- No. 223 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -
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No. 223 Squadron Royal Air Force
No 223 Squadron was formed in April 1918 at Mitylene, flying bombing and reconnaissance missions in the Aegean until the end of the war, and disbanding in may 1919.
No 223 was re-formed at Nairobi, Kenya in December 1936. On the outbreak of war with Italy in June 1940, No 223 began raids on Italian East Africa from the Sudan. In April 1941 it moved to Egypt becoming a training unit for crews converting to Blenhiems, Marylands, Bostons and Baltimores, resuming bombing duties over North Africa in support of the Eighth Army in May 1941. It moved west through Libya after El Alamein, arriving in Tunisia in April 1943, then moving to Malta in July for tactical attacks in Sicily. By the end of September 1943 it operated from southern Italy, carrying out interdiction raids on enemy communications in Italy. It was renumbered No 30 Squadron South African Air Force on the 12th of August 1944.
On the 23rd of August 1944, No 223 re-formed at Oulton in No 100 Group as a bomber support squadron, flying radio counter measure missions, disrupting German night defences by jamming its radar and communications, until the end of the war. It was disbanded in July 1945.
Airfields No. 223 Squadron flew from:
- Summit from 17th September 1939 (Wellesley)
- Gordon's Tree from 22nd January 1940 (Maryland)
- Summit from 18th May 1940 (Blenheim I)
- Wadi Gazouza from the 1st December 1940 (Baltimore I)
- Shandur, Egypt from 17th May 1941 (Baltimore II)
- OTU from May 1941 to January 1942 (Baltimore III)
- LG 116 from 16th April 1942 (Baltimore IIIA)
- LG 99 from 22nd June 1942 (Baltimore V)
- LG Y from 30th June 1942 (Liberator IV)
- LG 86 from 2nd September 1942 (Fortress III)
- Sirtan West from 7th March 1943
- Sirtan North from 10th March 1943
- Ben Gardane from 15th March 1943
- Medanine from 2nd April 1943
- La Fauconnerie from 13th April 1943
- Enfindaville from 1st June 1943
- Reyville from 20th June 1943
- Monte Lungo from 17th August 1943
- Sigonella from 22nd August 1943
- Brindisi from 28th September 1943
- Celone from the 26th October 1943
- Biferno from the 14th March 1944
- Pescara from the 26th June 1944
- disbanded 12th August 1944
- RAF Oulton, Norfolk from 23rd August 1944 (re-formed. Liberator IV)
- disbanded 29th July 1945
21st June 1940
12th May 1943 Bombing Raid
21st Feb 1945 223 Squadron Liberator lost
21st Mar 1915 223 Squadron Liberator lost
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Those known to have served with
No. 223 Squadron Royal Air Force
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Evans Ambrose Irfon. LAC.
- Glaze Eric. WO
- Goddard Robert. Flt.Sgt. (d.27th Jun 1942)
- Isaacs George Arthur. F/Lt.
- Spear Harold. LAC
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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Flt.Sgt. Robert Goddard 223 Sqdn. (d.27th Jun 1942)Robert Goddard was the son of Capt. William Henry Goddard and Mildred Amelia Goddard of Leicester, grandson of Major John Henry Joseph Hayhurst, M.B.E. He was born in Poona India where his Father was serving in the British Army, they returned to England in the 1930's. He was the brother of Major Edward George Goddard who served in the 15/5th Maratha Light Infantry.
Robert was due to fly home to be married the day he was killed. He was just 22 years old. He is buried in El Alamein War Cemetery, joint grave XXX1.A.3.Felicity J Grant
LAC Harold Spear 223 SquadronMy Father, Harold Spear joined 223 Squadron when they were moved to North Africa in 1941, he remained with the Squadron in the 8th Army moving up through Sicily, Italy and then Germany. He was an ardent developer of photos and I have a lot of the planes, people, towns etc. during this period. The stresses of the war I am sure led to his early death from heart failure at the age of 56 as the stories of what our men went through are hard to describe. He was a man who did not want to talk much about the 5 years he was away but was proud to have been involved in the crushing of the German Army, and I am proud to have known him. RIP Dad xAlan D Spear
F/Lt. George Arthur "Pop" Isaacs DFM/ 223 SquadronMy father, George Isaacs was a mid upper gunner and completed his first tour in Lancasters with 61 Squadron. 223 Squadron was his second operational tour and he took the Official Secrets Act very seriously. He did not breath a word about 100 Group Spoof operations until 30 years after the war ended and two years before his death. When he told me he flew in B17s and B24s I thought he was pulling my leg. My abiding memory was his description of the crew standing well apart from the aircraft as German speaking Radio Operators were loaded into a secure compartment in the middle of the aircraft before take off and the procedure reversed on landing. Strictly no fraternisation. I recall his droll remark that they would be last out if the plane was hit also.
To get some idea of the equipment that was used on these operations I recommend Martin Streetly's book "Confound & Destroy" the story of 100 Group's WW2 activity in Norfolk. I donated my copy to the library at the 100 Group museum at Blickling Hall.George W Isaacs
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