249 Squadron Association

HISTORY

Honorary Secretary
& Treasurer


Tommy Cullen
tcullen@tinyworld.co.uk


Formed on 18 August 1918 from No's 400, 401, 419 and 450 Flights at Dundee, its Short 184 and Sopwith Baby seaplanes provided anti-submarine patrols along the East Coast of Scotland. It disbanded on 8 October 1919.

The squadron reformed as a fighter unit on 16 May 1940 at Church Fenton. It was equipped with Spitfires for the first month but these were changed to Hurricanes in June. In August it moved south to Boscombe Down and on the 16th of the month Flight Lieutenant J B Nicholson, one of the flight commanders, became the only Fighter Command pilot to be awarded the Victoria Cross during World War Two, when he continued to attack and destroy a Bf110 despite his aircraft being on fire from which he suffered severe burns.

With the Battle of Britain over, it began offensive operations over France in December from North Weald, to where it had moved in September, and continued these until May 1941, when it moved to Malta. It remained a part of Malta's air defences throughout the Axis onslaught against the island, re-equipping with Spitfires in February 1942. From November of that year it moved over to the offensive, when it began attacks against targets in Sicily. The squadron left Malta for Italy in October 1943 and began operations over the Balkans.

Mustangs replaced the Spitfires in September 1944 and in April 1945 it moved to Yugoslavia and then back to northern Italy in May, disbanding at Brindisi on 16 August 1945.

Just over two months later on 23 October 1945, the squadron was reformed when No 500 Squadron at Eastleigh in Kenya was renumbered. Initially equipped with Baltimores, these were replaced by Mosquitoes in March 1946, which it used to conduct survey flights of the region.

Once completed the squadron moved Habbaniya in Iraq in June, where it re-equipped with Tempest Vs and VIs in December, at the same becoming a fighter unit.

249 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association

In April 1949, it moved to Egypt receiving Vampires in the following February, remaining there until June 1954, when it moved to Jordan. It operated from Amman for the next two and a half years before moving to Akrotiri in Cyprus in January 1957, for the Suez Campaign. Afterwards, it moved to El Adem and, on 08 July, to Eastleigh in Kenya. Nairobi. A 249 detachment was based at Sharjah for the Trucial Oman campaign but returned to Eastleigh in early October. On 15 October, 1957, 249 ceased to exist as a day fighter/ground attack squadron but was re-formed the next day at Akrotiri with Mk2 Canberras in the high altitude bombing role. It subsequently operated later marks of this aircraft in a variety of roles, including target marking, shallow dive bombing and LABS, until finally being disbanded on 24 February 1969

Motto: Pugnis et Calcibus
(With fists and heels)

Squadron Codes used:
VY - Allocated Apr 1939 - Sep 1939

GN - May 1940 - May 1941, Jun 1943 - Sep 1944, Oct 1945 - Mar 1950

T - Mar 1942 - Jun 1943

This 249 Squadron History was taken from Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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