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No. 531 Squadron RAF

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Title: No. 531 Squadron RAF  
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Subject: RAF West Malling, Turbinlite
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No. 531 Squadron RAF

No. 531 Squadron RAF
Active 8 Sep 1942 – 25 Jan 1943[1]
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Role Turbinlite nightfighter squadron
Part of No. 11 Group RAF, Fighter Command[2]

No. 531 Squadron RAF was one of the ten Turbinlite nightfighter squadrons of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.


No. 531 Squadron was formed at RAF West Malling, Kent on 8[1] September 1942, from No. 1452 (Turbinlite) Flight,[3][4] as part of No. 11 Group RAF in Fighter Command. Instead of operating only Turbinlite and -rudimentary- Airborne Intercept (AI) radar equipped aircraft (Havocs and Bostons) and working together with a normal nightfighter unit, such as in their case with the Boulton Paul Defiants of No. 264 Squadron RAF or later the Hawker Hurricanes of No. 32 Squadron RAF in the Flight,[3] the unit now also flew with their own Hawker Hurricanes. The squadron moved to RAF Debden, Essex on 2 October 1942, but returned to West Malling a week later.[2] It was disbanded at West Malling on 25 January 1943,[1] when Turbinlite squadrons were, due to lack of success on their part and the rapid development of AI radar, thought to be superfluous.[5]

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by No. 531 Squadron RAF, data from[1][3][5]
From To Aircraft Version
8 September 1942 25 January 1943 Douglas Havoc Mk.I (Turbinlite)
8 September 1942 25 January 1943 Douglas Havoc Mk.I (Nightfighter)
8 September 1942 25 January 1943 Douglas Boston Mk.III
8 September 1942 25 January 1943 Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIc

Squadron bases

Bases and airfields used by No. 531 Squadron RAF, data from[1][3][5]
From To Base
8 September 1943 2 October 1942 RAF West Malling, Kent
2 October 1942 9 October 1942 RAF Debden, Essex
9 October 1942 25 January 1943 RAF West Malling, Kent

Commanding officers

Officers commanding No. 531 Squadron RAF, data from[3]
From To Name
September 1942 October 1942 S/Ldr. G.R. Turner
October 1942 January 1943 S/Ldr. N.M. Browning




  • Delve, Ken. The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
  • 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, 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), 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.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald & Jane's (Publishers), 1969 (2nd edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
  • Sturtivant, Ray, ISO and John Hamlin. RAF Flying Training And Support Units since 1912. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians), 2007. ISBN 0-85130-365-X.

External links

  • Squadron.cfm 531 Squadron history on MOD site
  • No. 531 Squadron RAF movement and equipment history
  • Squadron histories for nos. 521–540 squadron on RafWeb's Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation
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