No.172 Squadron

A gannet volant in front of a tower
A gannet volant in front of a tower
Insidiantibus insidiamur - We ambush the ambusher
04 April 1942
04 June 1945

No 172 Squadron was formed at RAF Chivenor on 4 April 1942 from No 1417 (Leigh Light) Flight, which had in turn been formed the month before. The squadron had been formed to operate Wellingtons equipped with airborne searchlights on anti-submarine missions. Two U-boats were attacked on the first operational night patrol on 3 June 1942. Patrols took place over the Western Approaches and the Bay of Biscay. In March 1943 ASV radar was also fitted. The squadron sank its first submarine, the U-665, on 20 March 1943. The unit had detachments at Gibraltar and in the Azores. In September 1944 No 172 Squadron moved to Northern Ireland allowing it to operate out over the Atlantic. On 4 June 1945 the unit disbanded.


Wellington VIII/XII/XIV 1942 – 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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