No.88 Squadron

A serpent gliding
A serpent gliding
En garde - Be on your guard (French)
24 July 1917
17 December 1962

No 88 Squadron was formed at Gosport on 24 July 1917. It moved to France in April 1918 and undertook fighter-reconnaissance and ground attack missions until the end of the war. It disbanded on 10 August 1919.

On 7 June 1937 the squadron reformed at RAF Waddington as a light bomber unit. It moved to France at the beginning of the war as a part of the Advance Air Striking Force. During the May 1940 German Blitzkrieg the unit lost most of its aircraft in a futile effort to stop the advancing enemy forces. The remnants were withdrawn to UK in mid June. It was based in Northern Ireland for several months before moving to East Anglia to re-equip. The squadron formed part of No 2 Group and used it bombers in daylight attacks on enemy coastal targets. It expanded this work to general attacks on German communications in occupied Europe prior to June 1944. During the Normandy landings the squadron laid a smoke screen to protect the initial waves of landing craft from German shore batteries. In October 1944 the squadron moved to France and for the rest of the war was involved in tactical bombing missions in support of the Allied land forces. The squadron disbanded on 4 April 1945.

On 1 September 1946 No 1430 Flight at RAF Kai Tak, Hong Kong was renumbered No 88 Squadron for maritime transport duties. By July 1950 it had been redesignated a maritime reconnaissance unit. Detachments were made to Japan for patrol work off the Korean coast. In June 1951 the unit moved back to RAF Seletar but additional Korean War patrols lasted from June 1952 to August 1954. On 1 October 1954 the squadron disbanded.

On 15 January 1956 the unit reformed at RAF Wildenrath, Germany as an interdictor squadron. On 17 December 1962 the unit was redesignated No 14 Squadron.


F2b 1918 – 1919
Hind 1937 – 1938
Battle 1937 – 1941
Boston 1940 – 1941
Blenheim IV 1941 – 1941
Boston III/IV 1941 – 1945
Sunderland 5 1946 – 1954
Canberra 8 1956 – 1962

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

Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their aircraft Phillip J R Moyes Macdonald & Jane’s 1976

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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