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No. 215 Squadron RAF
Active 1918–1919
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Motto(s) Surgite nox adest
Latin: "Arise, night is at hand"
Equipment Vickers Wellington
Consolidated Liberator
Douglas Dakota

No. 215 Squadron was a Royal Air Force aircraft squadron formed as a night bomber squadron in World War I and again in World War II, becoming a transport squadron near the end of the Second World War.


No. 215 Squadron RAF was formed in France on 1 April 1918 by renumbering No. 15 squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service. No. 15 Squadron RNAS had been formed on 10 March 1918 to operate the Handley Page 0/100 as a night bomber squadron against targets in Germany. Soon after the squadron became part of the Royal Air Force it returned to England to re-equip with the Handley Page O/400 before returning to France as part of the Independent Air Force. After World War I hostilities ended (November 1918), the squadron disbanded on 18 October 1919.

The squadron was reformed on 1 October 1935 from 'A' flight of No. 58 Squadron at RAF Worthy Down. It was merged into 11 OTU. The squadron re-formed at RAF Honnington on the same day with the Vickers Wellington only to be merged into 11 OTU the following month.

The squadron was reformed in December 1941 at RAF Newmarket ready for movement to India. The squadron was posted to Calcutta in 1942 and was involved in bombing operations using first Vickers Wellington and then later, Consolidated Liberator aircraft.

In April 1945 it re-equipped with the Douglas Dakota and assumed a transport squadron role for the remainder of the war. The squadron disbanded on 15 February 1946 and was renumbered No. 48 Squadron.

The squadron was formed again on 1 August 1947 at Kabrit in Egypt with the Douglas Dakota for transport duties and was disbanded on 1 May 1948 when it was re-numbered as 70 Squadron.

The squadron was reformed in April 1956 at RAF Dishforth to operate the Scottish Aviation Pioneer in the light transport role and Army support duties, and was disbanded two years later in September 1958 when it was re-numbered as 230 Squadron.

The squadron was again formed in May 1963 at RAF Benson as a medium-range transport squadron for operation in the Far East and it moved to RAF Changi with the Armstrong Whitworth Argosy until it was disbanded in December 1967.

Aircraft operated


Circa 1946, Short Sunderland Mk.V flying boats of No. 209 Squadron RAF (visible in the middle left of photo is 'WQ-S', one of the squadron's Sunderland) parked on land and at the seaplane anchorage of Kowloon Bay off RAF Kai Tak. Also visible in the foreground is a Douglas Dakota Mk.I of No. 215 Squadron RAF.


Dates Aircraft Variant Notes
1918 Handley Page O/100 Twin-engined biplane bomber
1918–1919 Handley Page O/400 Twin-engined biplane heavy bomber
1935–1937 Vickers Virginia X Twin-engined biplane heavy bomber
Avro Anson I
1937–1939 Handley Page Harrow Twin-engined heavy bomber
1939–1940 Vickers Wellington I and IA Twin-engined medium bomber
Vickers Wellington IC
1944–1945 Consolidated Liberator VI Four-engined heavy bomber
Douglas Dakota Twin-engined transport
1956–1958 Scottish Aviation Pioneer CC1 Twin-engined light transport
1963–1967 Armstrong Whitworth Argosy C1 Four-engined medium transport



  1. Jefford 1988, page 71


  • Gwynne-Timothy, John R.W. Burma Liberators: RCAF in SEAC. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Next Level Press, 1991. ISBN 1-895578-02-7.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G. (2001). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd.. ISBN 1-85310-053-6. 

External links

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