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207 Sqn

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The 207 Squadron remained one year at Langar, but its history lasted over 60 years. Its creation date of April 7 1916 when the squadron of the Royal Navy Air Service was created to be engaged in East Africa. The RNAS and the Royal Flying Corps merged on 1 April 1918 to form the Royal Air Force and unit 7 was renumbered 207 Squadron RAF. At that time, it was located in France and flew Handley Page heavy bombers 0 / 400.

Between the wars, the squadron was equipped with light bombers and was normally based in Britain but also carried out two visits to Turkey and Sudan.

At the outbreak of World War II, the 207 Sqn which flew Fairey Battle was used as a training unit for the their front. When the Operational Training Units were created, the squadron was disbanded.


 

In November 1940 the Squadron was reformed at Waddington (Lincolnshire) and was assigned to 5 Group of Bomber Command. Its first role was the introduction of the new twin-engine bomber Avro Manchester. Subsequently, the unit moved to Bottesford (Leicestershire) in November 1941 and April 1942, its Manchesters were replaced by Lancasters. The squadron moved to Langar in September, then Spilsby in October 1943 where it remained until the end of the war.

 

Upon arrival at Langar, the squadron participated in the first major daylight raid, led by Lancasters, to Le Creusot, France. In September 1943, the 207 flew with a BBC radio journalist in a raid over the "big city" Berlin. His report had the greatest effect on the English population. This unit is also characterized by "shuttles raids" that led them on targets in Italy and then landing in North Africa. The return flight was usually the reverse. Finally, the squadron participated to the raid on Pennemuende, where Hitler’s secret weapons V1 and V2 were developed.

The 207 Squadron flew a total of 540 operational sorties during the Second World War, representing 4,500 aircraft commitments. 148 airplanes (over 950 men) were lost in operations, which represents the largest rate of loss of the 5 Group and the fourth of all the Bomber Command. Under the command of Wing Commander Jeffs, the unit arrived on 20 September 1942 and launched its first raid on 23rd of the same month against Wismar. Therefore, it made 148 missions before moving and left room for the US Air Force, on 12 October 1943.

Source : 207 Squadron RAF langar 1942-1943 – B. Goodwin & R. Glyyne-Owen


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