No. 28 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 28 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War

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No.28 Squadron spent the entire Second World War operating from India or Burma, at first as an army co-operation squadron equipped with the Audax and Lysander, then as a tactical reconnaissance squadron, equipped with the Hawker Hurricane.

When the war broke out in Europe in 1939 No.28 Squadron had nearly twenty years of operational experience on the North West Frontier, helping the army to curb the constant raiding in the area. This low level but constant fighting continued until the start of 1942, when the squadron was rushed east to take part in the fighting in Burma.

The squadron carried out a mix of small scale bombing and army co-operation sorties during this first period on the Burmese front, and like every Allied squadron in this early period of the war against Japan suffered heavy casualties. By March it had been withdrawn from the fighting, and moved back to Lahore to reform.

For the next nine months No.28 Squadron took part in army exercises, still with the Lysander, spending part of the year at Kohat (Pakistan) and the rest at Ranchi. The Lysanders were replaced with Hawker Hurricanes in December 1942, and in January 1943 the squadron resumed operations, this time as a tactical reconnaissance squadron.

The squadron continued to operate in this role from January 1943 until the end of the war, with a five month gap from July-December 1944. The Hurricanes operated just ahead of the army during this period, sometimes attacking the targets they had identified. After their return to the front in December 1944, the squadron took part in the victorious return to Burma, with their busiest month of the war coming in March. By the end of the war they had reached Rangoon, where the Hurricanes were replaced by Spitfires just in time to fly some of the last sorties of the war. After the war No.28 Squadron remained in the Far East until disbanded in 1967.

June 1936-January 1942: Hawker Audax
September 1941-December 1942: Westland Lysander II
December 1942-December 1944: Hawker Hurricane IIB
March 1944-October 1945: Hawker Hurricane IIC
July 1945-December 1945: Supermarine Spitfire XI

27 February 1939-28 January 1942: Kohat (Pakistan)
28 January-8 February 1942: Lashio (Burma)
8 February-16 March 1942: Magwe
March 1942: Asansol (Bengal)
March-3 April 1942: Lahore (Pakistan)
3-17 April 1942: Ranchi (Jharkhand, eastern India)
17 April-31 August 1942: Kohat
31 August 1942-29 October 1943: Ranchi
7 January-29 October 1943: Detachments to Burma
29 October 1943-17 June 1944: Imphal
17 June-2 August 1944: Dalbumgarh
2 August-2 October 1944: Ranchi
2 October-9 December 1944: Dalbumgarh
9 December 1944-11 January 1945: Tamu
11-29 January 1945: Kaleymo
29 January-11 February 1945: Ye-U
11 February-8 April 1945: Sadaung
8 April-22 May 1945: Meiktila
22 May-7 October 1945: Mingaladon

Squadron Codes: US (Audax), BF (Lysander)

1920-December 1941: Internal security, North West Frontier
December 1941-March 1942: Army Co-operation, Burma
March 1942-December 1942: Army exercises
January 1943-end of war: Tactical Reconnaissance, Burma


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The World’s War in Europe

Forces from across the British Commonwealth of Nations - then the British Empire and Dominions were involved in the European conflict of the Second World War, as well as serving on the Home Front working in munitions factories and as forestry workers. In addition these countries also supplied raw materials and goods to Britain, helping in the manufacture of vehicles for the war effort.

The British Empire fell into two distinct parts: the self-governing Dominions - Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, and those colonies that were wholly or partly governed from London, including the Indian subcontinent, which had its own ‘Viceroy’ or ruler, as well as the West Indies.

Britain announced last month that the Royal Air Force (RAF) will stand up No. 12 Squadron again so that Qatari air and ground crews can be trained to operate the Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role aircraft.

Previously based at RAF Marham, the unit will relocate to RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

According to a press release appeared on, U.K. Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said: “Qatar proudly becomes the ninth nation to buy the world’s leading multi-role combat aircraft. The formation of a joint squadron means our RAF will take the lead in providing training and support to the Qatari Emiri Air Force as it brings the Typhoon into service.”

The Qataris will not be a permanent part of the squadron, but will be integrated ahead of the delivery of the Typhoon aircraft. The move will provide the country with valuable joint frontline experience on an RAF Typhoon Squadron and speed up their preparation for when their own jets are delivered.

No. 12 Squadron is currently operating Tornados, and will transition to the future Typhoon force.

Qatar’s LOI for Eurofighters came three months after the Gulf state signed a deal with the U.S. for the procurement of 36 Boeing F-15QA (Qatar Advanced)-variant Eagles, which came two years after it ordered 24 Dassault Rafales from France. The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) has a requirement for 72 new combat aircraft to replace its aging fleet of 12 Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighters. If the Typhoon and Eagle orders are fulfilled in full, the QEAF will field a fighter force of 84 platforms across three different types.

For some years, Qatar has been building up its combat aviation capabilities with the procurement of the latest platforms and technologies. The increase in the QEAF’s frontline fighter force from the current 12 aircraft to upwards of 84, in particular, will represent a massive enhancement in its capacity and capability.

The biggest export deal for the Typhoon project in a decade, valued at around £6 billion and sustaining thousands of UK jobs, Qatar is the ninth country to purchase the Typhoon. This year also saw the first delivered to Oman, whilst the MOD is leading the offer to replace Belgium’s F-16s with the jets and continues to discuss the prospect of a second batch of sales to Saudi Arabia.

Watch the video: Captain Witold Alexander Herbst. 308,303 Squadron RAF. 1940-1945 (January 2022).