No.166 Squadron

Bulldog affrontée
Bulldog affrontée
13 June 1918
18 November 1945

No 166 Squadron was formed at RAF Bircham Newton in 1918 as a night bomber squadron and in September it became the first squadron of No 27 Group, which had been established to undertake long-distance raids on Germany. However, the Armistice occurred before the Group could be completely mobilised and the squadron was disbanded on 31 May 1919.

On 1 November 1936 No 166 Squadron was reformed from ‘A’ Flight No 97 Squadron as a heavy bomber squadron and in 1938 it became part of an air observers’ school. On the outbreak of war it moved to Abingdon as a No 6 Group training squadron and remained as such until 6 April 1940 when it was merged with No 97 Squadron to form No 10 Operational Training Unit.

No 166 Squadron was reformed again as a bomber squadron on 23 January 1943 and it was unofficially named the “Huddersfield” Squadron. Equipped with first Wellingtons and then Lancasters, it took part in many major raids as well as playing an active role in mine-laying, dropping 27287 tons of bombs and laying 334 tons of mines between January 1943 and April 1945. It was disbanded on 18 November 1945.


F.E.2b 1918
Handley Page V/1500 1918 - 1919
Heyford III 1939 - 1939
Whitley I/III 1939 - 1940
Wellington III/X 1943
Lancaster I/III 1943 - 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

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

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