No.143 Squadron

A gamecock attacking
Badge
A gamecock attacking
Motto
Vincere est vivere - To conquer is to live
Formed
01 February 1918
Disbanded
25 May 1945

No 143 Squadron formed at Throwley in February 1918 as a home defence unit to be used against possible German air raids against the south-east England. The unit saw no combat and on 31 October 1919 it disbanded.

On 15 June 1941 the squadron reformed at RAF Aldergrove as a Coastal Command long-range fighter unit. No 143 Squadron then moved to north east England and then to Scotland. In December 1941 it returned to Northern Ireland giving up it operational status and becoming a training unit.

It moved to East Anglia in August 1942 and after re-equipping with Beaufighters for a second time became operational. It operated as a part of a strike wing until August 1943 when it moved to Cornwall and began to provide fighter support for anti-submarine aircraft over the Bay of Biscay. In February 1944 it returned to the east coast and resumed anti-shipping attacks. In May it moved to RAF Manston to provide anti E boat patrols over the Normandy invasion fleet. No 143 Squadron returned to Scotland in October 1944 and operated in the anti shipping roles, as a part of the Banff strike wing, for the rest of the war. On 25 May 1945 the squadron disbanded.


AIRCRAFT

FK8 1918 – 1918
SE5a 1919 – 1918
Camel 1918 – 1919
Snipe 1918 – 1919
Beaufighter I 1941 – 1941
Blenheim IVf 1941 – 1942
Beaufighter II/XI/X 1942 – 1944
Mosquito II/VI 1944 – 1945


Reference Sources

The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force
James J Halley Air Britain (Historians) Ltd 1988

RAF Squadrons
Wg Cdr C G Jefford Airlife 2001

Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their aircraft
John D R Rawlings Crecy Books 1993

Coastal Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their aircraft
John D R Rawlings Jane’s Publishing 1982

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