No. 14 SQUADRON
Badge. A winged plate charged with a cross throughout and shoulder pieces of a suit of armour.
Motto. I spread my wings and keep my promise (Arabic script.)
No. 14 Squadron was formed at Shoreham on 3 February 1915 and after a period of training left for the Middle East in November. From its bases in Egypt, it provided detachments of B.E.s for co-operation with the Army there, in Palestine, the Western Desert, and Arabia for the rest of the war. During the advance into Palestine, the squadron was engaged in bombing and corps
reconnaissance duties, having acquired a number of single-seat fighters in May 1917 for protective purposes. When No. 111 Squadron was formed in August 1917, it took over the fighter tasks and No. 14 concentrated on army co-operation duties for the rest of the campaign. In October 1918 the squadron left for Greece, and later, for the U.K. where it disbanded on 4 February 1919.
On 1 February 1920, No. 111 Squadron was renumbered 14 Squadron at Ramleh and was engaged in patrol duties in Palestine and Transjordan for the next 20 years. For most of this time , the squadron was divided between Ramleh and Amman, flying Bristol Fighters, D.H.9As, Fairey 11 iFs, Gordons and Wellesleys, the last-named arriving in March 1938.
On the outbreak of World War Two, No. 14 moved to Egypt but returned after a few months to Amman. The imminent entry of Italy into the war sent the squadron South to the Sudan where bombing raids began on Italian bases in Eritrea on ll~ June. In September 1940, a flight of Gladiators was attached and conversion to Blenheims began. In April 1941 these were taken to Egypt for bombing operations over the Western desert for three months, followed by a period in Palestine and Iraq. The squadron returned to the desert in November 1941 for day and night raids, and in August 1942 began converting to Marauders, Blenheims flying their last operations on 2 August. Bombing, mine laying, and shipping reconnaissance missions began on 28 October, and in March 1943 No. 14 moved to Algeria for anti-submarine patrols.
Detachments operated from Italy and Sardinia, a move to the island being made in June. During September 1944, parties began leaving for the U.K. No. 14's last Marauder mission being flown on 21 September.
The squadron began to re-assemble at Chivenor on 24 October 1944 and during December began to receive Wellingtons for anti-submarine patrols. The first of these was flown on 2 February 1945 and they continued until the end of the war. No. 14 was disbanded on 1 June 1945.
On the same day, No. 143 Squadron at Banff was re-numbered 14Squadron and flew Mosquitoes until disbanded on 31 March 1946.
On 1 April 1946, No. 128 Squadron at Wahn was renumbered 14 Squadron. Mosquitoes were flown with the occupation forces in Germany until replaced by Vampires in February 1951.
The Squadron converted toVenoms in May 1953 and became a day fighter unit in May 1955 when Hunters were received. On 17 December 1962 No.14 was disbanded.
Simultaneously, No. 88 Squadron at Wildenrath was renumbered 14 Squadron and flew Canberras until disbanded on 30th June 1970.
A new No. 14 Squadron at Bruggen took over on the same day, and operated Phantom fighter-reconnaissance and ground attack aircraft in Germany Conversion to Jaguars began when the squadron was reformed at Bruggen on 9 April 1975, re-equipment being completed in November. Conversion to Tornadoes took place in 1985.
Compared to 39's experience with the Marauder, 14 Squadron, operating in a totally different role, and over a much longer period, suffered severely, as the table below shows;
FK 367 16.12.42
FK 366 20.11.42
FK 375 3.1.43
FK 150 15.2.43
FK 139 21.2.43
FK 377 21.2.43
FK 378 12.4.43
FK 371 25.4.43
FK 155 9.5.43
FK 112 3.6.43
FK 363 27.6.43
FK 147 24.7.43
FK 373 24.8.43
FK 133 28.12.43
FK 142 1.2.44
FK 159 19.4.44
FK 110 9.5.444
FK 120 7.5.44 4
Shot down by" friendly"
FK 122 23.11.42
FK 143 15.2.43
FK 376 10.5.43
FK 134 5.6.43
FK 152 10.7.43
FK 127 19.10.43
FK 126 3.2.44
FK 362 11.2.44
FK 111 21.4.44
FK 124 13.8.44
FK 138 21.9.44
FI(138 actually crash landed in Turkey, and was interned, so was really a combat loss.
Between the 23rd of November 1942 and the 21st of September 1944, a period of some twenty-two months, a total of thirty aircraft were lost, eighteen in combat, and twelve in accidents. That's an average of 1.77 Marauders per month, and a whole lot of aircrews
All of these losses were directly attributable to the continued low-level role that the Squadron flew. Operationally, single aircraft missions at low level, led them to be extremely vulnerable as they carried out reconnaissance of ports and harbours around the Mediterranean. On the non-perational side, some aircraft were lost due to structural failure, following the continued high stress levels induced by the low level role.
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