No 46 Squadron RAF - Disbandment of the Squadron

No 46 Squadron RAF - Stamp Cover Collection

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No 46 Squadron RAF - Disbandment of the Squadron

British Stamp Collections

No 46 Squadron RAF – Disbandment of the Squadron 31st August 1975

This cover was flown on Andover XS644 on the last aeromedical flight of No.46 Squadron routeing GUTERSLOH- WILDENRATH – NORTHOLT

Total flight time: 2 hours 25 minutes.

Aircraft Crew :
Sqn Ldr B.Smith (Captain) Flt Lt R. Togneri (Co-pilot)
Flt Lt D.H Price (Navigator) F.S.D. Sutcliffe (Air Loadmaster)
Sgt J.E. Bethray (Air Loadmaster) Ch Tech T.M. Bastick (Servicing Crew)
Aeromedical Team
Flt Off E.W.Bergstrom (PMRAFNS) Fg Off I.L. McFarlane (PMRAFNS)
Sgt J.W.YoungerSAC G.W.Lings SAC M.SimsCh Tech B.R Hyett (Medical Technician)

NO 46 SQUADRON – ” We rise to conquer”

MESSINES 1917; CAMBRAI 1917; SOMME 1918; NORWAY 194O RATTLE OF BRITAIN 1940; MALTA 1941 – 1942; EL ALAMEIN 1042; SOUTH Eastern EUROPE 1944.

No 46 Squadron wns formed at Wyton on 19th April 1916 as a reconnaissance unit and moved to France in October 1916. It carried out artillery observation and tactical missions until April 1917 when it converted to become a fighter squadron. In July 1917 it returned to England for a few weeks of home defence duties against the Gotha bomber. In November 1917, back in Frcnce, the squadron re-equippad. No 46 Squadron distinguished itself in tho battlts of Messines, Carnbrai and Somme (1918) and particularly during the final German retreat.

The squadron returned to England as a cadre in February 1919 and was disbanded on 31st December 1919.
No 46 Squadron reformed on 3rd September at Kenly as a fighter squadron, from ‘B’ Flight of No 17 Squadron. In February 1939 it re-equipped and flew defensive patrols over the East Coast until mid-May 1940 when it formed part of tna Expeditionary Force to Norway. The squadron was ordered to leave Norway in June 1940; and embarked its ten remaining aircraft on HMS Glorious which was sunk whilst returning to England. No 46 lost all its aircraft and seven of its pilots.

Quickly reformed at Digby on 13th june the squadron flew convoy and defensive patrols until it movud to Stapleford Tawney for the defence of London during the Battle of Britain. It was constantly engaged and fought many successful actions. In December 1940 it returned to Lincolnshire where it undertook day and night defensive patrols.

In May 1941 the squadron sailed for the Middle East, its aircraft proceeding by carrier to Malta for a short period, where they were absorbed into No 126 Squadron. Squadron pilots claimed 40 enemy aircraft destroyed during the German and Italian attacks on the Island. The squadron stayed on Malta, largely on maintenance duties until May 1942 when a detachment of No 89 Squadron at Idku was renumbered No 46 to make the squadron operational again, this time on intorception and escort duties and by supplying detachments of night fighters to various bases in Libya, Egypt, Palestine and Cyprus. During 1944 the squadron flew intruder operations and in December 1944 returned to England.

On 9th January 1945 No 46 reassembled at Stoney Cross as a transport squadron and began trooping flights to India until re-equipment in 1946. The squadron took part in the Berlin Air Lift before disbanding on 20th February 1950.

No 43 Squadron reformed at Odiham on 15th August 1954 but was disbanded there on 30th Juna 1961. On December 1st 1966 the squadron again reformed this time at Abingdon for tactical transport duties. It moved to Thorncy Island in 1971 where it had an important transport and aeromedical role until its disbandment on 31st August 1975.

AIRCRAFT
1916-1917 NIEUPORT 12. BE2c, BE2e; 1917 SOPWITH PUP; 1917-1919 SOPWITH CAMEL; 193G – 1939 GLOSTER GAUNTLET 2; 1939-1941 HAWKER HURRICANE 1, 2a, 2c; 1342-1944 BRISTOL BEAUFIGKTER 1,6, 10; 1945 – 1S46 SHORT STIRLING 5; 1946-1950 DOUGLAS DAKOTA C3, C4: 1354-1956 GLOSTER METEOR NF12, NF14: 1956-1961 GLOSTER JAVELIN FAW1, FAW2, FAVV6; 1S66 – 1975 HAWKER SIDDELEY ANDOVER C1.

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