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No 152 Squadron RAF

No 152 Squadron was formed on 1 October 1918 at Rochford as a Camel night fighter unit and in mid-October moved to France to defend Allied Bases against enemy night bombers. The war ended three weeks later and 30 June 1919, the squadron disbanded.

On 1 October 1939, No 152 reformed at Arklington with Gladiators and became operational on 6 November. In January 1940, conversion to Spitfires began and after a period of defensive patrols in the north-east, the squadron moved to Warmwell to help defend southern England against attacks from the Luftwaffe forces now based in northern France. Throughout the Battle of Britain, No 152 defended this sector which included Portland naval base.

During 1942 the Squadron sailed for North Africa as part of the invasion fleet for Operation 'Torch' while the squadron's Spitfires were taken to Gibraltar. On 14 November, the latter took off for Algeria to cover the Allied landings and subsequently defend newly-acquired bases from attacks by enemy aircraft. In June 1943, the Squadron moved to Malta for sweeps over Sicily and to cover the Allied landings there in July. Soon afterwards it moved to captured strips in Sicily and in September arrived in Italy.

The squadron moved to Burma on 19 December 1943. During the Battle of Imphal, No.152 operated from front-line strips supporting the 14th Army during its final conquest of Burma. In September 1945, the squadron moved to Singapore after the Japanese surrender and was disbanded on 10 March 1946.

On 8 May 1946, No.136 Squadron was renumbered 152 while in transit to Bombay, and began flying Spitfires in June pending the arrival of its Tempests. By Early August it had received these but spares problems lead to it being disbanded on 15 January 1947.

A pilot of No. 152 Squadron RAF climbs into the cockpit of Supermarine Spitfire Mark VC, JG871 L-E shortly after the unit re-equipped with the type, at Souk-el-Khemis ("Paddington"), Tunisia.

'Into the Clouds' 152 Squadron RAF

Malta. C. 1943-07. Australian Spitfire pilots, who have just returned from a sweep, relating their experiences to a public relations officer, while the official photographer of the RAAF takes their photograph for the newspapers at home. Left to right: 34119 Sergeant (Sgt) L. LeGuay of Sydney, NSW, official photographer; 405878 Sgt R. Quine of Brisbane, Qld; 409218 Sgt R. O. Patterson of Melbourne, Vic; 283165 Flying Officer W. K. Robertson of Adelaide, SA, public relations officer.

The Malta Memorial

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