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No. 605 Squadron RAF

No. 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron RAF
Active 5 October 1926 – March 1942
7 June 1942 – 31 August 1945
10 May 1946 – 10 March 1957
18 August 2014 –
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Part of Royal Auxiliary Air Force
Motto Latin: Nunquam Dormio
(Translation: "I Never Sleep")[1][2][3]
Battle honours Dunkirk*
Battle of Britain, 1940*
Malta, 1941*
Eastern Waters, 1942*
Fortress Europe, 1942–1943*
Home Defence, 1944*
France and Germany, 1944–1945*
Honours marked with an asterisk* are those emblazoned on the Squadron Standard[4]
Honorary Air Commodore Viscount Bearsted (1928–1937)[5]
William Lindsay Everard (1937–1947)[6]
J.A.C. Wright (1947–1957)
Archie McKellar, Eric William Wright, Peter Townsend, Bertie R. O'Bryen "Sammy" Hoare
Squadron Badge heraldry On a mount, a bear supporting a ragged staff[1][2][3]
Squadron Codes HE (Apr 1939 – Sep 1939)[7]
UP (Jan 1942 – Aug 1945)[8]
RAL (May 1946 – 1949)[9]
NR (1949 – Apr 1951)[10]

No 605 Squadron was formed as an Auxiliary Air Force Squadron. Initially formed as a bomber unit, it was one of the most successful participants of the Battle of Britain. It also had the distinction of being active during World War II at two fronts at a time, when the squadron was split up between Malta and the Duch East Indies. In its last incarnation as an active flying unit the squadron served as the first jet fighter unit in the post-war Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 616 already having flown Gloster Meteors during World War II. No. 605 Squadron was reformed as a RAuxAF Logistic Support Squadron on 1 Nov 2014. Reservist recruitment will commence on 30 May 2015 with an Open Day from 10am to 2pm at the Nuffield Pavilion, RAF Cosford, WV7 3EX.


  • History 1
    • Formation and early years 1.1
    • World war II 1.2
    • To the middle and far east 1.3
    • Reformation as night intruders 1.4
    • After the war 1.5
    • Present day 1.6
  • Aircraft operated 2
  • Squadron bases 3
  • Commanding officers 4
  • References 5
    • Notes 5.1
    • Bibliography 5.2
  • External links 6


Formation and early years

No. 605 Squadron was formed on 5 October 1926 at RAF Castle Bromwich as a day bomber unit of the Auxiliary Air Force, recruiting in the Birmingham area. Initially equipped with DH.9As, it received Westland Wapitis in April 1930 and Hawker Harts in October 1934. The latter were replaced by Hawker Hinds in August 1936. On 1 January 1939 No. 605 squadron was redesignated as a fighter squadron and re-equipped with Gloster Gladiators.[11][12]

World war II

A 605 squadron Hurricane Mk.I, RAF serial R4118, squadron code UP-W

Hawker Hurricanes began to arrive a few weeks before the outbreak of World War II and the squadron took up its war station at RAF Tangmere with a mixture of six Hurricanes and ten Gladiators, completing re-equipment during October 1939. In February 1940 the squadron moved to Scotland, but returned south in May to fly patrols over northern France for a week before moving back to Scotland at RAF Drem. It again moved south again in September for the closing stages of the Battle of Britain. It then continued to operate from bases in the south, carrying out escort duties and fighter sweeps until posted overseas.

To the middle and far east

In November 1941, the squadron flew off the carrier HMS Argus to Malta, where it was retained as part of the island's defences, prior to continuing its journey to the Far East. Arriving in Singapore too late to prevent its capture, it moved to Sumatra and then to Java, in the event caught up in the Japanese invasion.[13] It operated any aircraft it could fly until it ceased to exist with its personnel either escaping in small groups or being captured. In the meantime, a small detachment of the squadron had been left on Malta during the transit journey to the Far East and a unit there which began operations on 10 January 1942[14] used the squadron number in its reports, which ended the following month, on being absorbed into No. 185 Squadron RAF.[11][12]

Reformation as night intruders

A new No. 605 squadron was formed at RAF Ford on 7 June 1942, equipped with Douglas Boston and Havocs in the intruder role. These were replaced with de Havilland Mosquitoes from February 1943 and it continued to operate this type until the end of the war, moving to Belgium in March 1945 and the Netherlands in April. The squadron disbanded by being re-numbered to No. 4 Squadron RAF on 31 August 1945 at Volkel Air Base.[11][12]

De Havilland Mosquito NF.30 of 605 Squadron in 1948

After the war

With the reactivation of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, No. 605 squadron was reformed on 10 May 1946 at RAF Honiley as a night fighter squadron, though its initial equipment of Mosquito NF.30s did not arrive until April 1947. In July 1948 the squadron's role was changed to that of a day fighter squadron, for which it received de Havilland Vampire F.1s, replacing them with Vampire FB.5s in May 1951. A little short of six years later the squadron was disbanded, along with all the flying units of the RAuxAF, on 10 March 1957.[11][12]

Present day

No. 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron was reformed as a RAF Reserve Logistics Support Squadron on 1 Nov 2014. Based at RAF Cosford, nr Wolverhampton, they will start recruiting reservist drivers, chefs, suppliers and police from 30 May 2015 onwards. Official 605 Sqn page on the RAF Website

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by no. 605 Squadron RAF, data from[11][12][15][16]
From To Aircraft Version
October 1926 June 1930 Airco DH.9 DH.9A
April 1930 December 1934 Westland Wapiti Mk.IIa
February 1934 August 1936 Hawker Hart
August 1936 February 1939 Hawker Hind
February 1939 October 1939 Gloster Gladiator Mks.I, II
August 1939 December 1940 Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
December 1940 August 1941 Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIa
August 1941 March 1942 Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIb
July 1942 October 1942 Douglas Havoc Mks.I, II
July 1942 March 1943 Douglas Boston Mk.III
February 1943 July 1943 de Havilland Mosquito Mk.II
July 1943 August 1945 de Havilland Mosquito Mk.VI
April 1947 January 1949 de Havilland Mosquito NF.30
July 1948 May 1951 de Havilland Vampire F.1
April 1951 March 1957 de Havilland Vampire FB.5

Squadron bases

Bases and airfields used by no. 605 Squadron RAF, data from[11][12][17][18][19][20][21]
From To Base Remark
5 October 1926 27 August 1939 RAF Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire, England First formation
27 August 1939 11 February 1940 RAF Tangmere, Sussex, England
11 February 1940 27 February 1940 RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland
27 February 1940 21 May 1940 RAF Wick, Caithness, Scotland
21 May 1940 28 May 1940 RAF Hawkinge, Kent, England
28 May 1940 7 September 1940 RAF Drem, Lothian, Scotland
7 September 1940 26 February 1941 RAF Croydon, Surrey, England
26 February 1941 31 March 1941 RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, England
31 March 1941 1 July 1941 RAF Ternhill, Shropshire, England
1 July 1941 4 September 1941 RAF Baginton, Warwickshire, England
4 September 1941 31 October 1941 RAF Honiley, Warwickshire, England Left to Far East from here on HMS Argus
5 November 1941 12 November 1941 RAF Gibraltar to Malta via HMS Argus and HMS Ark Royal
12 November 1941 18 March 1942 RAF Hal Far, Malta Dets. at RAF Luqa and RAF Ta Qali, 605 personnel joining No. 185 Squadron on 18 March
3 February 1942 10 February 1942 Batavia, Java, Netherlands East Indies
10 February 1942 14 February 1942 Palembang, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies 605 personnel joined forces with Nos. 238 and 242 Squadron RAF on 14 Feb.
14 February 1942 February 1942 Tjililitan, Java, Netherlands East Indies
February 1942 March 1942 Tasik Malaya, Java, Netherlands East Indies Dispersed from here
7 June 1942 15 March 1943 RAF Ford, Sussex, England Second formation
15 March 1943 6 October 1943 RAF Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire, England
6 October 1943 7 April 1944 RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex, England
7 April 1944 21 November 1944 RAF Manston, Kent, England
21 November 1944 15 March 1945 RAF Hartford Bridge, Hampshire, England Airfield name changed to RAF Blackbushe, December 1944
15 March 1945 28 April 1945 B.71/Koksijde, Belgium
28 April 1945 31 August 1945 B.80/Volkel, the Netherlands
10 May 1946 11 March 1957 RAF Honiley, Warwickshire, England Third formation and last disbandment
18 August 2014 Present RAF Cosford, Shropshire, England Originally reformed as a General Support Squadron. Became a Logistic Support Squadron and part of 38 Group on 1 Nov 14.

Commanding officers

Officers commanding no. 605 Squadron RAF, data from[22][23][24]
From To Name
October 1926 March 1936 S/Ldr. J.A.C. Wright, AFC, TD
March 1936 December 1939 S/Ldr. Lord Willoughby de Broke, MC, AFC
December 1939 May 1940 S/Ldr. G.V. Perry
May 1940 June 1940 F/Lt. R.G. Grant-Ferris, MP (acting)
June 1940 September 1940 S/Ldr. W.M. Churchill, DSO, DFC
September 1940 November 1940 S/Ldr. A.A. McKellar, DSO, DFC
November 1940 November 1940 F/Lt. C.F. Currant, DFC (acting)
November 1940 September 1941 S/Ldr. G.R. Edge, DFC
September 1941 January 1942 S/Ldr. R. Reid
January 1942 February 1942 S/Ldr. S.E. Andrews, DFM (Malta)
February 1942 March 1942 F/Lt. D.W.A. Stones, DFC (Malta)
February 1942 March 1942 S/Ldr. E.W. Wright, DFM (Batavia)
June 1942 August 1942 W/Cdr. P.W. Townsend, DSO, DFC
August 1942 May 1943 W/Cdr. G.L. Denholm, DFC
May 1943 September 1943 W/Cdr. C.D. Tomalin, AFC
September 1943 April 1944 W/Cdr. B.R.O'B. Hoare, DSO, DFC & Bar
April 1944 September 1944 W/Cdr. N.J. Starr, DFC
September 1944 March 1945 W/Cdr R.A. Mitchell, DFC & Bar
March 1945 April 1945 S/Ldr A.G. Woods, DFC (acting)
April 1945 July 1945 W/Cdr A.W. Horne, DFC, AFC
July 1945 August 1945 S/Ldr I.F. McCall, DFC (acting)
June 1946 December 1947 S/Ldr R.J. Walker, DSO
December 1947 July 1949 S/Ldr R.C.T. Goodwin, TD
July 1949 August 1951 S/Ldr J.A. Timmis
August 1951 November 1955 S/Ldr P.M.R. Walton, BSc
November 1955 March 1957 S/Ldr R.E. Tickner
August 2014 September 2015 Wg Cdr M Sherburn
September 2015 Present Sqn Ldr R Newton



  1. ^ a b Halley 1988, p. 422.
  2. ^ a b Rawlings 1978, p. 486.
  3. ^ a b Moyes 1976, p. 276.
  4. ^ Piper 1996, p. 223.
  5. ^ Piper 1996, p. 17.
  6. ^ Piper 1996, p. 33.
  7. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 14.
  8. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 102.
  9. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 138.
  10. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 77.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Halley 1988, p. 423.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Jefford 2001, p. 100.
  13. ^ Thomas 2003, pp. 68–69 and 46.
  14. ^ Thomas 2003, pp. 29 and 46.
  15. ^ Moyes 1976, p. 277.
  16. ^ Piper 2003, pp. 95–96.
  17. ^ Rawlings 1978, p. 487.
  18. ^ Moyes 1976, pp. 276–277.
  19. ^ Piper 1996, pp. 241–242.
  20. ^ Base overview on 605 website
  21. ^ Base overview on RAFcommands website
  22. ^ Piper 1996, pp. 239–240.
  23. ^ Rawlings 1978, p. 488.
  24. ^ Piper 2003, p. 94.


  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Ford-Jones, Martyn R. Desert Flyer: The Log and Journal of Flying Officer William Marsh. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2004. ISBN 0-7643-0347-3.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1980. ISBN 0-85130-083-9.
  • 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.
  • Hunt, Leslie. Twenty-One Squadrons: The History of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 1925–1957. London: Garnstone Press, 1972. ISBN 0-85511-110-0.
  • Jefford, W/Cdr. 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.
  • Piper, Ian. 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron. Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire, UK: 605 Squadron Association, 2003. ISBN 0-9529516-1-4.
  • Piper, Ian. We Never Slept: the Story of 605 County of Warwick, Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 1926–1957. Kingsbury, Tamworth, Staffordshire, UK: Ian Piper, 1996 (reprinted in 1997). ISBN 0-9529516-0-6.
  • Rawlings, John. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1969 (second edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
  • Thomas, Andrew. Hurricanes Aces: 1941–45. Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84176-610-0.

External links

  • [1]
  • Squadron histories for nos. 605–610 sqn on RAFweb
  • Battle of Britain website page for 605 sqn
  • Official 605 Sqn page on the RAF Website
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