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No. 114 Squadron

 

Motto: "With speed I strike."
Badge: A cobra's head. The cobra's head shows connection with India where the squadron was originally formed.
Authority: King George VI, December 1937.

No. 114 Squadron, RFC, was formed at Lahore, India, in September 1917, from a nucleus provided by No. 31 Squadron. It was equipped with BE2c's and BE2e's and appears to have taken part in air demonstrations against troublesome tribesmen during the period September 1917 to March 1918. By September 1918, headquarters and one-and-a-half flights were at Quetta, half a flight was at Lahore and one flight was in Aden. The squadron was redesignated No. 28 Squadron in April 1920.

In 1936 No. 114 re-formed at Wyton as a bomber squadron, with Hinds, and later was the first squadron to be equipped with Blenheim Is, at that time considered to be the fastest medium bombers in the world.

In December 1939, the squadron, with Blenheim IVs, was posted to Vraux, in France. At first it was engaged on reconnaissance, but with the invasion of the Low Countries was employed on bombing enemy troop columns. The squadron was evacuated from France in May 1940, to Wattisham, but soon afterwards moved to Horsham St. Faith and during the period July 1940 to February 1941 was employed on bombing the Channel Ports and other targets in enemy-occupied Europe and in Germany itself.

Early in March 1941, due to shipping losses in the Battle of the Atlantic, the squadron was loaned to No. 18 Group, Coastal Command, to provide convoy escorts and undertake antisubmarine and anti-shipping patrols. This was exacting and highly necessary work and was relieved by occasional strikes against specific targets such as the ports of Aalborg and Bergen. Towards the end of July the squadron returned to Bomber Command and very soon afterwards, on 11th August, took part in the famous daylight raid on the Cologne power stations. Four and a half months later, on 27th December, it participated in another notable operation: some of its Blenheims, operating from Northern Scotland, attacked the enemy airfield at Herdla in support of the British Combined Operations raid (the first of its kind) against the German-held Norwegian islands of Vaagsö and Maaloy.

During the first seven months of 1942 the squadron was mainly engaged in night-intruder strikes against enemy airfields, and in May and June it made diversionary attacks on night-fighter airfields at Bonn, Vechta, Twente, Ardorf and Leeuwarden in connection with the 1,000-bomber raids on Cologne, Essen and Bremen.1

In November 1942, No. 114, re-equipped with Blenheim Vs, was posted to North Africa to give air support to the First Army in Operation Torch.

1. On the occasion of the 1,000-bomber raid on Bremen (25/26th June) the squadron's effort was divided between Bremen itself and the airfields at Ardorf and Leeuwarden.

Bomber Command WWII Bases:

  • Wyton : Dec 1936-Dec 1939
    • Detachment in France (Rheims) in Sep 1939.
    • Detachment in France (Villeneuve) in Oct 1939.
  • Vraux, France : Dec 1939-May 1940
    • Detachments at Perpignan/La Salanque in Mar 1940 & again in Apr. Later in Apr whole sqdn detached to Perpignan. Returned to Vraux on 9th & 10th May. Detachment at Crecy in May.
  • Nantes : May 1940
  • Wattisham : May 1940-Jun 1940
  • Horsham St. Faith : Jun 1940-Aug 1940
  • Oulton : Aug 1940-Mar 1941
    • Detachment at Hornchurch in Dec 1940 & again in Jan 1941.
  • Thornaby-on-Tees : Mar 1941-May 1941 (attached to Coastal Command)
  • Leuchars : May 1941-Jul 1941 (attached to Coastal Command.)
  • West Raynham : Jul 1941-Nov 1942
    • Detachments at Lossiemouth in Dec 1941 & Mar/Apr 1942, Prestwick & Odiham in May, Lossiemouth (again) in Jun/Jul & Wigtown in Aug.
To North Africa in Nov 1942.

Bomber Command WWII Aircraft:

  • Bristol Blenheim I and IV : Mar 1937-Sep 1942

Code Letters:

  • During the 1938 Munich crisis No. 114 was allotted the code letters "FD". In WW2, prior to going to North Africa, the squadron used the code letters "RT.

First Operational Mission in WWII:

  • 13th October 1939 : 2 Blenheims despatched from an advanced base in France (Villeneuve) to reconnoitre Ruhr area. One a/c successfully completed sortie & other a/c FTR.

First Bombing Mission in WWII:

  • 14th May 1940 : 1 Blenheim, during an armed reconnaissance of Sedan, Givonne & Bouillon area bombed a German motorised column on road leading through Bosseval.

Other Squadron members

 name date of death  served  number age notes place of death
Sir Peter le Cheminant, GBE, KCB, DFC
 
   November 1942-May 1943 Flight Commander Nos 614 and 114 Squadron        
Terence Bruce Sheekey 16 Dec 1943 Royal Australian Air Force

114 Squadron RAF

412720 25 Parents: Terence Sylvester & Alice Johanna, Wagga Wagga, NSW Ancona, Italy

 


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