No. 214 Squadron RAF


No 214 Squadron was formed from No. 14 Squadron Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Naval Air Service
The Royal Naval Air Service or RNAS was the air arm of the Royal Navy until near the end of the First World War, when it merged with the British Army's Royal Flying Corps to form a new service , the Royal Air Force...

 (RNAS), itself formerly No. 7A Squadron RNAS only taking on the new number in 9 December 1917. With the creation of the RAF from the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 and the RNAS on 1 April 1918 it received the number 214. It was later given the fuller title No 214 (Federated Malay States) Squadron.

No. 214 Squadron started with the Handley Page Type O
Handley Page Type O
The Handley Page Type O was an early biplane bomber used by Britain during the First World War. At the time, it was the largest aircraft that had been built in the UK and one of the largest in the world...

/100 bomber but soon got the more powerful O/400 in the middle of 1918 with which it continued to fly against German strategic targets. From 29 June - 23 October 1918, 214 Squadron was based at RAF Saint Inglevert. Post war the squadron was moved to Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 but it was disbanded on 1 February 1920 with its crew and aircraft merged into No. 216 Squadron RAF
No. 216 Squadron RAF
No. 216 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Lockheed Tristar K1, KC1 and C2 from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.- History :216 Squadron was formed at RAF Manston by re-numbering No. 16 Squadron RNAS when the RAF was established in 1918, hence it is always spoken of as 'two-sixteen Squadron'...


On 16 September 1935 'B' Flight of No. 9 Squadron RAF was used to create a new 214 squadron. Again a bomber squadron it had the Vickers Virginia
Vickers Virginia
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Andrews, C.F. and E.B. Morgan. Vickers Aircraft since 1908. London: Putnam, 1989. ISBN 0-85177-851-1....

 X night-bomber at RAF Boscombe Down.

By the outbreak of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 it had re-equipped the Vickers Wellington
Vickers Wellington
The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engine, long range medium bomber designed in the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, by Vickers-Armstrongs' Chief Designer, R. K. Pierson. It was widely used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, before being displaced as a...

 which were replaced in 1942 with the larger Short Stirling
Short Stirling
The Short Stirling was the first four-engined British heavy bomber of the Second World War. The Stirling was designed and built by Short Brothers to an Air Ministry specification from 1936, and entered service in 1941...

, having moved to RAF Stradishall
RAF Stradishall
RAF Stradishall was a Royal Air Force station in Suffolk, opened in 1938.The airfield closed in 1970 and is now the site of two category C prisons: HMP Highpoint North and HMP Highpoint South...


In January 1944, the squadron was converted to special operations, joining No. 100 Group RAF
No. 100 Group RAF
No. 100 Group was a special duties group within RAF Bomber Command.It was formed on 11 November 1943 to consolidate the increasingly complex business of electronic warfare and countermeasures within one organisation. The group was responsible for the development, operational trial and use of...

 for electronic countermeasures
Electronic countermeasures
An electronic countermeasure is an electrical or electronic device designed to trick or deceive radar, sonar or other detection systems, like infrared or lasers. It may be used both offensively and defensively to deny targeting information to an enemy...

 in support of the main bombing operations.

The squadron used the Fortress Mk II and Mk III and Stirlings.
The used the jamming
Radar jamming and deception
Radar jamming and deception is the intentional emission of radio frequency signals to interfere with the operation of a radar by saturating its receiver with noise or false information...

 system codenamed "Airborne Cigar" (ABC) to block German nightfighter communications. German speaking radio operators would identify and jam the ground controllers broadcasts and also pose as ground controllers themselves with the intention of steering the nightfighters away from the bomber stream
Bomber stream
The bomber stream was a tactic developed by the Royal Air Force Bomber Command to overwhelm the German aerial defences of the Kammhuber Line during World War II....


It operated the Vickers Valiant
Vickers Valiant
The Vickers-Armstrongs Valiant was a British four-jet bomber, once part of the Royal Air Force's V bomber nuclear force in the 1950s and 1960s...

 from RAF Marham
RAF Marham
Royal Air Force Station Marham, more commonly known as RAF Marham, is a Royal Air Force station; a military airbase, near the village of Marham in the English county of Norfolk, East Anglia....

, from 21 January 1956 until 28 February 1965. Leonard Trent, a Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

 winner, was the first CO of the Valiant squadron. The Valiant was at first active as a V-bomber but was then converted to tankers. Disbanded in 1965 it reformed the following year with the Handley Page Victor
Handley Page Victor
The Handley Page Victor was a British jet bomber aircraft produced by the Handley Page Aircraft Company during the Cold War. It was the third and final of the V-bombers that provided Britain's nuclear deterrent. The other two V-bombers were the Avro Vulcan and the Vickers Valiant. Some aircraft...

 tanker and continued until disbanded finally in 1977..

Accidents and incidents

  • On 19 August 1968 Victor K1
    Handley Page Victor
    The Handley Page Victor was a British jet bomber aircraft produced by the Handley Page Aircraft Company during the Cold War. It was the third and final of the V-bombers that provided Britain's nuclear deterrent. The other two V-bombers were the Avro Vulcan and the Vickers Valiant. Some aircraft...

     XH646 collided in mid-air near Holt, Norfolk in bad weather with a 213 Squadron
    No. 213 Squadron RAF
    No. 213 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. The squadron was formed on 1 April 1918 from No. 13 Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service...

     English Electric Canberra
    English Electric Canberra
    The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

    WT325, all four crew members of the Victor died

  • On Aug 10/11 1943, F/S Hall was pilot of a crippled aircraft which was returning from Operations, after losing an engine.

When approaching Bexhill on the South Coast of England the aircraft ran out of fuel and dived almost out of control into the sea. The crew were temporarily knocked out by the impact and the aircraft filled rapidly with water. F/S Hall was the first to recover and his first thoughts were for the safety of his crew. He found the wireless operator injured and floating just below the astrodome, and in spite of the rapidly rising water and with complete disregard for his own safety, he succeeded in extricating him from the aircraft and securing him safely in a dingy. He then returned to the aircraft to search for the navigator and Flight engineer who were missing. Five members of the crew were subsequently picked up by an air/sea rescue launch, 2 died.In a desperate situation, aggravated by darkness, F/S Hall displayed extreme courage and coolness throughout. Unfortunately F/S Hall was killed on operations 6 weeks later.
For his exploits F/S Hall was awarded the British Empire Medal (precursor to the George Cross), by His Majesty King George VI, presented to his mother posthumously.

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