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  49 Squadron Royal Air Force
"Cave canem" (Beware of the dog)

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> Units and Formations

Flying Squadrons
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49 Sqn
50 Sqn
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166 Sqn
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349 Sqn
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442 Sqn
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455 Sqn
460 Sqn
463 Sqn
467 Sqn
486 Sqn
503 Sqn
504 Sqn
527 Sqn
528 Sqn
532 Sqn
538 Sqn
542 Sqn
550 Sqn
576 Sqn
601 Sqn
609 Sqn
613 Sqn
616 Sqn
617 Sqn
619 Sqn
625 Sqn
626 Sqn
627 Sqn
630 Sqn

Heavy Conversion Units
1654 HCU
1656 HCU
1660 HCU
1661 HCU
1662 HCU
1665 HCU
1667 HCU
1668 HCU
21 HGCU

Advanced Flying Schools
201 AFS

Advanced Flying Units
12 AFU
15 AFU

Flying Training Schools
1 FTS
2 FTS
3 FTS
6 FTS
7 FTS
12 FTS
1 Lancaster Finishing School
Central Flying School

Operational Training/
Conversion Units
(Fighter)
6 OTU
53 OTU

56 OTU

(Bomber)
228 OCU
230 OCU

Air Armament Schools
1 AAS
2 AAS
Empire Central AS

Other schools
1 Gp Aircrew School
1 Ground Defence School
1 Air Observers School
Central Gunnery School
5 Gp Anti Air School

Other units
Bomber Command
Coastal Command
Fighter Command
HQ No 5 Group
HQ No 23 Group
1485 Gunnery Flight
2782 Defence Sqn
178 Support Unit
399 Signals Unit
Nationality based Sqns

Updated : 28 Sep 06

Formed: 15 Apr 1916

Disbanded: Jul 1919

Reformed: 1936

Disbanded: 1 Aug 1955

Reformed: 1 May 1956

Disbanded: 1 May 1965

Squadron was based at:

RAF Bircham Newton :: 1936 - ??

RAF Worthy Down :: ?? - Mar 1938

RAF Scampton :: 14 Mar 1938 - 2 Jan 1943

RAF Fiskerton :: 2 Jan 1943 - 16 Oct 1944
(RAF Dunholme Lodge :: 22 Sep 1943 - 23 Oct 1943 during Fiskerton runway repairs)

RAF Fulbeck :: 16 Oct 1944 - 22 Apr 1945

RAF Syerston :: 22 Apr 1945 - ??

RAF Mepal :: Sep 1945 - Jul 1946

RAF Upwood :: Jul 1946 -

Kenya :: Nov 1953 - Feb 1954

RAF Wittering :: 1 May 1956 -

Squadron Code: XU (pre-Sep 1939), EA

Aircraft operated:

DH4 :: 1916 - Apr 1917

DH9 :: Apr 1917 -

Hind :: 1936 - Sep 1938

Hampden :: Sep 1938 - Apr 1942

Manchester :: Apr 1942 - ?? 1942

Lancaster Mk I, Mk III :: 1942 - Nov 1949

Lincoln :: Nov 1949 - Aug 1955

Valiant :: May 1956 - May 1965

49 Sqn RFC was formed at Dover on 15 Apr 1916 and moved to France in Nov 1917 for day bombing operations. In May 1919 it was posted to Germany as part of the Army of Occupation but disbanded in Jul 1919. It reformed in 1936 as a Hind bomber sqn. By the start of WWII it was at RAF Scampton equipped with Hampdens.

49 Sqn's wartime roles included laying seamines from Apr 1940. The Sqn was the first in Bomber Command to have a Victoria Cross awarded to one of its strength, Flt Lt Learoyd, for his role in a joint low level attack on the Dortmund-Ems canal with 83 Sqn.

On Wed 16 Oct 1940, orders were received detailing 12 aircraft of 49 Sqn for bombing and gardening: the main target was to be the submarines at Bordeaux. Take off began at 1900 hours at 5-minute intervals from Scampton until all 12 Hampden were airborne. Bad weather was to play a significant part in the night's proceedings especially when the aircraft returned. Futher details of the mission, and photographs of a memorial to the crew of L4128 are included.

Another notable Sqn achievement was to lead the 5 Gp attack on the Schneider arms and locomotive work at Le Creusot in on 17 Oct 1942, when 86 unescorted bombers flew one of Bomber Command's most memorable missions.

In 1943 the Sqn participated in the first shuttle bombing raid, targeting Friedrichshaven and Spezia. It also played a role in the Operation HYDRA, the famous Peenemunde Raid, launched on 17 Aug 1943. JA691, a Fiskterton-based Lancaster, was among the bomber aircraft involved and an extremely detailed account of the attack and JA691's crew's fate is on BomberHistory.co.uk. During 1943 the Sqn also operated out of Dunholme Lodge for one month while the Fiskerton runway was repaired.

Before disbandment in 1955 the Sqn was detached to Kenya with the Lincoln for recce and bombing missions during the Mau Mau rebellion. In its final reformation it was equipped with the Valiant, taking part in the Christmas Island nuclear bomb trials, during which it dropped Britain's first H-Bomb. The Valiant was withdrawn from service due to early superstructure fatigue and 48 Sqn disbanded on 1 May 1965.

49 Sqn books

L4129 crew memorial

48 Sqn memorials

49 Sqn history on RAF site

49 Sqn info

49 Sqn Association website

Peenemunde raid on BomberHistory.co.uk

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