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No. 142 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 142 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 142 Squadron Royal Air Force

   No 142 Squadron RFC was formed in 1918 at Ismailia, Egypt, as an army co-operation squadron. It moved to Palestine, and was renumbered No. 55 in 1920.
No 142 was re-formed as a bomber unit in 1934 and served in the Middle EAst during 1935 and 1936. In early WWII it was part of the Advanced Air Striking Force in France. In May 1940 as a Fairey Battle squadron, it attacked the Meuse bridges in an attempt to stem the German advance. In June 1940 it converted to Wellingtons and was engaged in a strategic night-bombing offensive.
In late 1942, No 142 moved to North Africa for the Tunisian, Sicilian and Italian campaigns. It was disbanded in Italy in October 1944, re-formed in England in late October and served as a Mosquito light-bomber unit of No 8 Group's Light Night Striking Force. The squadron was disbanded in September 1945.
Airfields No. 142 Squadron flew from:
  • AASF Berry-au-Bac, France, from 3rd September 1939 (76 Wing, Battle I)
  • AASF Plivot, France, from 12th September 1939
  • AASF Faux-Villecerf, France from 16th May 1940
  • AASF Villiersfaux, France, from 6th June 1940
  • RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, from 15th June 1940 (ex-AASF, to 1 Group)
  • RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire, from 3rd July 1940
  • RAF Eastchurch, Kent from 12th August 1940
  • RAF Binbrook, from 6th September 1940 (Wellington II, IV)
  • RAF Grimsby, Lincolnshire, from 26th November 1941
  • RAF Thruxton, Wiltshire, from 7th June 1942
  • RAF Grimsby, from 7th July 1942 (Wellington III)
  • North Africa from December 1942
  • RAF Kirmington, Lincolnshire from 1st January 1943 (Disbanded October 1944)
  • RAF Gransden Lodge, Huntingdonshire, from 25th October 1944 (re-formed. Mosquito XXV)


10th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

10th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

10th May 1940 Bombs

12th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

14th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

14th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

14th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

14th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

14th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

14th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

14th Jun 1940 Aircraft Lost

16th May 1940 On the Move

17th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

17th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

17th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

17th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

19th May 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

13th Jun 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

13th Jun 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

28th July 1940 Fairey Battle L5502 lost

29th Jul 1940 Aircraft Lost

23rd Aug 1940 142 Squadron Battle lost

23rd Aug 1940 Aircraft Lost

16th Oct 1940 Operation Sealion

27th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

30th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

12th Aug 1941 Aircraft Lost

19th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

29th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

21st Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost

7th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost

30th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost

17th Jan 1942 Aircraft Lost

18th August 1944 Aircraft Lost

15th Oct 1944 Reorganisation

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

Those known to have served with

No. 142 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Barrie Ronald Harry Joseph. Sgt. (d.26th Mar 1942)
  • Bosanquet Albert George. Flt.Sgt.
  • Frith Leslie. Sgt.
  • Groves Eric Charles. Sgt. (d.26th March 1942)
  • Hassall Cyril. Sqn. Ldr.
  • Jelly Alfred. Sgt. (d.26th March 1942)
  • Lennox Andrew. F/Sgt. (d.26th March 1942)
  • Pipher William Melvin. F/Sgt. (d.26th March 1942)
  • Pursey Robert. Cpl.
  • Sadler William Robert. Act.Grp.Capt.
  • Smith Albert. F/O
  • White David John. Sgt. (d.26th March 1942)

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/O Albert Smith DFC 109, 427, 142 Squadrons

My father, F/O Albert Smith, flew with the 109 Squadron from July 1944 until November 1944. He flew with the 427 Squadron and the 142 Squadron before joining 109. He completed 89 missions before colliding with another Mosquito over Aachen, Germany on the night of 30th November 1944 on the way to Karlsruhe. He bailed out just behind enemy lines but walked into the American sector with the help of local farmers. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. We have his log book, flying jacket, and surprisingly, pieces of the plane which were recovered by a war time archeological group in Aachen.

Steve Smith

Act.Grp.Capt. William Robert Sadler 142 Squadron

My late father, Group Captain William Robert Sadler, was posted to 142 Squadron RAF to command on 24/9/40 and remained with the squadron until 4/7/41 when he moved to HQ 1 Group. During his time with 142 Squadron, at Binbrook and Eastchurch, he oversaw the conversion to Wellingtons from Battles, the training of the squadron in night bombing, and then led it on raids on four occasions (flying Q for Queenie). When the Wellingtons arrived he found that no thought had been given to training captains of aircraft in how to captain a multi-crew aircraft where the crew was dispersed and members could only keep in touch by intercom. He, therefore, typed and carbon copied his own manual to all captains, and I believe Group later showed an interest in this and that it formed the basis for the official RAF manual. I still have a copy of his original, photos of him and his air and ground crews, some of the red, white and blue ribbon he flew from his wireless antenna, and his log books and clippings from newspapers about raids.

My father survived the war, unlike sadly the rest of his crew who perished after his posting. After I was born in 1943, my father was posted to Turkey to teach at the Air Staff College, and to work to keep Turkey out of the war on the Axis side. After VE Day he returned to Binbrook as station commander, and I can remember being in my pram with Lancasters taking off overhead, and three German POWs working around the house; one gave me a wooden model of a Lancaster for my third birthday. My father then went to Copenhagen as Air Attache, to Andover as Deputy Chair of the RAF Officers Selection Board, and to Washington with the NATO Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence Group. He retired from the RAF in 1954 to devote the rest of my life to painting. He painted professionally and successfully for another 46 years, dying in 2001 a few weeks after his last exhibition. We try to have at least one exhibition of his paintings every year.

Robin Sadler

Sgt. Ronald Harry Joseph Barrie 142 Squadron (d.26th Mar 1942)

Ronald Barrie served with 142 Sqn RAF and died on 26th of Mar 1942.

Hans van Ekelenburg

Flt.Sgt. Albert George Bosanquet 142 Sqdn.

Dad, Albert Bosanquet was stationed at RAF Binbrook as ground crew, working on Fairey Battles and Vickers Wellingtons. He used to talk of looking after the CO's Wellington, Q for Queenie. I have attached a photo that I believe is from this time and is, perhaps, of Q for Queenie.

Kevin Bosanquet

Sqn. Ldr. Cyril Hassall DSO, DFC & bar. 142 Squadron

Squadron Leader Cyril Hassall, DSO, DFC and BAR flew Mosquitos in 1944 with 139 and 692 Squadrons. He then apparently served as a Navigation Flight Instructor before joining 142 Squadron on Mosquitos. He completed a total of 102 sorties, of which 67 were on Mosquitos.

Any picture of S/L Hassall, DSO, DFC and BAR is welcomed. It seems he started operations in August 1940, but I do not know in which Squadron. Any information is most welcomed.

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