No. 35 "Madras Presidency" Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.35 Squadron went through two incarnations during the Second World War. At the start of the war it was equipped with the Fairey Battle, but unlike most Battle units was not sent to France, instead acting as a training unit, equipped with a mix of Battles, Ansons and Blenheims. The squadron was combined with No. 207 Squadron, first to form No.1 Group Pool on 1 October 1939 and then to form No. 17 Operational Training Unit on 8 April 1940.

The second incarnation began on 5 November 1940. The new No. 35 was the first squadron to use the Handley Page Halifax. A detachment from the squadron had been training on the prototype Halifaxes, and began to work with the first production aircraft in November 1940. The squadron carried out the first Halifax raid on 10 March 1941. In August 1942 the squadron was transferred to the new Pathfinder Force (No. 8 Group), remaining with that unit until the end of the war. In March 1944 the squadron converted to the Avro Lancaster.

Location
25 August-7 December 1939: Cranfield
7 December 1939-1 February 1940: Bassingbourn
1 February-8 April 1940: Upwood
5-20 November 1940: Boscombe Downe
20 November-5 December 1940: Leeming
5 December 1940-15 August 1942: Linton-on-Ouse
15 August 1942-18 September 1946: Graveley, to join No. 8 (PFF) Group

Aircraft
April 1938-February 1940:  Fairey Battle
February 1939-April 1940: Avro Anson
November 1939-April 1940: Blenheim Mk IV
November 1940-February 1942: Handley Page Halifax B I
January 1942-March 1944: Handley Page Halifax B II
December 1943-March 1944: Handley Page Halifax B III
March 1944-October 1949: Avro Lancaster I and Avro Lancaster III

Squadron Codes: TL

Group and Duty
On 26 September 1939: Pool squadron with No. 6 Group
8 April 1940: Merges with No.207 Squadron to become No.17 OTU
From November 1940-August 1942: Bomber squadron with No. 4 Group
From August 1942: Pathfinder squadron with No. 8 (PFF) Group

Known Raids (partial list)
10/11 March 1941: Le Havre (first Halifax raid)
28/29 August 1942: Nuremberg

Books

Review of Halifax Squadrons by John lake Halifax Squadrons of World War II , Jon Lake. This is a very good book on the combat record of the Handley Page Halifax. It covers much more than just its role as a front line bomber, with chapters on the Halifax with Coastal Command, the Pathfinders and SOE, amongst others. [see more] cover cover cover
Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45, Jon Lake. A well balanced look at the career of the Avro Lancaster in 1944-45, the period most famous for the systematic night bombardment of German cities. This was also the period that saw the Lancaster used to support the invasion of France, and the period that saw 617 Squadron drop Barnes Wallis's huge streamlined bombs with great precision. [see more] Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45 at Amazon.co.uk Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45 at Amazon.com Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45 at Amazon.ca
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (16 March 2007), No. 35 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/35_wwII.html

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