No. 210 Squadron RAF
No. 210 Squadron was a Royal Air Force unit established in World War I. Disbanded and reformed a number of times in the ensuing years, it operated as a fighter squadron during World War I and as a maritime patrol squadron during the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the Cold War before it was last deactivated in 1971.
|No. 210 Squadron RAF|
|Active||12 Feb 1917(RNAS)– 24 Jun 1919|
1 Feb 1920 – 1 Apr 1923
1 Mar 1931 – 31 Dec 1943
1 Jan 1944 – 4 Jun 1945
1 Jun 1946 – 31 Jan 1957
1 Dec 1958 – 31 Oct 1970
1 Nov 1970 – 17 Nov 1971
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Motto(s)||Welsh: Yn y nwyfre yn hedfan|
("Hovering in the Heavens")
|Battle honours||Western Front, 1916–18|
North Africa, 1942–43
All these honours are emblazoned on the squadron standard
|W/Cdr. R. Leckie|
W/Cdr. A.T. Harris
|Squadron Badge heraldry||A griffin segreant|
|Squadron Codes||VG (May 1939 – Sep 1939)|
DA (Sep 1939 – Mar 1944)
OZ (Apr 1946 – 1951)
World War IEdit
No. 210 Squadron was formed from No. 10 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), when the Royal Air Force was established on 1 April 1918. No. 10 (Naval) Squadron had been raised on 12 February 1917, flying Nieuports and later Sopwith Triplanes, which were in turn replaced by Sopwith Camels in late 1917. One of its pilots was Raymond Collishaw, the RNAS's highest-scoring ace and later an Air Vice-Marshal. The unit remained in Europe after the war, until February 1919. It then returned to the UK and was disbanded on 24 June 1919.
Between the warsEdit
The squadron reformed on 1 March 1931, equipped with Supermarine Southampton flying boats. The squadron initially operated out of Felixstowe before moving three months later to Pembroke Dock in Wales, June 1931. One of its pilots at this time was Don Bennett, the future commanding officer of the Pathfinder Force. In 1935 the squadron converted to the Short Rangoon and was posted to Gibraltar. A year later the squadron returned home to be re-equipped with the Short Singapore, August 1936.
In 1937 the squadron was posted to Algeria as part of an Anglo-French force charged with countering submarine attacks on neutral shipping during the Spanish Civil War. The squadron returned home in December 1937. In June 1938 the squadron converted to the Short Sunderland.
World War IIEdit
When World War II began, detachments from No. 210 Squadron were sent to Invergordon and Sullom Voe. In July 1940 the squadron moved to RAF Oban and began to re-equip with the Consolidated Catalina. The squadron returned to Pembroke Dock in October 1942, with a detachment based at Gibraltar. In April 1943, squadron headquarters moved to RAF Hamworthy. The Gibraltar detachment was transferred to No. 202 Squadron on 31 December 1943 and the remainder of the squadron at Hamworthy disbanded.
The squadron reformed the day after at Sullom Voe, when No. 190 Squadron was renumbered on 1 January 1944. During this time, Flying Officer John Cruickshank, a pilot with the squadron, was awarded the Victoria Cross for flying his aircraft home despite extensive wounds received during an attack on a German U-boat. This was one out of a total of eight German U-boats that fell victim to the Catalinas of 210 squadron. When the war ended 210 sqn flew a month postal runs to Norwegian ports but shortly thereafter officially disbanded on 4 June 1945 at Sullom Voe. The squadron's history however has a flight with the RAF Film Unit along the Norwegian coast as flown as late as on 10 June 1945.
Lancasters and NeptunesEdit
On 1 June 1946, No. 210 Squadron reformed again when one flight ('Y') of No. 179 Squadron was renumbered. Eventually the other flight of no. 179 sqn ('X') was absorbed later in September 1946. It operated Lancaster GR.3s from RAF St Eval until September 1952, then moved to RAF Topcliffe, re-equipping with Neptune MR.1 aircraft in February 1953. The squadron disbanded at Topcliffe on 31 January 1957.
The squadron reformed one more time on 1 December 1958 when No. 269 Squadron was renumbered, taking over that squadron's maritime patrol tasks from RAF Ballykelly, equipped with the Shackleton MR.2. The tasks included taking part in the UN sanctions against Rhodesia, flown by two detachments from Sharjah in the Trucial States and Majunga, Madagascar. This lasted until 31 October 1970, when the Squadron disbanded. On 1 November 1970 the squadron's former detachment at Sharjah reformed as the new 210 sqn, but this did not last for long, as the squadron disbanded there for the last time at Sarjah on 17 November 1971.
|Feb 1917||May 1917||Nieuport 12|
|Feb 1917||May 1917||Nieuport 17|
|Feb 1917||Jul 1917||Sopwith Triplane|
|August 1917||Jun 1919||Sopwith Camel|
|Feb 1920||Apr 1923||Sopwith Cuckoo|
|May 1931||Jul 1935||Supermarine Southampton||Mk.II|
|Jan 1935||Aug 1935||Short Singapore||Mk.III|
|Sep 1935||Aug 1936||Short Rangoon||Mk.I|
|Oct 1935||Nov 1935||Saro London||Mk.II|
|Oct 1935||Nov 1935||Supermarine Stranraer||Mk.I|
|Sep 1936||Nov 1938||Short Singapore||Mk.III|
|Jun 1938||Apr 1941||Short Sunderland||Mk.I|
|Apr 1941||Mar 1944||Consolidated Catalina||Mks.I and Ib|
|Aug 1942||Dec 1943||Consolidated Catalina||Mks.IIa and III|
|Mar 1944||Jun 1945||Consolidated Catalina||Mk.IV|
|Jun 1946||Oct 1952||Avro Lancaster||ASR.3|
|Feb 1953||Jan 1957||Lockheed Neptune||MR.1|
|Dec 1958||Nov 1971||Avro Shackleton||MR.2|
|12 Feb 1917||27 Mar 1917||Saint-Pol-sur-Mer, France|
|27 Mar 1917||15 May 1917||Furnes, Belgium|
|15 May 1917||4 Oct 1917||Droglandt, France|
|4 Oct 1917||27 Nov 1917||Leffrinckoucke, France|
|27 Nov 1917||31 Mar 1918||Téteghem, France|
|31 Mar 1918||9 Apr 1918||Treizennes, France|
|9 Apr 1918||27 Apr 1918||Liettres, France|
|27 Apr 1918||30 May 1918||Saint-Omer, France|
|30 May 1918||8 Jul 1918||Sainte-Marie-Cappel, France|
|8 Jul 1918||22 Jul 1918||Téteghem, France|
|22 Jul 1918||23 Oct 1918||Eringhem, France|
|23 Oct 1918||17 Feb 1919||Boussières, France|
|17 Feb 1919||24 Jun 1919||RAF Scopwick, Lincolnshire|
|1 Feb 1920||1 Apr 1923||RAF Gosport, Hampshire|
|1 Mar 1931||15 Jun 1931||RAF Felixstowe, Suffolk|
|15 Jun 1931||28 Sep 1935||RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|28 Sep 1935||7 Aug 1936||RAF Gibraltar|
|7 Aug 1936||22 Sep 1937||Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|22 Sep 1937||18 Dec 1937||Arzeu, Algeria|
|18 Dec 1937||29 Sep 1938||Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|29 Sep 1938||8 Oct 1938||Tayport, Fife, Scotland|
|8 Oct 1938||23 Oct 1939||Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|23 Oct 1939||6 Nov 1939||RAF Invergordon, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland|
|6 Nov 1939||24 Nov 1939||Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|24 Nov 1939||21 May 1940||Invergordon (Det. at Sullom Voe, Shetland, Scotland)|
|21 May 1940||13 Jul 1940||Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
|13 Jul 1940||28 Feb 1942||RAF Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland (Dets. at Reykjavík, Iceland, Sullom Voe and Stranraer|
|28 Feb 1942||4 Oct 1942||RAF Sullom Voe, Shetland, Scotland (Det. at Grasnaya, Russia)|
|4 Oct 1942||21 Apr 1943||Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales (Det. at Gibraltar)|
|21 Apr 1943||31 Dec 1943||RAF Hamworthy, Dorset (Det. at Gibraltar)|
|1 Jan 1944||4 Jun 1945||Sullom Voe, Shetland, Scotland (Det. at Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales)|
|1 Jun 1946||15 Apr 1952||RAF St Eval, Cornwall (Dets. at Ein Shemer, Israel, RAF Gibraltar and RAF Luqa, Malta|
|15 Apr 1952||26 May 1952||RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall|
|26 May 1952||15 Apr 1952||RAF St Eval, Cornwall|
|10 Sep 1952||26 Sep 1952||RAF Ballykelly, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland|
|26 Sep 1952||31 Jan 1957||RAF Topcliffe, North Yorkshire|
|1 Dec 1958||31 Oct 1970||RAF Ballykelly, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland (Dets. at Sharjah, Trucial States and Majunga, Madagascar|
|1 Nov 1970||15 Nov 1971||Sharjah, Trucial States (United Arab Emirates)|
|Feb 1917||Apr 1917||Squadron Commander (S/Cdr.) C. D. Breese|
|Apr 1917||Sep 1917||S/Cdr. Bertram Charles Bell (acting)|
|Sep 1917||Apr 1918||S/Cdr. B.C. Bell|
|Apr 1918||Oct 1918||Maj. B.C. Bell|
|Oct 1918||Jun 1919||Cpt. A.W. Carter, DFC|
|Feb 1920||Apr 1920||S/Ldr. J.A.G. de Courcy|
|Apr 1920||Sep 1920||S/Ldr. C. W. H. Pulford|
|Sep 1920||Apr 1923||W/Cdr. N.J. Gill|
|Mar 1931||Mar 1933||W/Cdr. R. Leckie, DSO, DSC, DFC|
|Mar 1933||Jul 1933||W/Cdr. A.T. Harris|
|Jul 1933||May 1934||W/Cdr. R.H. Kershaw|
|May 1934||Oct 1935||S/Ldr. A.F. Lang|
|Oct 1935||Dec 1938||W/Cdr. W.N. Plenderlieth|
|Dec 1938||Jan 1939||S/Ldr. G.A. Bolland|
|Jan 1939||Jan 1940||W/Cdr. W.J. Daddo-Langlois|
|Jan 1940||Jan 1941||W/Cdr. F.J. Fressanges|
|Jan 1941||Nov 1941||W/Cdr. G.G. Barret|
|Nov 1941||Jun 1942||W/Cdr. W.H. Hutton|
|Jun 1942||Jan 1943||W/cdr. H.B. Johnson|
|Jan 1943||Nov 1943||W/Cdr. C.H. Brandon|
|Nov 1943||Jan 1944||W/Cdr. S.R. Gibbs, DFC|
|Jan 1944||Mar 1944||W/Cdr. P.H. Allington|
|Mar 1944||Oct 1944||W/Cdr. L.W. Burgess|
|Oct 1944||Nov 1944||S/Ldr. Smallman|
|Nov 1944||Jun 1945||W/cdr. R.W. Whittome|
|Jun 1946||Jan 1947||S/Ldr. A. Henderson, AFC|
|Jan 1947||Oct 1947||S/Ldr. F.G. Paisley, DFC|
|Oct 1947||Apr 1949||S/Ldr. W.D. Hodgkinson, DFC, AFC|
|Apr 1949||Jun 1951||S/Ldr. P.R. Casement, DSO, DFC|
|Jun 1951||Nov 1951||S/Ldr. P.J. Cundy|
|Nov 1951||Aug 1952||S/Ldr. E.F.J. Odoire, DFC, AFC|
|Aug 1952||Jan 1954||S/Ldr. H.H. Eccles|
|Jan 1954||Dec 1955||S/Ldr. H.R. Kerr, OBE|
|Dec 1955||Jan 1957||W/Cdr. J.L. Nunn, DFC|
|Dec 1958||W/Cdr. J.F. Halton|
|1961||1962||W/Cdr. A.F. Carvosso|
|W/Cdr. J.W. King|
|W/Cdr. D.G.F. Palmer|
|Nov 1970||Nov 1971||S/Ldr. G. Moule|
- Halley 1988, p. 274.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 14.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 52.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 28.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 68.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 81.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 154.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 127.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 192.
- Seymour and Balderson 1999, p. 100.
- Jefford 2001, p. 68.
- Evans 1999, p. 77.
- Jefford 2001, p. 73.
- Rawlings 1982, p. 142.
- Halley 1988, p. 275.
- Jefford 2001, pp. 72–73.
- Two Ten – Two Six! no. 7, p. 24.
- Rawlings 1982, pp. 142–143.
- Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
- Evans, John. Sopwiths to Sunderlands: The Story of No 210 Squadron RAF, 1917–1941. Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, UK: Paterchurch Publications, 1999. ISBN 1-870745-09-4.
- Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
- Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
- Jefford, C.G. RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
- Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 2nd edition 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald & Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (2nd edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
- Seymour, Mike and Bill Balderson. To The Ends Of The Earth: 210 Squadron's Catalina Years, 1941–1945. Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, UK: Paterchurch Publications, 1999. ISBN 1-870745-08-6.
- Westrop, Mike. A History of No.10 Squadron Royal Navy Air Service in World War I. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0-7643-2055-6.
- 210 Squadron association periodical "Two ten – Two Six!". Nos. 4/7, Autumn 1991/Autumn 1993.
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