No. 254 Squadron RAF

No. 254 Squadron RAF
Active WW2
1959 - 1963 (as 254(SM) Sqn.)
Role Strategic Missile Force
Garrison/HQ RAF Melton Mowbray
Equipment Thor IRBM

No 254 Squadron was formed in May 1918 from Nos.492, 517 and 518 Flights at the coastal reconnaissance station at Prawle Point and flew anti-submarine patrols until the end of the war, disbanding on 22 February 1919.

On 30 October 1939, No.254 reformed at Stradishall as a shipping protection squadron. Equipped with Blenheims it began convoy patrols over coastal shipping off the East Coast on 29 January 1940, being transferred from fighter to Coastal Command. In April 1940, it began reconnaissance missions in addition to its defensive tasks and later provided fighter escorts for anti-shipping raids. In May 1941, the squadron moved to Northern Ireland returning to Scotland in December where it converted to Beaufighters in June 1942. Torpedo training began in August and in November, No.254 joined the strike wing at North Coates for the rest of the war and in January 1946, received a Buckmaster for conversion training in preparation for the arrival of Brigands. These were not taken into service by Coastal Command strike squadrons and No.254 retained Beaufighters until renumbered 42 Squadron on 1 October 1946.

No. 254 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was reformed in 1959 as one of 20 Strategic Missile (SM) squadrons associated with Project Emily. The squadron was equipped with three Thor Intermediate range ballistic missiles. and based at RAF Melton Mowbray.

In October 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis, the squadron was kept at full readiness, with the missiles aimed at strategic targets in the USSR. The squadron was disbanded with the termination of the Thor Program in Britain, in 1963.

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