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No. 514 Squadron RAF
Active 1 September 1943 – 22 August 1945
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Bomber Squadron
Part of No. 3 Group RAF, Bomber Command[1]
Motto(s) Latin: Nil Obstare Potest
(Translation: "Nothing can withstand")[2][3]
Squadron Badge heraldry A cloud pierced by a sword[3]
The design indicates the function of the squadron, i.e. its role of a GH-equipped blind-bombing squadron[2]
Squadron Codes JI (Sep 1943 – Aug 1945)[4][5]
A2 (Dec 1943 – Aug 1945, 'C' Flt only)[6][7]
Aircraft flown
Bomber Avro Lancaster

No. 514 Squadron RAF was a bomber squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.


Lancasters Mark I or III of 514 Squadron on a daylight raid on a flying bomb site in France, 1944

Lancaster of 514 Squadron being loaded with food for dropping to starving Dutch civilians as part of Operation Manna, 1945

The squadron was first formed at RAF Foulsham, Norfolk on 1 September 1943,[2][3][8] equipped with Lancaster Mk.II bombers, as part of No. 3 Group RAF in Bomber Command.

It transferred to RAF Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire on 23 November, where it re-equipped with Lancaster Mk.I and Mk.III bombers in June 1944.[9]

It was finally disbanded at Waterbeach on 22 August 1945,[2][3][8] by which time the squadron had completed 3,675 operational sorties with a loss of 66 aircraft.[10]

Its members were awarded with 1 DSO, 84 DFCs, one Bar to the DFC and 26 DFMs.[2]

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by no. 514 Squadron RAF, data from[2][3][8]
From To Aircraft Version
September 1943 July 1944 Avro Lancaster Mk.II
June 1944 August 1945 Avro Lancaster Mks.I and III

Squadron bases

Bases and airfields used by no. 514 squadron RAF, data from[2][3][8]
From To Base
1 September 1943 23 November 1943 RAF Foulsham, Norfolk
23 November 1943 22 August 1945 RAF Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire


From 1988 to 2012 the Squadron held an annual Reunion in June at Waterbeach Barracks hosted by the Royal Engineers. A service of remembrance was held in the parish church, and the BBMF Lancaster made a flypast over the former RAF airfield.[11]

In 2013, following the barracks' closure, a reunion is to be held in the village on 15 June 2013, with the Lancaster flypast over the Recreation Ground.[12]


The 514 Squadron Association and the Army established a Museum in Waterbeach Barracks in 1985. This museum closed in September 2012, as the Barracks closed permanently in March 2013, although the contents have been saved.[13] It hoped the new Waterbeach Military Heritage Museum will use a former RAF building when the site is sold for housing, but in the meantime the collection is in storage.[14]

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.
  • Delve, Ken. The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
  • Dison, Harry. Some of the story of 514 Squadron: Lancasters at Waterbeach, 1999. (Self published, available from the Museum)
  • Falconer, John. Bomber Command Handbook 1939–1945. Stroud, UK: Sutton Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 0-7509-3171-X.
  • 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.
  • Hamlin, John F. & Oliver J. Merrington At the 'Beach: the story of Royal Air Force Waterbeach and Waterbeach Barracks. Peterborough: GMS Enterprises, 2011. ISBN 1-904514-63-4
  • 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.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 2nd edition 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.

External links

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