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No. 10 Squadron RNAS

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Title: No. 10 Squadron RNAS  
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Subject: Nieuport 12
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No. 10 Squadron RNAS

No. 210 Squadron RAF
Official Squadron crest for no. 210 Squadron RAF
Active 12 Feb 1917(RNAS)– 24 Jun 1919
1 Feb 1920 – 1 Apr 1923
1 Mar 1931 – 31 Dec 1943
1 Jan 1944 – 4 Jun 1945
1 Jun 1946 – 31 Jan 1957
1 Dec 1958 – 31 Oct 1970
1 Nov 1970 – 17 Nov 1971
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Role Maritime patrol
Motto Welsh: Yn y nwyfre yn hedfan
("Hovering in the Heavens")[1]
Battle honours Western Front, 1916–18
Ypres 1917
Atlantic 1939–45
Arctic 1945
North Africa, 1942–43
Biscay 1943
All these honours are emblazoned on the squadron standard
W/Cdr. R. Leckie
W/Cdr. A.T. Harris
Squadron Badge heraldry A griffin segreant[1]
Squadron Codes VG (May 1939 – Sep 1939)[2][3]
DA (Sep 1939 – Mar 1944)[4][5]
OZ (Apr 1946 – 1951)[6][7]
L (1951–1956)[8][9]

No. 210 Squadron was a Royal Air Force unit established in World War I. Disbanded and reformed a number of times in the ensuing years, it operated as a fighter squadron during World War I and as a maritime patrol squadron during the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the Cold War before it was last deactivated in 1971.


World War I

No. 210 Squadron was formed from No. 10 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), when the Royal Air Force was established on 1 April 1918. No. 10 (Naval) Squadron had been raised on 12 February 1917, flying Nieuports and later Sopwith Triplanes, which were in turn replaced by Sopwith Camels in late 1917. One of its pilots was Raymond Collishaw, the RNAS's highest-scoring ace and later an Air Vice-Marshal. The unit remained in Europe after the war, until February 1919. It then returned to the UK and was disbanded on 24 June 1919.[1]

Between the wars

The squadron was reformed on 1 February 1920 from No. 186 Squadron, equipped with the Sopwith Cuckoo torpedo bomber. It disbanded again on 1 April 1923.[1] The squadron reformed again on 1 March 1931, equipped with Supermarine Southampton flying boats, operating first from Felixstowe and then from Pembroke Dock in June 1931. The squadron converted to the Short Rangoon in 1935 and was posted to Gibraltar, returning home in August 1936 to be re-equipped with the Short Singapore. In 1937 the squadron was posted to Algeria as part of an Anglo-French force charged with countering submarine attacks on neutral shipping during the Spanish Civil War. The squadron returned home in December 1937 and from June 1938 began equipping with the Short Sunderland.

World War II

When World War II began, detachments from No. 210 Squadron were sent to Invergordon and Sullom Voe. In July 1940 the squadron moved to RAF Oban and began to re-equip with the Consolidated Catalina. The squadron returned to Pembroke Dock in October 1942, with a detachment based at Gibraltar. In April 1943, squadron headquarters moved to RAF Hamworthy. The Gibraltar detachment was transferred to No. 202 Squadron on 31 December 1943 and the remainder of the squadron at Hamworthy disbanded.

The squadron reformed the day after at Sullom Voe, when No. 190 Squadron was renumbered on 1 January 1944. During this time, Flying Officer John Cruickshank, a pilot with the squadron, was awarded the Victoria Cross for flying his aircraft home despite extensive wounds received during an attack on a German U-boat. This was one out of a total of eight German U-boats that fell victim to the Catalina's of 210 squadron.[10] When the war ended 210 sqn flew a month postal runs to Norwegian ports but shortly thereafter officially disbanded on 4 June 1945 at Sullom Voe. The squadron's history however has a flight with the RAF Film Unit along the Norwegian coast as flown as late as on 10 June 1945.[10]

Post war

Lancasters and Neptunes

On 1 June 1946, No. 210 Squadron reformed again when one flight ('Y') of No. 179 Squadron was renumbered. Eventually the other flight of no. 179 sqn ('X') was absorbed later in September 1946.[11] It operated Lancaster GR.3s from RAF St Eval until September 1952, then moved to RAF Topcliffe, re-equipping with Neptune MR.1 aircraft in February 1953. The squadron disbanded at Topcliffe on 31 January 1957.

On Shackletons

The squadron reformed one more time on 1 December 1958 when No. 269 Squadron was renumbered, taking over that squadron's maritime patrol tasks from RAF Ballykelly, equipped with the Shackleton MR.2. The tasks included taking part in the UN sanctions against Rhodesia, flown by two detachments from Sharjah in the Trucial States and Majunga, Madagascar.[12] This lasted until 31 October 1970, when the Squadron disbanded. On 1 November 1970 the squadron's former detachment at Sharjah reformed as the new 210 sqn, but this lasted not for long, as the squadron disbanded there for the last time at Sarjah on 17 November 1971.[13][14]

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Variant
Feb 1917 May 1917 Nieuport 12
Feb 1917 May 1917 Nieuport 17
Feb 1917 Jul 1917 Sopwith Triplane
August 1917 Jun 1919 Sopwith Camel
Feb 1920 Apr 1923 Sopwith Cuckoo
May 1931 Jul 1935 Supermarine Southampton Mk.II
Jan 1935 Aug 1935 Short Singapore Mk.III
Sep 1935 Aug 1936 Short Rangoon Mk.I
Oct 1935 Nov 1935 Saro London Mk.II
Oct 1935 Nov 1935 Supermarine Stranraer Mk.I
Sep 1936 Nov 1938 Short Singapore Mk.III
Jun 1938 Apr 1941 Short Sunderland Mk.I
Apr 1941 Mar 1944 Consolidated Catalina Mks.I and Ib
Aug 1942 Dec 1943 Consolidated Catalina Mks.IIa and III
Mar 1944 Jun 1945 Consolidated Catalina Mk.IV
Jun 1946 Oct 1952 Avro Lancaster ASR.3
Feb 1953 Jan 1957 Lockheed Neptune MR.1
Dec 1958 Nov 1971 Avro Shackleton MR.2

Squadron bases

From To Base
12 Feb 1917 27 Mar 1917 Saint-Pol-sur-Mer, Belgium
27 Mar 1917 15 May 1917 Furnes, Belgium
15 May 1917 4 Oct 1917 Droglandt, France
4 Oct 1917 27 Nov 1917 Leffrinckoucke, France
27 Nov 1917 31 Mar 1918 Téteghem, France
31 Mar 1918 9 Apr 1918 Treizennes, France
9 Apr 1918 27 Apr 1918 Liettres, France
27 Apr 1918 30 May 1918 Saint-Omer, France
30 May 1918 8 Jul 1918 Sainte-Marie-Cappel, France
8 Jul 1918 22 Jul 1918 Téteghem, France
22 Jul 1918 23 Oct 1918 Eringhem, Belgium
23 Oct 1918 17 Feb 1919 Boussières, France
17 Feb 1919 24 Jun 1919 RAF Scopwick, Lincolnshire
1 Feb 1920 1 Apr 1923 RAF Gosport, Hampshire
1 Mar 1931 15 Jun 1931 Felixstowe, Suffolk
15 Jun 1931 28 Sep 1935 Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
28 Sep 1935 7 Aug 1936 RAF Gibraltar
7 Aug 1936 22 Sep 1937 Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
22 Sep 1937 18 Dec 1937 Arzeu, Algeria
18 Dec 1937 29 Sep 1938 Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
29 Sep 1938 8 Oct 1938 Tayport, Fife, Scotland
8 Oct 1938 23 Oct 1939 Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
23 Oct 1939 6 Nov 1939 Invergordon, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
6 Nov 1939 24 Nov 1939 Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
24 Nov 1939 21 May 1940 Invergordon (Det. at Sullom Voe, Shetland, Scotland)
21 May 1940 13 Jul 1940 Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
13 Jul 1940 28 Feb 1942 RAF Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland (Dets. at Reykjavík, Iceland, Sullom Voe and Stranraer
28 Feb 1942 4 Oct 1942 Sullom Voe, Shetland, Scotland (Det. at Grasnaya, Russia)
4 Oct 1942 21 Apr 1943 Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales (Det. at Gibraltar)
21 Apr 1943 31 Dec 1943 RAF Hamworthy, Dorset (Det. at Gibraltar)
1 Jan 1944 4 Jun 1945 Sullom Voe, Shetland, Scotland (Det. at Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales)
1 Jun 1946 15 Apr 1952 RAF St Eval, Cornwall (Dets. at Ein Shemer, Israel, RAF Gibraltar and RAF Luqa, Malta
15 Apr 1952 26 May 1952 RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall
26 May 1952 15 Apr 1952 RAF St Eval, Cornwall
10 Sep 1952 26 Sep 1952 RAF Ballykelly, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
26 Sep 1952 31 Jan 1957 RAF Topcliffe, North Yorkshire
1 Dec 1958 31 Oct 1970 RAF Ballykelly, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland (Dets. at Sharjah, Trucial States and Majunga, Madagascar
1 Nov 1970 15 Nov 1971 Sharjah, Trucial States (United Arab Emirates)

Commanding officers

From To Name
Feb 1917 Apr 1917 Squadron Commander (S/Cdr.) C. D. Breese
Apr 1917 Sep 1917 S/Cdr. D.C. Bell (acting)
Sep 1917 Apr 1918 S/Cdr. D.C. Bell
Apr 1918 Oct 1918 Maj. D.C. Bell
Oct 1918 Jun 1919 Cpt. A.W. Carter, DFC
Feb 1920 Apr 1920 S/Ldr. J.A.G. de Courcy
Apr 1920 Sep 1920 S/Ldr. C. W. H. Pulford
Sep 1920 Apr 1923 W/Cdr. N.J. Gill
Mar 1931 Mar 1933 W/Cdr. R. Leckie, DSO, DSC, DFC
Mar 1933 Jul 1933 W/Cdr. A.T. Harris
Jul 1933 May 1934 W/Cdr. R.H. Kershaw
May 1934 Oct 1935 S/Ldr. A.F. Lang
Oct 1935 Dec 1938 W/Cdr. W.N. Plenderlieth
Dec 1938 Jan 1939 S/Ldr. G.A. Bolland
Jan 1939 Jan 1940 W/Cdr. W.J. Daddo-Langlois
Jan 1940 Jan 1941 W/Cdr. F.J. Fressanges
Jan 1941 Nov 1941 W/Cdr. G.G. Barret
Nov 1941 Jun 1942 W/Cdr. W.H. Hutton
Jun 1942 Jan 1943 W/cdr. H.B. Johnson
Jan 1943 Nov 1943 W/Cdr. C.H. Brandon
Nov 1943 Jan 1944 W/Cdr. S.R. Gibbs, DFC
Jan 1944 Mar 1944 W/Cdr. P.H. Allington
Mar 1944 Oct 1944 W/Cdr. L.W. Burgess
Oct 1944 Nov 1944 S/Ldr. Smallman
Nov 1944 Jun 1945 W/cdr. R.W. Whittome
Jun 1946 Jan 1947 S/Ldr. A. Henderson, AFC
Jan 1947 Oct 1947 S/Ldr. F.G. Paisley, DFC
Oct 1947 Apr 1949 S/Ldr. W.D. Hodgkinson, DFC, AFC
Apr 1949 Jun 1951 S/Ldr. P.R. Casement, DSO, DFC
Jun 1951 Nov 1951 S/Ldr. P.J. Cundy
Nov 1951 Aug 1952 S/Ldr. E.F.J. Odoire, DFC, AFC
Aug 1952 Jan 1954 S/Ldr. H.H. Eccles
Jan 1954 Dec 1955 S/Ldr. H.R. Kerr, MBE
Dec 1955 Jan 1957 W/Cdr. J.L. Nunn, DFC
Dec 1958 W/Cdr. J.F. Halton
W/Cdr. J.W. King
W/Cdr. D.G.F. Palmer
Oct 1970 S/Ldr. G. Moule
Nov 1970 Nov 1971 S/Ldr. G. Moule




  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Evans, John. Sopwiths to Sunderlands: The Story of No 210 Squadron RAF, 1917–1941. Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, UK: Paterchurch Publications, 1999. ISBN ISBN 1-870745-09-4.
  • Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF(Retd.). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 2nd edition 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald & Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (2nd edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
  • Seymour, Mike and Bill Balderson. To The Ends Of The Earth: 210 Squadron's Catalina Years, 1941–1945. Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, UK: Paterchurch Publications, 1999. ISBN 1-870745-08-6.
  • Westrop, Mike. A History of No.10 Squadron Royal Navy Air Service in World War I. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0-7643-2055-6.
  • 210 Squadron association periodical "Two ten – Two Six!". Nos. 4/7, Autumn 1991/Autumn 1993.

External links

  • RAF Squadron history
  • Air of Authority Squadron history

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