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No. 56 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- No. 56 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

No. 56 Squadron Royal Air Force

   56 Squadron was formed at Gosport on 8 June 1916 and trained at London Colney. It was the first unit equipped with the S.E.5. fighter and was posted to France on 7th April 1917 to serve as a fighter and ground attack force on the Western Front throughout the remainder of the war.

The Squadron was disbanded on 22 January 1920; however, eight days later it was reformed at Aboukir Egypt with the renumbering of No 80 Squadron. The Squadron was officially disbanded again on 23 September 1922, but only days later elements were hastily formed into a flight and moved to Constantinople in support of the Chanak crisis where it was under the control of No 208 Squadron whilst maintaining the No 56 Squadron identity.

Not long after that flight had left for Turkey, two other flights were reformed at RAF Hawkinge in November 1922. The Squadron was re-united in August 1923, with all three flights located at RAF Biggin Hill. In October 1927 the Squadron settled at RAF North Weald, where it would remain until the start of the Second World War. In May 1938 it was re-equipped with the Hawker Hurricane.


6th Sept 1939 Spitfire brings down Hurricane

22nd October 1939 On the Move

22nd February 1940 On the Move

16th May 1940 Move into France

27th May 1940 

29th May 1940 Aircraft Lost

31st May 1940 On the Move

10th July 1940 Battle of Britain begins

13th July 1940  Battle of Britain

20th July 1940 Battle of Britain

29th July 1940 Battle of Britain

11th August 1940  Ports and ships attacked

12th August 1940 Battle of Britain

13th August 1940  Battle of Britain

16th August 1940 Eagle Day

17th August 1940 Secret agent mission

18th August 1940 Airfields attacked

20th August 1940 Battle of Britain

20th August 1940  Battle of Britain

26th August 1940  Battle of Britian

30th August 1940 Battle of Britain

31st August 1940  Battle of Britain

1st September 1940 Aircrew exchanged

3rd September 1940 

15th Sept 1940 Crash on exercise

29th November 1940 

26th June 1941  On the Move

30th March 1942 Back into combat operations

19th August 1942  

24th August 1942 New Role

July 1943 

15th February 1944 Refitting

28th February 1944 Change of Duty

28th September 1944 On the Move

May 1945   Airfields No. 56 Squadron flew from during the war:

  • RAF North Weald, Essex from 3rd September 1939
  • RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk from 22nd October 1939
  • RAF North Weald from 22nd February 1940
  • France from 16th May 1940 (Detachment)
  • RAF Digby, Lincolnshire from 31st May 1940
  • RAF North Weald from 5th June 1940
  • RAF Boscombe Down, Wiltshire from 1st September 1940
  • RAF Middle Wallop, Hampshire from 29th November 1940
  • RAF North Weald from 17th December 1940
  • RAF Martlesham Heath from 23rd June 1941
  • RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire from 26th June 1941
  • RAF Snailwell, Suffolk from 30th March 1942
  • RAF Manston, Kent from 29th May 1942
  • RAF Snailwell from 1st June 1942
  • RAF Matlaske, Norfolk from 24th August 1942
  • RAF Manston from 22nd July 1943
  • RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk from 6th August 1943
  • RAF Manston from 15th August 1943
  • RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex from 23rd August 1943
  • RAF Martlesham Heath from 4th October 1943
  • RAF Scorton, Yorkshire from 15th February 1944
  • RAF Acklington, Northumberland from 23rd February 1944
  • RAF Scorton from 7th March 1944
  • RAF Ayr, Ayrshire from 30th March 1944
  • RAF Scorton from 7th April 1944
  • RAF Newchurch, Kent from 28th April 1944
  • RAF Matlaske from 23rd September 1944
  • Grimbergen, B60 from 28th Sept 1944

May 1945 

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

Those known to have served with

No. 56 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

    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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