No. 238 Squadron RAF

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No. 238 Squadron RAF
238 Squadron Badge (4022445439).jpg
Insignia of the squadron.
Active August 1918 - 20 March 1922
16 May 1940 - 31 October 1944
1 December 1944 - 27 December 1945
1 December 1946 – 4 October 1948
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Air Force
Motto Ad finem (Translation: "To the end")
Battle honours Battle of Britain
Squadron Badge A three headed hydra. Hydras, in Greek mythology, were most difficult creatures to destroy.[1]

No 238 Squadron was formed in August 1918 from Nos 347, 348 and 349 Flights at the seaplane station at Cattewater, Plymouth.


World War I

The squadron flew anti-submarine patrols until the end of the war, being reduced to a cadre on 15 May 1919. It remained as a storage unit until disbanded on 20 March 1922.

World War II

On 16 May 1940, No 238 reformed at Tangmere as a fighter squadron with Spitfires but in June these were replaced by Hurricanes. It became operational on 2 July and spent the period of the Battle of Britain in the Middle Wallop sector, apart from four weeks in Cornwall.

In May 1941 the squadron left for the Middle East its aircraft being flown off HMS 'Victorious' to Malta while the ground echelon sailed round the Cape of Good Hope. After refuelling in Malta the Hurricanes flew on to the Western Desert where they were attached to No.274 Squadron, pending the arrival of the squadron's own ground crews. By the end of July, No 238 was again operating as a complete unit, flying escort missions and fighter patrols throughout the campaign in the desert until after the battle of El Alamein. It was then withdrawn to Egypt for air defence duties and converted to Spitfires in September 1943. In March 1944, the squadron moved to Corsica for sweeps over northern Italy and in August covered the Allied landings in southern France. After moving there for two months, it was withdrawn to Naples and disbanded on 31 October 1944.

On 1 December 1944, No.238 reformed at Merryfield as a transport squadron and was originally intended to fly Albemaries. In January 1945 it received Dakotas and on 14 February its first wave of ten aircraft left for India where they began supply-dropping and casualty evacuation missions over Burma. In June the squadron moved to Australia to provide transport support for the British Pacific Fleet as part of No. 300 Group, officially disbanding there on 27 December 1945.


Its remaining aircraft left for Singapore on 9 February 1946, others having been flown back to the UK during January.

On 1 December 1946, No.525 Squadron at Abingdon was renumbered 238 Squadron and flew Dakotas until renumbered 10 Squadron on 4 October 1948, during the Berlin airlift.

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