No.73 Squadron

A demi-talbot rampant, charged on the shoulder with a maple leaf
A demi-talbot rampant, charged on the shoulder with a maple leaf
Tutor et ultor - Protector and avenger
01 July 1917
17 March 1969

No 73 Squadron was formed at Upavon on 2 July 1917 as a fighter unit. In January 1918 it moved to France. Involved initially in fighter patrols and bomber escort duties during the final months of the war it became increasingly involved in ground attack. In February 1919 the unit returned to the UK and disbanded on 2 July 1919.

On 15 March 1937 the squadron reformed at RAF Mildenhall as a fighter unit. In September 1939 No 73 Squadron moved to France with the Advanced Air Striking Force. In May 1940 the unit began a fighting withdrawal in the face off the German blitzkrieg. In June it returned to the UK and during the Battle of Britain it concentrated on night fighter operations. It left for the Middle East on 13 November 1940. Transported aboard HMS Furious to Takoradi, Gold Coast its aircraft were flown across Africa to Egypt. The squadron then became involved in night patrols and ground attack missions for the rest of the North African campaign. In October 1943 the squadron moved to Italy and it changed role to a fighter bomber unit in April 1944. In April 1945 the squadron was based in Yugoslavia. In July it moved to Malta. It converted to jet fighter in Cyprus during September 1948. It converted to Canberra bombers in March 1957. The unit disbanded on 17 March 1969.


Camel 1917 - 1919
Fury 1937 - 1937
Gladiator 1937 - 1938
Hurricane I/II 1938 - 1943
Tomahawk 1941 - 1941
Spitfire V/VIII/IX 1943 - 1947
Spitfire 22 1947 - 1948
Vampire 3/5/9 1948 - 1954
Venom 1 1954 - 1957
Canberra 2/15 1962 – 1969

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

Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their aircraft John D R Rawlings Crecy Books 1993

« back to all squadrons