No. 610 Squadron RAF

Last updated

No. 610 (County of Chester) Squadron RAF
Active10 February 1936 – 3 March 1945
10 May 1946 – 10 March 1957
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Part of Royal Auxiliary Air Force
Motto(s) Latin: Alifero tollitur axe ceres
(Translation: "Ceres rising in a winged chariot") [1]
Engagements Battle of Britain
Commanders
Honorary Air Commodore Sir William Bromley-Davenport(1937–49)
I.R. Parker (1953–57)
Notable
commanders
J.E. "Johnnie" Johnson, Cyril Stanley Bamberger
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldryA garb, divided into two parts and coloured red and blue
A wheatsheaf was chosen as such charges appear in the armorial bearings of the city of Chester; No. 610 Squadron was the County of Chester Squadron [2]
Squadron CodesJE (Apr 1939 – Sep 1939) [3]
DW (Sep 1939 – Mar 1945, 1949 – Apr 1951) [4]
RAQ (May 1946 – 1949) [5]
Post-1950 squadron roundel RAF 610 Sqn.svg

No. 610 (County of Chester) Squadron of the Royal Air Force was a Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force. Comprising very high quality pilots, often ex-RAF officers and occasionally locally based company Test pilots from companies such as de Havilland and Airwork. Its pilots were initially part timers who would spend their weekends and spare time flying and practising combat manoeuvres. The squadron was named the "County of Chester" and adopted the motto "Alifero tollitur axe ceres"; which translates as "Ceres rising in a winged chariot". Ceres being the Roman Goddess of Wheat, a reference to Chester's Agricultural sector. Its badge contained the image of a garb (sheaf of wheat).

Contents

610 Squadron Association, with headquarters at Hooton Park, has a substantial number of ex-members of the Squadron on its list of members.

History

Formation and early years

The squadron was formed on 10 February 1936 at Hooton Park, Wirral, Cheshire as one of the Auxiliary Air Force Squadron. It was equipped with Hawker Hart light bombers. As war approached, these were replaced by Hawker Hinds in May 1938. On 1 January 1939 the squadron role was changed into that of a fighter squadron, and on the outbreak of war in September 1939 it received its first Hawker Hurricane fighters. By the end of that same month it was flying the more advanced Supermarine Spitfire fighter.

Second World War

A Spitfire Mk.I in the markings of no. 610 Squadron Spitfire.gif
A Spitfire Mk.I in the markings of no. 610 Squadron

610 Squadron was attached to No. 13 Group RAF during the Battle of Britain. It had initially been based at RAF Gravesend, but moved to RAF Biggin Hill before the German offensive began and was one of the units bearing the brunt of German attacks. It moved to RAF Acklington for rest and recuperation at the end of August, having sustained severe casualties. During the Battle of Britain the squadron included Pilot Officer, later Squadron Leader, Constantine Pegge.

In 1941, the squadron moved south to RAF Westhampnett where it was one of Douglas Bader's three Spitfire squadrons of the Tangmere wing. It remained based in the UK until late 1944 when it moved to the Continent to provide fighter cover as the allies entered Germany. 610 Squadron was disbanded before the end of the war at RAF Warmwell on 3 March 1945.

Post-war

Gloster Meteor T.7 of No. 610 Squadron in 1953 wearing the units black and white zigzag markings. Gloster Meteor T.7 WA743 610.L RWY 03.53 edited-2.jpg
Gloster Meteor T.7 of No. 610 Squadron in 1953 wearing the units black and white zigzag markings.

The squadron was re-formed on 10 May 1946 at RAF Hooton Park as a Royal Auxiliary Air Force fighter squadron, embodied in June of that year and receiving its first Spitfire F.14s in November 1946, switching to more powerful Spitfire F.22s in March 1949. Gloster Meteor F.4 jet fighters were received in July 1951, being replaced by the later F.8 version in March 1952. Meteor T.7 twin-seat training aircraft were also used as advanced conversion trainers. The Meteors were flown until shortly before the squadron disbanded on 10 March 1957, together with all other RAuxAF flying units. [6]

See also

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by no. 610 Squadron RAF, data from [1] [6] [7] [8]
FromToAircraftVersion
March 1936May 1938 Hawker Hart
May 1938September 1939 Hawker Hind
September 1939September 1939 Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
September 1939February 1941 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I
February 1941July 1941Supermarine SpitfireMk.IIa
July 1941August 1941Supermarine SpitfireMk.Vb
August 1941November 1941Supermarine SpitfireMks.IIa, IIb
November 1941March 1944Supermarine SpitfireMks.Vb, Vc
December 1943March 1945Supermarine SpitfireMk.XIV
November 1946April 1949Supermarine SpitfireF.14
March 1949August 1951Supermarine SpitfireF.22
July 1951May 1952 Gloster Meteor F.4
March 1952February 1957Gloster MeteorF.8

Squadron bases

Bases and airfields used by no. 610 Squadron RAF, data from [1] [6] [7]
FromToBase
10 February 193610 October 1939 RAF Hooton Park,
10 October 19394 April 1940 RAF Wittering, Cambridgeshire
4 April 194010 May 1940 RAF Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland
10 May 194027 May 1940 RAF Biggin Hill, Kent
27 May 19408 July 1940 RAF Gravesend, Kent
8 July 194031 August 1940RAF Biggin Hill, Kent
31 August 194015 December 1940 RAF Acklington, Northumberland
15 December 194029 August 1941 RAF Westhampnett, West Sussex
29 August 194114 January 1942 RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire
14 January 19424 April 1942 RAF Hutton Cranswick, Yorkshire
4 April 194216 August 1942 RAF Ludham, Norfolk
16 August 194221 August 1942 RAF West Malling, Kent
21 August 194215 October 1942RAF Ludham, Norfolk
15 October 194220 January 1943 RAF Castletown, Caithness, Scotland
20 January 194330 April 1943RAF Westhampnett, West Sussex
30 April 194326 June 1943 RAF Perranporth, Cornwall
26 June 194319 December 1943 RAF Bolt Head, Devon
19 December 19434 January 1944 RAF Fairwood Common, Glamorgan, Wales
4 January 19447 April 1944 RAF Exeter, Devon
7 April 194423 April 1944 RAF Culmhead, Somerset
23 April 194430 April 1944RAF Fairwood Common, Glamorgan, Wales
30 April 194416 May 1944RAF Culmhead, Somerset
16 May 194429 May 1944RAF Bolt Head, Devon
29 May 194419 June 1944 RAF Harrowbeer, Devon
19 June 194427 June 1944RAF West Malling, Kent
27 June 19442 July 1944RAF Westhampnett, West Sussex
2 July 194412 September 1944 RAF Friston, Suffolk
12 September 19444 December 1944 RAF Lympne, Kent
4 December 194431 December 1944 B.56/Evere, Belgium
31 December 194427 January 1945 Y.32/Ophoven, Belgium
27 January 194521 February 1945 B.78/Eindhoven, Netherlands
21 February 19453 March 1945 RAF Warmwell, Dorset
10 May 194610 March 1957 RAF Hooton Park, Cheshire

Commanding officers

Officers commanding no. 610 Squadron RAF, data from [7] [9]
FromToName
10 February 1936December 1939 S/Ldr. I.R. Parker
January 194029 May 1940S/Ldr. A.L. Franks, AFC
29 May 1940July 1940S/Ldr. A.T. Smith
July 1940April 1941S/Ldr. J. Ellis, DFC & Bar
April 1941June 1941S/Ldr. H. de C.A. Woodhouse, AFC
June 19414 November 1941S/Ldr. K. Holden, DFC
4 November 1941December 1941S/Ldr. B.J. Wicks, DFC
December 1941February 1942S/Ldr. C.O.J. Pegge, DFC
February 1942July 1942S/Ldr. G.S.K. Haywood
July 1942March 1943S/Ldr. J.E. Johnson, DFC & Bar
March 1943January 1944S/Ldr. W.A Laurie, DFC
January 1944February 1945S/Ldr. R.A. 'Dickie' Newbery, [10] DFC & Bar
February 1945March 1945 F/Lt. Shepherd
June 1946March 1948S/Ldr. P.G. Lamb, AFC
March 19481950S/Ldr. R.D. Graesser
19501952S/Ldr. C.S. Bamberger, DFC & Bar
19521954S/Ldr. H.C. Rigby
195410 March 1957S/Ldr. J.E. Storrar, DFC & Bar, AFC

Related Research Articles

No. 19 Squadron RAF Defunct flying squadron of the Royal Air Force

Number 19 Squadron was a flying squadron of the Royal Air Force. Formed on 1 September 1915 as a Royal Flying Corps squadron, the unit served during the First World War. No. 19 Squadron was the first squadron in the RAF to operate the Supermarine Spitfire on 4 August 1938, which it flew for the majority of the Second World War. The squadron operated several different types during the Cold War from the Gloster Meteor F.4 to the McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2 as No. 19 (Fighter) Squadron. From September 1992 until November 2011, the unit was designated No. 19 (Reserve) Squadron. The unit most recently operated the BAe Hawk T.1, T.1A and T.2 from RAF Valley until it was disbanded on 24 November 2011.

No. 609 Squadron RAF

No. 609 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, originally formed as a bomber squadron and in the Second World War active as fighter squadron, nowadays provides personnel to augment and support the operations of the Royal Air Force. The squadron is no longer a flying squadron, but instead has the role of Force Protection. It is currently based at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire.

No. 504 Squadron RAF

No. 504 Squadron was one of the Special Reserve Squadrons of the Auxiliary Air Force, and today is a reserve force of the RAF Regiment. It was integrated into the AAF proper in 1936. Based at RAF Cottesmore, Rutland, 504 Squadron used a variety of light bombers before being re-tasked to fighters with the Hawker Hurricane in 1939. It subsequently became a Fighter Squadron. Currently No. 504 Squadron no longer has a flying role, but as part of No 85 Expeditionary Logistics Wing of the RAF A4 Force.

No. 607 Squadron RAF

No. 607 Squadron is an auxiliary squadron of the Royal Air Force. It was formed in 1930 as a bomber unit in the Auxiliary Air Force and changed in 1936 to the fighter role. It fought in that role during the Second World War in Europe and Asia. After the war, in 1946, the squadron reformed as a fighter unit. Awarded the title Royal Auxiliary Air Force by King George in 1947, 607 Sqn was disbanded with all the other flying units of the RAuxAF on 10 March 1957. It reformed on 5 January 2015, as a General Service Support Squadron (GSS).

No. 193 Squadron RAF was a fighter squadron of the Royal Air Force during World War II.

No. 501 Squadron RAF

No 501 Squadron was the 14th of the 21 flying units in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, the volunteer reserve part of the British Royal Air Force. The squadron won seven battle honours, flying Hurricane, Spitfire and Tempest fighter aircraft during World War II, and was one of the most heavily engaged units in RAF Fighter Command. In particular, the Squadron saw extensive action during the Battle of France and Battle of Britain. At present the unit is not flying any more and has a logistics role as part of No 85 Expeditionary Logistics Wing.

No. 613 Squadron RAF

No. 613 Squadron was an Auxiliary Air Force later Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron formed on 1 February 1939 at the then new municipal airport at Ringway, nine miles south of Manchester. The squadron served at first in the army cooperation role, and later during the Second World War became a tactical bomber unit. After the war the squadron reformed as a fighter unit and as such flew until its last disbandment in March 1957.

No. 611 Squadron RAF

No. 611 Squadron is a British Royal Air Force squadron. It was first formed in 1936 and was disbanded in 1957 after seeing combat as a fighter unit during the Second World War. It was reformed as a reserve squadron in 2013.

No. 616 Squadron RAF

No. 616 Squadron is an active Reserve unit of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF) assigned to the RAF ISTAR Force at RAF Waddington. It was originally formed as a unit of the British Auxiliary Air Force in 1938, active throughout World War 2 as a fighter unit, becoming the 1st operational RAF unit to fly jets and disbanded in 1957. The unit reformed in its current guise in April 2019 as 616 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

No. 520 Squadron RAF was a meteorological squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

No. 605 Squadron RAF

No 605 Squadron was formed as an Auxiliary Air Force Squadron. Initially formed as a bomber unit, it was one of the most successful participants of the Battle of Britain. It also had the distinction of being active during the Second World War at two fronts at a time, when the squadron was split up between Malta and the Dutch East Indies. In its last incarnation as an active flying unit, the squadron served as the first jet fighter unit in the post-war Royal Auxiliary Air Force; 616 having already flown Gloster Meteors during the war. No. 605 Squadron was reformed as a RAuxAF Logistic Support Squadron on 1 Nov 2014 within No. 85 Expeditionary Logistics Wing of the RAF A4 Force. Reservist recruitment commenced on 30 May 2015.

No. 680 Squadron RAF was a photo-reconnaissance squadron of the Royal Air Force, active during the Second World War.

No. 608 Squadron was an Auxiliary Air Force squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. It flew during its existence as a bomber, fighter and reconnaissance unit and was the only RAF squadron to be equipped with the unsuccessful Blackburn Botha torpedo bomber.

No. 604 Squadron RAF

No. 604 Squadron RAF was a squadron of the Royal Air Force noted for its pioneering role the development of radar-controlled night-fighter operations. The squadron was established in March 1930 at RAF Hendon as a day-bomber squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. In July 1934, the squadron transitioned to two-seat fighters. Shortly after the commencement of World War II in 1939, the squadron was reassigned to a night-fighter role.

No. 601 Squadron RAF

Number 601 Squadron is a squadron of the RAF Reserves, based in London. The squadron battle honours most notably include the Battle of Britain, and the first Americans to fly in the Second World War were members of this squadron. Reactivated in 2017, it is a specialist squadron "tapping into the talents of leaders from industry, academia and research to advise and shape and inspire [the RAF]".

No. 602 Squadron RAF Squadron of the Royal Air Force

602 Squadron is a Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron. Originally formed in 1925 as a light bomber squadron, its role changed in 1938 to army co-operation and in 1939 to that of a fighter squadron.

No. 615 Squadron RAF

No. 615 Squadron was a unit of the British Auxiliary Air Force and later the Royal Auxiliary Air Force between 1937 and 1957.

No. 614 Squadron RAF

No. 614 Squadron was originally formed on 1 June 1937 as an army co-operation squadron unit of the Auxiliary Air Force. It served during the Second World War first in this role and later as a bomber squadron. Upon reformation it served as a fighter squadron until the disbandment of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force on 10 March 1957.

No. 612 Squadron RAF was originally formed in 1937 as an Army Co-operation unit, and flew during the Second World War in the General Reconnaissance role. After the war the squadron was reformed and flew in the Day Fighter role until disbanded in 1957. At present the squadron has a non-flying role as a RAF Medical Reserves unit.

No. 527 Squadron RAF was a radar calibration unit of the Royal Air Force between 1943 and 1958.

References

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 Halley 1988, p. 427.
  2. Rawlings 1978, p. 495.
  3. Bowyer & Rawlings 1979, p. 14.
  4. Bowyer & Rawlings 1979, p. 31.
  5. Bowyer & Rawlings 1979, p. 138.
  6. 1 2 3 Jefford 2001 , p. 100.
  7. 1 2 3 Rawlings 1978 , p. 496.
  8. Hunt 1972 , pp. 227–245.
  9. "No. 610 (County of Chester) Squadron website". Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
  10. Thomas, Andrew (20 September 2013). V1 Flying Bomb Aces. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN   978-1-78096-293-1.

Bibliography

  • Bowyer, Michael J.F.; Rawlings, John D.R. (1979). Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN   0-85059-364-6.
  • Flintham, Vic; Thomas, Andrew (2003). Combat Codes: A Full Explanation and Listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied Air Force Unit Codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN   1-84037-281-8.
  • Halley, James J. (1988). The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN   0-85130-164-9.
  • Hunt, Leslie (1972). Twenty-One Squadrons: The History of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 1925–1957. London: Garnstone Press. ISBN   0-85511-110-0.
  • Jefford, C.G. (2001). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912 (2nd ed.). Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN   1-85310-053-6.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. (1976). Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd. ISBN   0-354-01027-1.
  • Rawlings, John (1978) [1969]. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft (Revised ed.). London: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd. ISBN   0-354-01028-X.
  • Robinson, Anthony (1999) [1987]. RAF Squadrons in the Battle of Britain. London: Brockhampton Press. ISBN   1-86019-907-0.