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Swift To Battle No.72 Fighter Squadron RAF In A...

It was previously based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse using the Short Tucano T.1, a modified version of the Brazilian Embraer EMB-312 Tucano training aircraft. No. 72 Squadron started its service life supporting the army during World War I on operations in Middle East and afterwards was quickly disbanded. In its second incarnation the squadron was a real fighter unit, transitioning from Gloster Gladiator biplanes[11] to Gloster Javelin all-weather jets, in between flying the Supermarine Spitfire during the Battle of Britain. The jets went in 1961 and from then until 1 April 2002 the squadron flew helicopters in the transport role.

Swift to Battle No.72 Fighter Squadron RAF in A...


The squadron was reformed on 1 February 1947 at RAF Odiham by renumbering No. 130 Squadron.[3] They took over No. 130 Squadron's de Havilland Vampire F.1s, making no haste to remove that units 'AP' code.[15] The Vampire soldiered on for three versions until it gave way to the Gloster Meteor F.8 in 1952, and when the squadron was given a night-fighter role in February 1956 these were replaced with Meteor NF.12s and Meteor NF.14s. In April 1959, the squadron got the all-weather fighter role and was given Gloster Javelin FAW.4s and later Javelin FAW.5s. These were flown until the squadron was disbanded at RAF Leconfield on 30 June 1961.[3]

No.72 Squadron began the Second World War as a home based fighter squadron, taking part in the battle of Britain and the offensive sweeps over France, before moving to North Africa late in 1942. The squadron remained in the mediterranean to the end of the war, taking part in the fighting on Sicily, in Italy and the invasion of southern France.

After a short existence during the First World War No.72 Squadron reformed in February 1937 as a fighter squadron, equipped with the biplane Gloster Gladiator. Spitfires arrived in April 1939, and like most Spitfire squadrons No.72 spent the first few months of the war flying defensive patrols over Britain. Serious combat duties began in early June when the squadron flew patrols over the Dunkirk beaches, before it returned north to Acklington.

The squadron returned south in August, at first to Biggin Hill, and took part in the second half of the battle of Britain. After resting in the north between November and July 1941 the squadron returned south again, and spent the next year taking part in the costly fighter sweeps over northern France that were designed to take the initiative away from the Luftwaffe.

In September 1942 the squadron began to prepare for a move to North Africa. At the start of Operation Torch the squadron operated from Gibraltar, before moving to Tunisia. The squadron then advanced with the Allied armies, moving to Malta in June 1943 to prepare for the invasion of Sicily, then to Sicily in the next month and to Italy in September 1943. After ten months in Italy the squadron moved to Corsica, from where it helped to cover Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France. After six weeks in France the squadron returned to Italy, where it remained until the end of the war, flying a mix of defensive patrols and aggressive fighter-bomber missions.

Books Swift to Battle: No.72 Squadron RAF in Action: Volume II 1942 to 1947, North Africa, Malta, Sicily, Southern France and Austria, Tom Docherty. A very detailed, almost day-by-day, account of the activities of No.72 Squadron during the Allied advance from Tunisia, up the Italian peninsula and into Austria, that gives a good feel of life within an RAF squadron during these campaigns [read full review] Gloster Gladiator Aces, Andrew Thomas. A look at the wartime career of the only biplane fighter still in RAF service during the Second World War. Covers the Gladiator's service in Finland, Malta, North Africa, Greece, Aden, East Africa and Iraq, where despite being outdated it performed surprisingly well. Spitfire Mark I/II Aces 1939-41, Dr Alfred Price. Slightly different to many books in the Aircraft of the Aces series, Price splits his material, concentrating on the wider picture in the first part of the book before looking at eleven of the top Spitfire aces in the last two chapters of the book [see more] Spitfire Mark V Aces, 1941-45, Dr Alfred Price. A well written and nicely balanced look at the combat career of the Spitfire Mk V and of the men who flew it. The Spitfire V fought in more theatres than the more famous Mk I/II, including over France in 1941, on Malta, in North Africa and even in northern Australia. [see more] Bookmark this page: Delicious Facebook StumbleUpon 041b061a72


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