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No.538 Squadron was one of ten Turbinlite squadrons formed on 2 September 1942 to operate a mix of searchlight-equipped Havocs and Hurricane fighters. The aim was for the Havoc to find an enemy bomber with its radar, then illuminate it with its searchlight, allowing a pair of Hurricanes to shoot it down. The initial scheme, using special Turbinlite flights and fighters from nearby fighter squadrons failed, partly because the fighters often failed to arrive. In an attempt to solve this problem the Turbinlite flights were turned into squadrons, and given both types of aircraft, but by the autumn of 1942 more suitable night fighters were entering service in significant numbers, and the Turbinlite squadrons were disbanded on 25 January 1943.
No.538 Squadron was formed from No.1459 Flight at Hibaldstow (North Lincolnshire) and remained there until being disbanded.
September 1942-January 1943
Douglas Havoc I and II
Douglas Boston III
Hawker Hurricane IIC
September 1942-January 1943: Hibaldstow
Squadron Codes: -
September 1942-January 1943: Turbinlite Squadron