No.119 Squadron

A sword, the point downwards, and an anchor in saltire
A sword, the point downwards, and an anchor in saltire
By night by day
01 March 1918
25 May 1945

Formed at Andover on 1 January 1918, No 119 Squadron did not become operational and disbanded on 6 December 1918.

On 13 March 1941 No 119 Squadron reformed at Bowmore by renaming ‘G’ Flight, which had been created to operate converted airline flying boats on maritime patrols. Moving to Pembroke Dock in August 1941, No 119 Squadron had no aircraft and became non-operational.

Reformed at on 14 April 1942 at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, No 119 Squadron began to receive Catalinas in May, but by the time the last aircraft arrived from Canada on 15 September, the squadron had returned to Pembroke dock to re-equip with Sunderlands. Operational from 20 November 1942, the squadron was disbanded on 17 April 1943.

No 119 Squadron was reformed as a torpedo-bomber unit on 19 July 1944 when No 415 Squadron transferred to Bomber Command, and it was necessary to re-designate the squadron’s Albacore Flight. No 119 Squadron flew nocturnal patrols off the Dutch coast attacking German E-boats and R-boats. In October 1944 the squadron relocated to Belgium to get closer to its targets, which now also included midget submarines.

January 1945 saw the squadron’s Albacores replaced with ASV radar equipped Swordfish. The introduction of the radar led to the destruction of several submarines before the squadron returned to Britain to disband on 25 May 1945.


D.H.9 1918 - 1918
Short S.26/M 1941 - 1941
Short S.23/M 1941 - 1941
Catalina I/III 1941 - 1942
Sunderland II/III 1942 - 1943
Albacore I 1944 - 1945
Swordfish III 1945 - 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

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

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