No.142 Squadron

A winged sphinx
A winged sphinx
02 February 1918
24 May 1963

No 142 Squadron formed at Ismailia on 2 February 1918 as a reconnaissance unit. It undertook tactical reconnaissance and artillery observation duties in Egypt and Palestine until the end of the war. On 1 February it was renumbered No 55 Squadron.

On 1 June 1934 No 142 Squadron reformed at RAF Netheravon. The following year it moved to the Middle East during the Abyssinian Crisis. In November 1936 it returned to the UK. On the outbreak of the Second World War it moved to France as a part of the Advanced Air Striking Force. During the German May 1940 offensive the unit attacked enemy troop concentrations until it was forced to withdraw to the UK. No 142 Squadron now turned it attention to the German barges massed in the North Sea and Channel ports. In late 1940 it began training as a night bomber squadron. In December 1942 the majority of the unit was detached to Algeria. Following the renumbering of the UK rear echelon this North African detachment became the Squadron. Night attacks were carried out against enemy targets in Tunisia, Sicily and Italy. In December 1943 the unit moved to Italy and targeting switched to Northern Italy and the Balkans. The unit disbanded on 5 October 1944.

On 25 October 1944 the squadron reformed at RAF Gransden Lodge as a Pathfinder Force Mosquito unit. It disbanded on 28 September 1945. On 1 February 1959, it reformed at RAF Eastleigh, Kenya as a fighter-bomber squadron but on 1 April it was renumbered No 208 Squadron.

The squadron reformed as a Thor ballistic missile unit at RAF Coleby Grange on 22 July 1959. It finally disbanded on 24 May 1963.


BE12a 1918 - 1918
Martinsyde G.100 1918 - 1918
BE2c/d/e 1918 - 1919
RE8 1918 - 1919
FK8 1918 - 1919
DH9 1919 - 1920
Hart 1934 - 1937
Hind 1937 - 1938
Battle 1938 - 1941
Wellington II/IV/III/X 1941 - 1944
Mosquito 25/35 1944 - 1945
Venom 4 1959 - 1959
Thor 1959 – 1963

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

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

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