RAF fighter squadron strength

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by maxs75, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. maxs75

    maxs75 Member

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    Hi there,
    I'd like to know what was the estabilished strength of a RAF fighter squadron during WW2, and if there were some differences through different theater and periods.
    I know that there were differences for the actual strength anyway.

    Thanks
    Max
     
  2. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    For the most part the official figure was 12 (dating back to the the "Vic" formations so each squadron could have 4 Vics) but this obviously varied and there were normally a couple of "reserve" aircraft in each squadron...........
     
  3. maxs75

    maxs75 Member

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    Thanks.
    I would have guessed that it was more, and I thought the strength was between 16 and 24 (2 or 3 flights each squadron, plus reserves).
    Was it still estabilished at 12 even in late war? The Vic formations were gone by that time.
    Taking a look at Western Desert Air Force, Aden, RAF Middle East, 23.10.42 it seems that the number of a/c is 16.
    Do you know if the actual strength was often higher than paper strength in late war?

    Thanks
    Max
     
  4. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    yes it would have been increased and whilst i couldn't say for cirtain i really wouldn't be supprised to hear it'd gone up to 16, as i recall (and we're going back a bit, i can't for the life of me remember which of my books i read it in) at the start of the war Fighter and Bomber commands had 12 aircraft per squadron, Coastal Command having 24, but obviously this increased during the war, particularly in Bomber command, who had the biggest squadron in the RAF i've yet to come across, 101 sqn with a massive 42 aircraft on strength at once!
     
  5. maxs75

    maxs75 Member

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    So, were the bomber squadrons bigger than fighter squadrons?
    In US and Italian Air force it was not the case.
    This is why I asked. Usually bigger planes were in smaller numbers.

    Max
     
  6. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    i'd say they were roughly equal for most of the war as, unlike in a fighter squadron scramble in which case you try to get entire squadrons in the air as quickly as possible, in a bomber squadron you may only require two flights 3 times a week and that's why they were in big numbers and lots of them.......
     
  7. ndicki

    ndicki Member

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    I am surprised to see how difficult it is to confirm the answer to this! I think 16 is right wef the slow adoption of the finger-four formation in 1941. Some squadrons were using flights of four in echelon or line astern in the second half of 1940. The vic went out during/after the Battle of Britain, depending on the degree of brightness of individual Squadron COs. Read Johnnie Johnson's book "Full Circle" for more detail.
     
  8. maxs75

    maxs75 Member

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    Thanks, I'll take 16 as the definitve answer.
    And do you know how many a/c were in reserve. I believe at least 2 or maybe 4.

    Best
    Max
     
  9. k9kiwi

    k9kiwi Member

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    And don't forget the squadron hack aircraft for puddle jumping and visiting.
     
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