No. 247 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.247 Squadron was a fighter squadron that alternated between defensive duties and offensive sweeps over France, ending the war with 2nd Tactical Air Force. The squadron was formed on 1 August from the Fighter Flight, Sumburgh. On 21 July 1940 this flight had moved from Sumburgh to Roborough to help protect Plymouth, and its Gladiator biplanes were used to provide both night and day defences and to fly convoy protection patrols.

In September 1941 the squadron converted to the long range Hurricane IIB, and began to fly intruder missions over north western France. This lasted for the next year, before in September 1942 the squadron moved to the Midlands. It converted to the Typhoon in January 1943, and joined 2nd Tactical Air Force in the summer of 1943. Offensive sweeps over northern France soon resumed, and in April 1944 the squadron took a rocket firing course. Rockets then began its main weapon.

The squadron was used to support the army during the D-Day invasion, although it also took part in a number of set piece attacking, including the 10 June attack on the HQ of Panzer Army West, in which the army's chief of staff was killed. The squadron moved to Normandy on 20 June, and followed the advancing troops east across France, reaching the Netherlands in September. It then flew armed reconnaissance sweeps over Germany until the end of the war, focusing on transport, railways and barges.

In August 1945 the squadron returned to the UK to convert to the Tempest, before in 1946 becoming the first squadron to receive the Vampire jet.

Aircraft
August 1940-February 1941: Gloster Gladiator II
December 1940-June 1941: Hawker Hurricane I
June 1941-January 1942: Hawker Hurricane IIA and IIB
January 1942-February 1943: Hawker Hurricane IIC
January-February 1943: Hawker Typhoon IB
August 1945-May 1946: Hawker Tempest II

Location
August 1940-February 1941: Roborough
February 1941: St. Eval
February-May 1941: Roborough
May-June 1941: Portreath
June 1941-May 1942: Predannack
    December 1941-May 1942: Detachment to Exeter
May-September 1942: Exeter
September 1942-March 1943: High Ercall
March-April 1943: Middle Wallop
April-May 1943: Fairlop
May-June 1943: Gravesend
June-July 1943: Bradwell Bay
July-August 1943: New Romney
August 1943: Attlebridge
August-October 1943: New Romney
October-December 1943: Merston
    October-November 1943: Detachment to Snailwell
December 1943-January 1944: Odiham
January-April 1944: Merston
April 1944: Eastchurch
April-June 1944: Hurn
June 1944: B.6 Coulombs
June-August 1944: Hurn
August-September 1944: B.30 Creton
September 1944: B.48 Amiens-Glisy
September 1944: B.58 Melsbroek
September 1944-January 1945: B.78 Eindhoven
January-February 1945: B.86 Helmond
February-March 1945: Warmwell
March-April 1945: B.86 Helmond
April 1945: B.106 Twente
April 1945: B.112 Hopsten
April-May 1945: B.120 Langenhagen
May 1945: B.156 Luneberg
May-August 1945: B.158 Lubeck
August 1945-January 1946: Chilbolton

Squadron Codes: HP (Hurricane), ZY (Hurricane IIC, Typhoon, Tempest)

Duty
Role
1940-1941: Defensive fighter patrols
1941-1942: Fighter sweeps, north western France
1942-1943: Defensive fighter squadron
1943-1945: 2nd Tactical Air Force

Part of
10 July 1943-1 April 1944: No.124 Wing; No.83 Group; 2nd Tactical Air Force
1-24 April 1944: APC Eastchurch
24 April-21 February 1945: No.124 Wing; No.83 Group; 2nd Tactical Air Force
21 February-7 March 1945: APC Warmwell
7 March to end of war: No.124 Wing; No.83 Group; 2nd Tactical Air Force

Books
Gloster Gladiator Aces, Andrew Thomas. A look at the wartime career of the only biplane fighter still in RAF service during the Second World War. Covers the Gladiator's service in Finland, Malta, North Africa, Greece, Aden, East Africa and Iraq, where despite being outdated it performed surprisingly well. cover cover cover

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 July 2011), No. 247 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/247_wwII.html

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