83 Group; Second Tactical Air Force; Allied Expeditionary Air Force

Books

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (11 January 2011), No. 174 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/174_wwII.html

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