233 Squadron RAF

 

No 233 Squadron was formed at Dover on 31 August 1918, form the former RNAS stations there and at Walmer which had been absorbed by the RAF on 1 April 1918. Nos.407 and 491 Flights at Dover flew anti-submarine patrols over the Strait of Dover while No.471 Flight at Walmer had Camels to protect patrolling aircraft from enemy fighters based in Belgium. On 15 May 1919, the squadron disbanded.

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On 18 May 1937, No.233 reformed at Tandmere as a general reconnaissance squadron with Ansons and in August 1939, moved to Scotland and began to convert to Hudsons. Patrols were carried out with both types for the first weeks of World War Two, the last by Ansons taking place on 10 October. A Flight of Blenheims was added at the end of October and flew patrols until January 1940, when it was detached to Bircham Newton to form the basis of No.235 Squadron. Anti-shipping sweeps began after the German invaded Norway in April 1940 and continued until December 1940, when the squadron moved to Northern Ireland. In August 1941,

 

No.233 moved to Cornwall to fly patrols over the Bay of Biscay and in December a detachment was sent sent to Gibraltar which was joined by the rest of the squadron in July 1942, where it remained until February 1944. A detachment was based in the Azores from October 1943 to February 1944, and after No.233 returned to the UK, it was re-equipped with Dakotas for work with Airbourne forces.

 

On D-day, thirty aircraft took gliders and paratroops to Normandy, followed later in the day by twenty-one more supply flights, four aircraft being lost. After carrying out casualty evacuation flights from the beachhead, it supplied thirty-seven sorties to the Arnhem airlift during the first two days, followed by thirty-five re-supply missions, which lost three aircraft in the process. After general transport duties between the UK and Allied-occupied Europe, twenty-four Dakotas were provided for the last major airbourne attack over the Rhine in March 1945 and in August the squadron began moving to India. By the time it had assembled, the Japanese had surrendered and after a period of general transport duties in South-East Asia, the squadron merged with No.215 Squadron on 15 December 1945.

 

On 1 September 1960, the Valetta flight of No.84 Squadron was detached to form No.233 Squadron at Khormaksar.

 

After providing transport support for the Army in Aden, the squadron was disbanded on 31 January 1964.