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No 190 Squadron RAF
File:190 Squadron Badge.jpg
Active 24 Oct 1917 – Apr 1919
1 Mar 1943 – 31 Dec 1943
5 Jan 1944 – 21 Jan 1946
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Convoy escort
Airborne forces
Part of No 38 Group RAF
Motto(s) Latin: Ex Tenebris
(Translation: "Through darkness")[1][2]
Geoffrey Harry "Buster" Briggs
Squadron Badge heraldry A cloak charged with a double-headed eagle displayed[1][2]
Squadron Codes G5 (Jan 1944 – Dec 1945)[3][4]
L9 (Jan 1944 – Dec 1945)[5][6]

No 190 Squadron was a Royal Air Force squadron with a relatively short existence, but a very broad career. It served as a trainer squadron during the first World War and as convoy escort, airborne support and transport squadron during World War II.


Formation in World War I

No 190 Squadron was formed at Rochford, England on the 24 October 1917 as a night training squadron[7] operating amongst others the Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2e and the Airco DH.6. The squadron moved to RAF Newmarket, Suffolk on 14 March 1918 and was disbanded a year later at RAF Upwood in April 1919.[1][2]

Reformation with Coastal Command

The squadron was re-formed on 1 March 1943 at Sullom Voe, Scotland. The squadron operated the Consolidated Catalina to patrol the North Atlantic. The first U-Boat was sunk in the first month of operations. The main role of the squadron was protecting the convoys to and from Russia ("Operation Locomotive"). The squadron disbanded on 31 December 1943, when it was re-numbered to 210 Squadron.[1][2][8]

Airborne Forces squadron

The squadron was re-formed again five days later, on 5 January 1944 at RAF Leicester East as an airborne support unit flying the Short Stirling. It became part of 38 Group on 6 November 1943. On the 6 June 1944 the squadron first carried 426 paratroopers to Caen, France.[1] The squadron then returned and the next night towed 18 Airspeed Horsa gliders into France.[1] It moved to RAF Fairford and carried out supply-dropping missions to the advancing troops and SOE operatives. The squadron involvement in supply drops at Battle of Arnhem caused 11 aircraft losses in 3 days.[2] The next move was to RAF Great Dunmow where it towed gliders for the Rhine crossing and paratroopers into the Netherlands to disrupt the German retreat.

On Halifaxes as Transport Squadron

As the war ended the squadron re-equipped with the Handley Page Halifax which it used as a freighter for Transport Command until the end of 1945. It was disbanded at Great Dunmow on 21 January 1946 by being renumbered to 295 Squadron.[2][8][9][10]

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by No 190 Squadron RAF, data from[2][8][11]
From To Aircraft Variant
October 1917 January 1919 Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 c
October 1917 January 1919 Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 e
October 1917 January 1919 Airco DH.6
October 1917 January 1919 AVRO 504 K
February 1943 December 1943 Consolidated Catalina Mk.Ib
October 1943 December 1943 Consolidated Catalina Mk.IV
January 1944 June 1945 Short Stirling Mk.IV
May 1945 January 1946 Handley Page Halifax Mks.III and VII

Squadron stations

Stations and airfields used by No 190 Squadron RAF, data from[1][2][8]
From To Base
2 October 1917 14 March 1918 RFC Rochford, Essex
14 March 1918 5 October 1918 RAF Newmarket, Suffolk
5 October 1918 April 1919 RAF Upwood, Cambridgeshire
1 March 1943 31 December 1943 RAF Sullom Voe, Shetland Islands, Scotland
5 January 1944 25 March 1944 RAF Leicester East, Leicestershire
25 March 1944 14 October 1944 RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire
14 October 1944 21 January 1946 RAF Great Dunmow, Essex

Commanding officers

Officers commanding No 190 Squadron, data from[11][12]
From To Name
1 March 1943 31 December 1943 W/Cdr. P.H. Alington, DFC
5 January 1944 21 September 1944 W/Cdr. G.E. Harrison, DFC, SS(US)
2 October 1944 20 April 1945 W/Cdr. R.H. Bunker, DSO, DFC & Bar
24 April 1945 1 July 1945 W/Cdr. G.H. Briggs, DFC
1 July 1945 21 January 1946 W/Cdr. L.C. Bartram

See also




  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF(Retd.). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
  • Sturtivant, Ray, ISO and John Hamlin. RAF Flying Training And Support Units since 1912. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 2007. ISBN 0-85130-365-X.
  • Wynn, Humphrey. Forged in War: A History of Royal Air Force Transport Command, 1943–1967. London: The Stationary Office, 1996. ISBN 0-11-772756-3.

External links

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