- RAF Odiham during the Second World War -
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Experimental role No. 4 Squadron was formed at Farnborough on 16 September 1912, the last squadron to come into existence prior to the outbreak of The Great War. Although designated initially for home defence, it was swiftly re-assigned to France, departing England on the 13th August 1914. At first it undertook a reconnaissance role, but it also undertook a number of operational experiments including wireless communications, night flying, aerial photography, air-to-ground attack and the use of aircraft to land agents behind enemy lines.
No. 4 Squadron continued to fly reconnaissance missions after the Great War Armistice until it was withdrawn to RAF Northolt on 13 February 1919 and disbanded.
The Squadron reformed on 30 April 1920 at Farnborough and part of the squadron soon saw service in the Irish War of Independence between November 1920 and January 1922. It was then deployed to Turkey during the Chanak crisis in August 1922, travelling in crates from Southampton aboard HMS Ark Royal and then reassembled and flying from the flight deck of HMS Argus to an airbase at Kilya. The threat of hostilities did not materialise and they returned to Farnborough in September 1923. During the 1926 General Strike, No. 4 Squadron's was relocated temporarily to RAF Turnhouse (Edinburgh) to patrol railway lines to deter feared sabotage.
No.4 Squadron was also engaged in testing prototypes offered for reconnaissance duties including an evaluation of the experimental Avro Rota autogyro. Although a qualified success, the Rota autogyro was not accepted for service in the RAF in any numbers. In January 1939 was at RAF Odiham when these were replaced by a new monoplane intended primarily for artillery cooperation and reconnaissance, the Westland Lysander.
3rd September 1939 On the Move
June 1940 On the Move
16th June 1940 Aircraft Lost
5th July 1940 On the Move
11th June 1941 On the Move
11th January 1943 Ops
15th July 1943 Move
17th July 1943 On the Move
27th June 1944 Preparations
30th July 1944 Overseas
1st Aug 1944 Reconnaissance
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Those known to have served at
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
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