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No . 4 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- No . 4 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No . 4 Squadron Royal Air Force

 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No. 4 Squadron continued to fly reconnaissance missions after the Great War Armistice until it was withdrawn to RAF Northolt on 13 February 1919 and disbanded.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.

 Experimental role

24th September 1939 Deployment to France

10th May 1940 German invasion of Belgium

28th May 1940 Aircraft Arrive

7th June 1940 Coastal patrols

28th July 1940  Air-Sea Rescue

27th Aug 1940 Training

4th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

November 1941 New aircraft

28th May 1942 Air Raid

13th Oct 1942 Patrols

February 1943 Exercise

19th Mar 1943 Operations

15th July 1943 Move

14th Nov 1943 Moves

1st Jan 1944 Change of Duty

5th March 1944 Move

4th Apr 1944 Preparations

1st Jun 1944 Doodlebugs

6th Jun 1944 In Support

1st Aug 1944 Reconnaissance

25th Aug 1944 A Strange Sight

1st October 1944 Change of Duty

10th Oct 1944 Airbase attacked

1st Feb 1945 Change of Duty

9th Mar 1945 Advance

16th Apr 1945 On the Move

28th May 1945 On the Move

31st August 1945 Aerial maps

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have served with

No . 4 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Drapper Roy. F/Lt.
  • Fletcher James H . Sgt (d.16th July 1940 )
  • Harris Richard W . P/O (d.7th Oct 1940)
  • Harvey Marcus R . Sgt (d.7th Oct 1940)
  • Jefferson. Guy .
  • Kershaw John . F/O (d.16th July 1940)

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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F/Lt. Roy Drapper 4 Sqd.

My husband Roy Drapper was killed in 1944 when his Spitfire crashed and he bailed out after avoiding a town and was too late for the chute to open. I just know he was a PRU pilot in No 4 Squadron. Headquarters 35 Wing.

Betty Blower

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