No. 206 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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Lockheed Hudson I of No.206 Squadron
Lockheed Hudson I
of No.206 Squadron

No.206 Squadron was a Coastal Command squadron that began and ended the Second World War as an anti-submarine warfare squadron, as well as serving in the anti-shipping role between 1940 and 1941. 

The squadron was reformed on 15 June 1936 around 'C' Flight, No.48 Squadron, and was equipped with the Avro Anson. Anti-submarine patrols began at the start of the war, before the squadron began to convert to the Lockheed Hudson in March 1940. These aircraft were used for reconnaissance and for anti-shipping patrols off the German coast and the Friesian Islands, and the squadron had some success carrying out low level attacks on enemy shipping, at least until their anti-aircraft defences were improved.

In May 1941 the squadron moved to Cornwall, where it continued to fly a mix of anti-submarine and anti-shipping missions. In August 1941 it moved to Northern Ireland, and in June 1942 to Scotland. Its first victory over a U-boat came during this period, and saw the squadron sink U-627 on 27 October.
 
In August the squadron began to convert to the Fortress, and in October it moved to the Azores. The squadron remained on the Azores until March 1944, and during this period achieved five of its seven confirmed U-boat sinkings, all of which came in the North Atlantic and the waters around Iceland and the Faroe Islands, a long way to the north of its new base.

In March 1944 the squadron returned to the UK and converted to the Liberator. Three months of patrols off Scotland were followed by a move to Scotland, where the squadron remained for the rest of the war. Its last U-boat victim was U-319, sunk in the Norwegian Sea on 15 July 1944.

At the end of the war the squadron moved to Transport Command, and was used for trooping flights until it was disbanded on 25 April 1946.

U-169

27 March 1943

S of Iceland

U-319

15 July 1944

Norwegian Sea

U-337

16 January 1943

North Atlantic

U-417

11 June 1943

NW of Faroe Islands

U-469

25 March 1943

W of Faroe Islands

U-627

27 October 1942

SW of Iceland

U-710

24 April 1943

SE of Iceland

Some sources allocate the sinking of U-265 on 3 February 1943 to No.206 Squadron, others to No.220.

Aircraft
June 1936-June 1940: Avro Anson I
March 1940-August 1942: Lockheed Hudson I, II, III, IV and V
August 1942-April 1944: Boeing Fortress II and IIA
April 1944-April 1945: Consolidated Liberator VI
April 1945-April 1946: Consolidated Liberator VIII

Location
July 1936-May 1941: Bircham Newton
May-August 1941: St. Eval
August 1941-June 1942: Aldergrove
June 1942-October 1943: Benbecula
October 1943-March 1944: Lagens
March-April 1944: Davidstow Moor
April-July 1944: St. Eval
July 1944-August 1945: Leuchars
August 1945-April 1946: Oakington

Squadron Codes: VX (Anson, Hudson), PQ (Liberator)

Duty
1939-1941: Anti-shipping squadron
1941-1945: Anti-submarine warfare

Part of
September 1939: No.16 G.R. Group; Coastal Command

Books

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 February 2011), No. 206 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/206_wwII.html

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