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No. 170 Squadron RAF
Active 1942-1944
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Motto(s) Videre Non Videri

No. 170 Squadron RAF was a Second World War Royal Air Force squadron that operated the North American Mustang in the fighter-reconnaissance role and later the Avro Lancaster as part of Bomber Command.


The squadron was formed at RAF Weston Zoyland on 15 June 1942 as a fighter-reconnaissance squadron equipped with the American-built North American Mustang I. After a few months' training with the Army it began operations over continental Europe in January 1943. In the first few months of action it had a speciality for attacking and destroying rail traffic. It eventually operated defensive patrols against German fighter-bombers until it was disbanded at RAF Sawbridgeworth on 15 January 1944.

No. 170 Squadron was re-formed on 15 October 1944 at RAF Kelstern from C Flight of 625 Squadron, moving shortly to RAF Dunholme Lodge then again to RAF Hemswell. Equipped with the four-engined Avro Lancaster heavy bomber it was soon operating as part of the Bomber Command offensive over Germany through the winter of 1944/45. As the risk from German fighters grew less it also operated daylight raids. It only operated as a heavy bomber unit for six months but flew 980 sorties with the loss of 13 Lancasters. Following its last raid on 25 April 1945 against Berchtesgaden it concentrated on dropping relief supplies into the Netherlands and transporting prisoners of war and troops back to England from Germany. With its job done it was disbanded on 14 November 1945.

There is a 170 Sqn. memorial at the former RAF Hemswell site.

Aircraft operated


Dates Aircraft Variant Notes
1942-1944 North American Mustang I and IA Single-engined fighter
1944-1945 Avro Lancaster I and III Four-engined heavy bomber

Squadron Commanders

1945 - Sqn Ldr Basil Templeman-Rooke


  1. Jefford 1988, page 64


  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 1985. 
  • Jefford, C.G. (1988). RAF Squadrons. Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85310-053-6. 

External links

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