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No. 81 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 81 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 81 Squadron Royal Air Force

   No. 81 Squadron was formed in 1917 at Gosport as a training unit; disbanded July 1918. December 1939, the Communications Squadron at Mountjoie near Amiens was redesignated No. 81. It flew Tiger Moths until the German invasion when the Squadron returned to the UK and disbanded in June 1940.

No. 81 reformed at Leconfield on 29 July 1941 as a fighter Squadron and in September flew its Hurricanes off the carrier 'Argus' to a North Russian Airfield. The Hurricanes were handed over to the Russians and 81 returned to the UK at the end of November. No. 81 became operational again on 1 February 1942 on defensive duties, moving to southern England to begin offensive sweeps in May. At the end of October the Squadron moved to Gibraltar and on 8 November 19 Spitfires moved to the newly captured airport at Algiers/Mason Blanche. Fighter cover for the 1st Army was provided throughout the campaign in Tunisia and in June 1943 the Squadron moved to Malta. It moved to Italy in September but was withdrawn in November and sent to India. Operations began at Alipore in January 1944 and defensive and ground attack missions were flown until No. 81 was withdrawn to Ceylon until it disbanded on 20 June 1945.
Airfields No. 81 Squadron flew from.

  • RAF Debden, Essex from 29th July 1941 (re-formed. Hurricane IIb)
  • RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire from 30th July 1941 (to Vaenga, 12th August 1941)
  • RAF Turnhouse, Midlothian from 6th December 1941 (ex-Vaenga. Spitfire Va, Spitfire Vb)
  • RAF Hornchurch, Essex from 14th May 1942
  • RAF Fairlop, Essex from 17th July 1942
  • RAF Wellingore, Lincolnshire from 1st September 1942 (to Maison Blanche, 30th October 1942)


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Those known to have served with

No. 81 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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