No. 659 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.659 Squadron was an Air Observation Post squadron that landing in Normandy soon after D-Day and that supported the Allied armies until the end of the war in Europe.

Air Observation Post squadrons were created to provide airborne observers for the artillery (see No.651 Squadron for more details). Most of their aircrews came from the army, and they used light aircraft (most Austers) which flew above their own guns using the altitude to spot targets over the horizon.

No.659 Squadron was formed on 30 April 1943 and spent the next year preparing for action. It moved to Normandy on 11 June 1944 (D+5). The squadron supported the Allied armies during the fighting in Normandy, the break-out across France and in the Low Countries and Germany.

After the end of the war in Europe the squadron returned to the UK, before departing for India in the autumn of 1945. It remained there until being disbanded in August 1947.

Aircraft
May 1943-March 1944: British Taylorcraft Auster III
March 1944-July 1945: British Taylorcraft Auster IV
July 1944-August 1947: British Taylorcraft Auster V

Location
April-August 1943: Firbeck
August 1943-April 1944: Clifton
April-June 1944: Hammerwood House, East Grinstead
June 1944: Old Sarum
June 1944-May 1945: Dispersed bases, Normandy and western Europe
May 1945: Lubeck
May-July 1945: B.167 Holtenau
July 1945: Lympne
July-October 1945: Matlask
October 1945: To India

Squadron Codes: -

Duty
1943-June 1944: Air Observation Post, home based
June 1944-July 1945: Air Observation Post, north-western Europe
October 1945-August 1947: Air Observation Post, India

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 May 2012), No. 659 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/659_wwII.html

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