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No. 138 Squadron RAF
NO. 138 SQUADRON RAF was a squadron of the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
that served in a variety of roles during its career, last disbanded in 1962. It was the first 'V-bomber' squadron of the RAF, flying the Vickers Valiant
Vickers Valiant
between 1955 and 1962. CONTENTS* 1 History * 1.1 Formation in World War I as fighter squadron * 1.2 Special
Special
Duties in World War II
World War II
* 1.3 V-Bomber squadron post-war * 2 Aircraft operated * 3 See also * 4 References * 4.1 Notes * 4.2 Bibliography * 5 External links HISTORYFORMATION IN WORLD WAR I AS FIGHTER SQUADRON No. 138 Squadron RAF
No. 138 Squadron RAF
was originally to be formed as a fighter unit on 1 May 1918, but formation was suspended until officially formed on 30 September 1918 as a fighter-reconnaissance squadron at Chingford , and was disbanded there on 1 February 1919. SPECIAL DUTIES IN WORLD WAR IIDuring World War II
World War II
, it was reformed in 1941, from No. 1419 Flight , as NO. 138 (SPECIAL DUTIES) SQUADRON. It was based initially at RAF Stradishall , then at RAF Tempsford and dropped agents and equipment of the Special Operations Executive
Special Operations Executive
inside occupied territory . Between 1 April 1943 and November 1943 it included Polish Special Duties Flight , as C Flight
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United Kingdom
The UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND, commonly known as the UNITED KINGDOM (UK) or BRITAIN, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland , the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
includes the island of Great Britain
Great Britain
, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland
Ireland
and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
is the only part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland
Ireland
. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world . The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe
Europe
. It is also the 21st-most populous country , with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants
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Royal Air Force
The ROYAL AIR FORCE (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force . Formed towards the end of the First World War
First World War
on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers
Central Powers
in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history , in particular, playing a large part in the Second World War
Second World War
where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
. The RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence (MoD), which are to "provide the capabilities needed: to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and overseas territories, including against terrorism; to support the Government’s foreign policy objectives particularly in promoting international peace and security". The RAF describe its mission statement as "... An _agile_, _adaptable_ and _capable_ Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, and that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission". The mission statement is supported by the RAF's definition of air power , which guides its strategy
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Squadron (aviation)
A SQUADRON in air force , army aviation , or naval aviation is a unit comprising a number of military aircraft and their aircrews , usually of the same type, typically with 12 to 24 aircraft, sometimes divided into three or four flights , depending on aircraft type and air force. Land based squadrons equipped with heavier type aircraft such as long-range bombers, or cargo aircraft, or air refueling tankers have around 12 aircraft as a typical authorization, while most fighter equipped units have an authorized number of 18 to 24. In most armed forces, two or more squadrons will form a group or a wing . Some air forces (including the Royal Air Force , Royal Netherlands Air Force , Belgian Air Component , German Air Force , Republic of Singapore Air Force , and United States Air Force ) also use the term squadrons for non-flying ground units (e.g., radar squadrons, missile squadrons, aircraft maintenance squadrons, security forces squadrons, civil engineering squadrons, operations management squadron, medical squadrons, etc.). UNITED STATES MILITARY AIR SERVICES For more details on U.S. Navy squadrons, see Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons . In contrast to United States Air Force units where flying squadrons are separate from supporting administrative and aircraft maintenance squadrons, flying squadrons in U.S
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Vickers Valiant
The Vickers-Armstrongs VALIANT was a British four-jet high-altitude bomber , once part of the Royal Air Force 's V bomber nuclear force in the 1950s and 1960s. It was developed by Vickers in response to Specification B.35/46 issued by the Air Ministry for a nuclear-armed jet-powered bomber. The Valiant was the first of the V bombers to become operational, and was followed by the Handley Page Victor and the Avro Vulcan ; it was noticeably less advanced than its counterparts. The Valiant has the distinction of being the only V bomber to have dropped live nuclear weapons. As developed, the Valiant was intended for operations as a high-altitude strategic bomber . During the late 1950s, in response to rapid advances in surface-to-air missile (SAM) technology, the Valiant fleet switched to flying a low-level mission profile to perform the strike mission. Beyond the nuclear deterrence role, the Valiant was also used by the RAF for other purposes, a number were converted to perform various support roles such as aerial refuelling tankers and aerial reconnaissance aircraft. Valiants were used for conventional bombing missions over Egypt
Egypt
for Operation Musketeer during the Suez Crisis of 1956
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Fighter Aircraft
A FIGHTER AIRCRAFT is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat against other aircraft, as opposed to bombers and attack aircraft , whose main mission is to attack ground targets. The hallmarks of a fighter are its speed, maneuverability, and small size relative to other combat aircraft. Many fighters have secondary ground-attack capabilities, and some are designed as dual-purpose fighter-bombers ; often aircraft that do not fulfill the standard definition are called fighters. This may be for political or national security reasons, for advertising purposes, or other reasons. A fighter's main purpose is to establish air superiority over a battlefield. Since World War I , achieving and maintaining air superiority has been considered essential for victory in conventional warfare . The success or failure of a belligerent's efforts to gain air supremacy hinges on several factors including the skill of its pilots, the tactical soundness of its doctrine for deploying its fighters, and the numbers and performance of those fighters. Because of the importance of air superiority, since the dawn of aerial combat armed forces have constantly competed to develop technologically superior fighters and to deploy these fighters in greater numbers, and fielding a viable fighter fleet consumes a substantial proportion of the defense budgets of modern armed forces
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Chingford
CHINGFORD is a district of the London Borough of Waltham Forest in North East London
London
, situated 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Charing Cross . Historically a rural Essex
Essex
parish, it gained urban district status in 1894, and between 1938 and 1965 formed the core of the Municipal Borough of Chingford . Chingford
Chingford
is close to the Essex border of Epping Forest District . It borders Sewardstone to the north, Woodford Green and Buckhurst Hill to the east and Walthamstow to the south. To the west lie William Girling and King George V reservoirs , known together as the Chingford Reservoirs , and the River Lea . Across these, Chingford
Chingford
is linked with Ponders End through the A110 Lea Valley Road, whilst South Chingford
Chingford
is linked with Edmonton through the A406 Lea Valley Viaduct. To the north and east lies Epping Forest
Epping Forest
, the most part of which is in Essex
Essex
but is maintained by the City of London Corporation
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World War Ii
Allied victory * Collapse of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
* Fall of Japanese and Italian Empires * Dissolution of the League of Nations * Creation of the United Nations
United Nations
* Emergence of the United States
United States
and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
as superpowers * Beginning of the Cold War (more... ) PARTICIPANTS ALLIES AXIS COMMANDERS AND LEADERS MAIN ALLIED LEADERS Joseph Stalin Franklin D
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No. 1419 Flight RAF
NO. 1419 (TACTICAL SUPPORT) FLIGHT RAF was a flight within the Royal Air Force . CONTENTS* 1 History * 1.1 Second World War * 1.2 Iraq
Iraq
War * 1.3 Afghanistan
Afghanistan
* 2 References * 2.1 Citations * 2.2 Bibliography HISTORYSECOND WORLD WARNo. 419 ( Special
Special
Duties) Flight was formed at RAF North Weald on 21 August 1940, It moved to RAF Stradishall where it was disbanded to form NO. 1419 (SPECIAL DUTIES) FLIGHT on 1 March 1941, continuing to fly Westland Lysander
Westland Lysander
STOL aircraft, Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bombers and Martin Maryland reconnaissance bombers on Special Operations Executive clandestine operations. The flight was disbanded at RAF Newmarket on 25 August 1941 to form No. 138 Squadron RAF
No. 138 Squadron RAF
which continued flying clandestine support missions for the remainder of World War II. IRAQ WARNo. 1419 (Tactical Support) Flight RAF was re-surrected at Basra, Iraq
Iraq
from elements of No. 28 Squadron RAF and No
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RAF Stradishall
ROYAL AIR FORCE STRADISHALL or more simply RAF STRADISHALL is a former Royal Air Force station located 4.7 miles (7.6 km) north east of Haverhill , Suffolk and 9 miles (14 km) south west of Bury St Edmunds , Suffolk, England . CONTENTS * 1 History * 2 Current use * 3 References * 3.1 Citations * 3.2 Bibliography * 4 External links HISTORYThe airfield was home to a number of squadrons during its lifetime: * No. 1 Squadron RAF , No. 9 Squadron RAF , No. 35 Squadron RAF , No. 51 Squadron RAF , No. 54 Squadron RAF , No. 75 Squadron RAF , No. 85 Squadron RAF , No. 89 Squadron RAF . * No. 101 Squadron RAF , No. 109 Squadron RAF , No. 115 Squadron RAF , No. 125 Squadron RAF , No. 138 Squadron RAF , No. 148 Squadron RAF , No. 149 Squadron RAF , No. 150 Squadron RAF , No. 152 Squadron RAF , No. 158 Squadron RAF , No. 186 Squadron RAF . * No. 207 Squadron RAF , No. 208 Squadron RAF , No. 214 Squadron RAF , No. 215 Squadron RAF , No. 236 Squadron RAF , No. 245 Squadron RAF , No. 254 Squadron RAF , No. 263 Squadron RAF . * No. 311 Squadron RAF . 214 Squadron Wellington being repaired and overhauled at RAF Stradishall CURRENT USEThe airfield closed in 1970 and is now the site of two category C prisons: HMP Highpoint North and HMP Highpoint South . Part of the former airfield remains a Ministry of Defence training site which is not accessible to the public
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RAF Tempsford
RAF TEMPSFORD is a former Royal Air Force station located 2.3 miles (3.7 km) north east of Sandy , Bedfordshire , England and 4.4 miles (7.1 km) south of St. Neots , Cambridgeshire , England. The airfield was perhaps the most secret airfield in the Second World War . It was home to the Special Duties Squadrons, No. 138 , which dropped Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents and their supplies into occupied Europe, and No. 161 , which specialised in personnel delivery and retrieval by landing in occupied Europe. RAF Tempsford is very close to Little Gransden Airfield and can be clearly seen from flights climbing out from the westerly runway 28. Other active airfields nearby include the former RAF bases at Gransden Lodge and Bourn . CONTENTS * 1 Operational units and aircraft * 2 Tempsford now * 2.1 People * 3 References * 3.1 Citations * 3.2 Bibliography * 4 External links OPERATIONAL UNITS AND AIRCRAFT * No. 53 Squadron RAF detachment (1946) - Consolidated Liberator VI and VIII * No. 109 Squadron RAF (1942) - Vickers Wellington I * No. 138 Squadron RAF (1942-1944) - Handley Page Halifax II and V * No. 149 Squadron RAF (1943-1944) - Short Stirling III * No. 161 Squadron RAF (1942-1945) - Westland Lysander IIIA and other types * No. 426 Squadron RCAF (1945) - Consolidated Liberator VIII * No
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Special Operations Executive
The SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE (SOE) was a British World War II organisation. Following Cabinet approval, it was officially formed by Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe (and later, also in occupied Southeast Asia ) against the Axis powers , and to aid local resistance movements . One of the organisations from which SOE was created was also involved in the formation of the Auxiliary Units , a top secret "stay-behind " resistance organisation which would have been activated in the event of a German invasion of Britain . Few people were aware of SOE's existence. To those who were part of it or liaised with it, it was sometimes referred to as "the Baker Street Irregulars ", after the location of its London headquarters. It was also known as "Churchill's Secret Army" or the "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare". Its various branches, and sometimes the organisation as a whole, were concealed for security purposes behind names such as the "Joint Technical Board" or the "Inter-Service Research Bureau", or fictitious branches of the Air Ministry , Admiralty or War Office . SOE operated in all countries or former countries occupied by or attacked by the Axis forces, except where demarcation lines were agreed with Britain's principal Allies (the Soviet Union and the United States)
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Military Occupation
MILITARY OCCUPATION is effective provisional control by a certain ruling power over a territory which is not under the formal sovereignty of that entity, without the volition of the actual sovereign. Military occupation is distinguished from annexation by its intended temporary nature (i.e. no claim for permanent sovereignty), by its military nature, and by citizenship rights of the controlling power not being conferred upon the subjugated population. MILITARY GOVERNMENT may be broadly characterized as the administration or supervision of occupied territory, or as the governmental form of such an administration. Military government is distinguished from martial law , which is the temporary rule by domestic armed forces over disturbed areas. The rules of military government are delineated in various international agreements, primarily the Hague Convention of 1907 , the Geneva Conventions of 1949, as well as established state practice
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No. 1586 Flight RAF
NO. 1586 (POLISH SPECIAL DUTIES) FLIGHT was first formed at RAF Derna , in Libya on 4 November 1943, equipped with Handley Page Halifax II special duties aircraft. The flight was disbanded on 7 November 1944 at RAF Brindisi to resume operations as No. 301 Squadron RAF . The origin of 1586 flight was the remnants of 301 (Polish) Squadron after disbandment by the Polish HQ due to lack of staff and trained crews. Remaining crews and aircraft formed C Flight of 138 Squadron , which was temporarily renamed as 301 Squadron Special Duties Flight RAF, before becoming 1586 Flight. Missions flown by the flight included partisan supply drops and agent insertion. REFERENCES * ^ A B C D E F Lake, Alan (1999). Flying units of the RAF : the ancestry, formation and disbandment of all flying units from 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife. pp. . ISBN 1-84037-086-6
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RAF Bomber Command
1939: Battle , Blenheim , Hampden , Wellesley , Wellington , Whitley . 1942: Manchester , Stirling , Halifax , Lancaster , Mosquito . 1945: Lincoln 1950: Washington B.1 1951: Canberra . 1955: Vickers Valiant
Vickers Valiant
1956: Avro Vulcan 1958: Handley Page Victor . RAF BOMBER COMMAND controlled the RAF 's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. Along with the United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces
, it played the central role in the strategic bombing of Germany in World War II . From 1942 onward, the British bombing campaign against Germany became less restrictive and increasingly targeted industrial sites and the civilian manpower base essential for German war production. In total 364,514 operational sorties were flown, 1,030,500 tons of bombs were dropped and 8,325 aircraft lost in action. Bomber
Bomber
Command crews also suffered a high casualty rate: 55,573 were killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew (a 44.4 percent death rate), a further 8,403 were wounded in action, and 9,838 became prisoners of war. Bomber
Bomber
Command stood at the peak of its post-war military power in the 1960s, the V bombers holding the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent and a supplemental force of Canberra light bombers. In August 2006, a memorial was unveiled at Lincoln Cathedral
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No. 3 Group RAF
NO. 3 GROUP (3 Gp) of the Royal Air Force was an RAF group first active in 1918, again in 1923–26, part of RAF Bomber Command from 1936 to 1967, and part of RAF Strike Command from 2000 until it disbanded on 1 April 2006. CONTENTS * 1 The 1930s and the Second World War * 2 Post war * 3 Commanders * 4 See also * 5 References * 5.1 Citations * 5.2 Bibliography * 6 External links THE 1930S AND THE SECOND WORLD WARNo. 3 Group was first formed on 10 May 1918 as part of South-Eastern Area. No. 13 Group RAF was merged into 3 Group on 18 October 1919. Group Captain U J D Bourke took command on 30 November 1919. The Group was disbanded on 31 August 1921. Following its First World War service, the Group was reformed at Andover, Wiltshire on 1 May 1936, under Air Vice-Marshal Patrick Playfair . Ten months later Group HQ moved to RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, a direct result of the Air Ministry 's decision to form two new bomber groups and reorganise its existing groups. No. 3 Group was initially equipped with the ungainly Vickers Virginia and Handley Page Heyford , which was the RAF's last biplane heavy bomber. With the arrival of the then revolutionary twin engined Vickers Wellington it was decided that No. 3 Group would be tasked with introducing the type into front line service. The first squadron in Bomber Command to be equipped was No. 99 Squadron RAF based at Mildenhall, on 10 October 1938
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