No. 256 Squadron RAF was an aircraft squadron of the Royal Air Force during World War II. It operated Defiant Mk IIs out of RAF Squires Gate in the night defence of Liverpool. On 23 November 1940, No.256 reformed at Catterick as a night fighter squadron with Defiants and became operational over south-west England early in February 1941. In March it moved north to defend Merseyside and in July acquired some Hurricanes. Beaufighters began to arrive in May 1942, and were flown until the squadron was transferred to southern England in April 1943 and converted to Mosquitoes. In July 1943, a detachment was sent to Malta to help cover the Allied landings in Sicily and in October the wholw squadron moved there. In April 1944 it moved to Algeria whre it absorbed the Spitfires of the Gibraltar Defence Flight on 6 May and in August moved to Sardinia, followed a month later by a move to Italy. Intruder Flights over the Balkans began and continued until the end of the war. In September 1945, No.256 moved to Egypt and in addition to its night fighter role also operated a flight of meteorlogical Mosquitoes from April 1946. After moving to Cyprus in July 1946 the squadron disbanded on 12 September 1946.
In the 1950s it was equipped with the Armstrong-Whitworth Meteor NF11 Night/All Weather Fighter and based as part of No 125 Wing, RAF Germany (2nd Tactical Air force), first at RAF Ahlhorn in north Germany and, when that airfield was handed back to the German Air Force in 1958, the wing was re-located at RAF Geilenkirchen near Aachen . Upon re-equipment with the Gloster Javelin in 1960 the squadron was re-numbered as No 11 Squadron.
Bishop, Chris (ed) "The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Air Warfare" Amber Books, Ltd. 2004 ISBN 1-904687-26-1
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