No.681 Squadron

A winged tiger standing on a camera by a demi-fountain
A winged tiger standing on a camera by a demi-fountain
Elevatis Nihil Celatur - To those high up, nothing is concealed
25 January 1943
01 August 1946

No.681 Squadron was formed from No. 3 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit at Dum Dum, India on 25 January 1943. Equipped with Spitfires, Hurricanes and Mitchells it undertook photographic reconnaissance missions over Burma and Indo-China.

In 1943 it began to receive Mosquitoes but gave these up when it was decided to transfer all the unit’s twin engined aircraft to a new unit numbered No.684 Squadron. From January 1944 this squadron standardised on photographic reconnaissance versions of the Spitfire.

After the war the whole South East Asia area was in turmoil and although it moved to Hong Kong in September 1945 detachments were based in Java and French Indo-China to monitor the worsening situation.

In January 1946 it moved to Seletar, Singapore. This was only a temporary base as it moved to India in April 1946. On 1 August 1946 it was renumbered No.34 Squadron.


Spitfire IV 1943 – 1944
Hurricane II 1943 – 1943
B-25 1943 – 1943
Mosquito VI/IV/IX 1943 – 1943
Spitfire XI/XIX 1943 – 1946

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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