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No. 281 Squadron RAF
Active 29 March 1942 – 22 November 1942
22 November 1943 – 24 October 1945
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role air-sea rescue
Motto(s) Latin: Volamus Servaturi
("We fly to save")
Squadron Badge The head of a St. Bernard's dog affrontée, pendant from the collar a barrel shaped flash[1]
Squadron Codes FA (Mar 1942 – Oct 1945)

No. 281 Squadron was a Royal Air Force air-sea rescue squadron during the Second World War.


No. 281 Squadron was formed at RAF Ouston, England on the 29 March 1942[2] as an air-sea rescue squadron. The squadron was equipped with the Supermarine Walrus and the Avro Anson. The squadron disbanded on the 22 November 1942 when it was absorbed by 282 Squadron.[1]

The squadron reformed at RAF Thornaby on 22 November 1943[2] with the Vickers Warwick. The squadron moved to Tiree in February 1945 to provide air-sea rescue cover for Northern Ireland and western Scotland.

At the end of the Second World War the squadron disbanded at RAF Ballykelly on 24 October 1945.[1][2]

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Version
Apr 1942 jun 1943 Boulton-Paul Defiant Mk.I
Feb 1943 Nov 1943 Supermarine Walrus Mks.I, II
Apr 1943 Nov 1943 Avro Anson Mk.I
Nov 1943 Oct 1945 Vickers Warwick Mks.I, IV
April 1944 Oct 1945 Supermarine Sea Otter Mk.II
Sep 1945 Oct 1945 Vickers Wellington Mks.XIII, XIV


See also



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Halley 1988, p. 346.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Jefford 2001, p. 85.
  3. Rawlings 1982, pp. 251–252.


  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force and 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. ISBN 1853100536. (second revised edition 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.)
  • 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.

External links

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