No. 28 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.28 Squadron spent the entire Second World War operating from India or Burma, at first as an army co-operation squadron equipped with the Audax and Lysander, then as a tactical reconnaissance squadron, equipped with the Hawker Hurricane.

When the war broke out in Europe in 1939 No.28 Squadron had nearly twenty years of operational experience on the North West Frontier, helping the army to curb the constant raiding in the area. This low level but constant fighting continued until the start of 1942, when the squadron was rushed east to take part in the fighting in Burma.

The squadron carried out a mix of small scale bombing and army co-operation sorties during this first period on the Burmese front, and like every Allied squadron in this early period of the war against Japan suffered heavy casualties. By March it had been withdrawn from the fighting, and moved back to Lahore to reform.

Hawker Hurricane over Bengal
Hawker Hurricane over Bengal

For the next nine months No.28 Squadron took part in army exercises, still with the Lysander, spending part of the year at Kohat (Pakistan) and the rest at Ranchi. The Lysanders were replaced with Hawker Hurricanes in December 1942, and in January 1943 the squadron resumed operations, this time as a tactical reconnaissance squadron.

The squadron continued to operate in this role from January 1943 until the end of the war, with a five month gap from July-December 1944. The Hurricanes operated just ahead of the army during this period, sometimes attacking the targets they had identified. After their return to the front in December 1944, the squadron took part in the victorious return to Burma, with their busiest month of the war coming in March. By the end of the war they had reached Rangoon, where the Hurricanes were replaced by Spitfires just in time to fly some of the last sorties of the war. After the war No.28 Squadron remained in the Far East until disbanded in 1967.

Aircraft
June 1936-January 1942: Hawker Audax
September 1941-December 1942: Westland Lysander II
December 1942-December 1944: Hawker Hurricane IIB
March 1944-October 1945: Hawker Hurricane IIC
July 1945-December 1945: Supermarine Spitfire XI

Location
27 February 1939-28 January 1942: Kohat (Pakistan)
28 January-8 February 1942: Lashio (Burma)
8 February-16 March 1942: Magwe
March 1942: Asansol (Bengal)
March-3 April 1942: Lahore (Pakistan)
3-17 April 1942: Ranchi (Jharkhand, eastern India)
17 April-31 August 1942: Kohat
31 August 1942-29 October 1943: Ranchi
     7 January-29 October 1943: Detachments to Burma
29 October 1943-17 June 1944: Imphal
17 June-2 August 1944: Dalbumgarh
2 August-2 October 1944: Ranchi
2 October-9 December 1944: Dalbumgarh
9 December 1944-11 January 1945: Tamu
11-29 January 1945: Kaleymo
29 January-11 February 1945: Ye-U
11 February-8 April 1945: Sadaung
8 April-22 May 1945: Meiktila
22 May-7 October 1945: Mingaladon

Squadron Codes: US (Audax), BF (Lysander)

Duty
1920-December 1941: Internal security, North West Frontier
December 1941-March 1942: Army Co-operation, Burma
March 1942-December 1942: Army exercises
January 1943-end of war: Tactical Reconnaissance, Burma

Books

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (16 September 2008), No. 28 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/28_wwII.html

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