Squadron Book

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    Si vis pacem, para bellum

    'If you want peace, prepare for war'

      .A.F

    SEAX 604 Squadron

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    SEAX 604 Squadron

    Born in the aftermath of the First World War and taking its title from the County of Middlesex

    where it was raised and where many of its members were recruited, No.6! "#uadron of the $uxiliary $ir Force was formed at %endon on the &'th March &()

    as a light*bomber unit. +n its twenty*seen years of serice the "#uadron sered as a day and night*fighter unit within Fighter Command, flying such ty-es as the %awker  emon, Bristol Blenheim, Bristol Beaufighter, the su-erlatie de %ailland Mos#uito,

    the "u-ermarine "-itfire and the de %ailland /am-ire and 0loster Meteor 1et* fighters. 2he "#uadron was one of the first to be trained for night*fighting and one of 

    only six who -ioneered the introduction airborne radar -rior to the Winter Blit3 of 

    &(!4!&, during which it established its re-utation as one of the 5$Fs -rinci-alnight*fighter s#uadrons. By the wars end in May &(!7, the "#uadrons score stood at &)8 enemy aircraft confirmed as 9destroyed, mostly by night, and had made a number of its -ilots and radar o-erators, such as 9Cats*eyes Cunningham and

    9:immy 5awnsley, household names. 2hree of its former officers reached $ir 5ank and many receied awards and decorations for their work with the "#uadron. 6!

    was reformed after the war as a day*fighter unit, before moing its head#uarters from %endon to North Weald, ;ssex, in &(!(, where it remained until disbanded in &(7'.

    2he "#uadron was mobilised in the defence of the the Munich Crisis of &()?, the "econd World War in &()( and the =orean War in &(7&

    and was awarded the ;sher 2ro-hy for $uxiliary efficiency on three occasions.

    2he ictims of 6!s#dn were often the aircraft of =0& the @uftwaffeAs -remier  -athfinder s#uadron and, by the end of &(!&, the s#uadron had flown for 7,? hrs,

    with 76 enemy aircraft destroyed, ! damaged, and had gained 8 ."..As, & .F.C.As and a bar, ? .F.M.As and & bar, ) B.;.M.As, to the ground crews, and a

    M.;.B. to "4@ Brown for his -art in "o-ley 0C+.

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    SQUADRON HISTORY AND AIRCRAFTS

    604 Squadron came into being at Hendon on the 17th of March 1930 with F/L F! Fogart" a#

    ad$utant and f%"ing in#tructor&with a 'arrant (fficer and 19 airmen the" formed the nuc%eu#

    on which the new #quadron of )art timer# wou%d be bui%t

     

    De Havilland DH9

    AVRO 504

    *he fir#t aircraft on #trengh were a +e Ha,i%and +H9 e- 600 .it" of London #qdn& an

    ,ro204 from 602 .ount" of 'arwic #qdn and another +H9 from601 .ount" of

    London (n the 11th of Se)tember the #qdn recie,ed it# fir#t o)erationa% aircraft& the#e were

    'e#t%and 'a)iti# and in Ma"& 9 of the#e aircraft too )art in the great Hendon ir 5ageant&

    one of the countr"# %arge#t )rewar a,iation e,ent#

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    Westland Wapiti

    604 were affi%iated with 3.f #qdn fo%%owed b" annua% cam) at *angmere where the"

     became a b%ueband bombing #quadron 8n 193 the #quadron wa# ,i#ited b" ir Mar#ha%%

    HH&*he 5rince of 'a%e#& the occa#ion wa# to )re#ent the #quadron with the co,eted :#her

    *ro)h" for being the be#t a%% round #quadron in the o"a% u-i%iar" ir Force Headquarter#were o)ened in 1934 at Heath ;row& Ham)#tead b"

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    8n 1939 cam) wa# he%d at Hawinge& and on the 4th of ugu#t the #qdn wa# embodied into

    the F a# a bone fide fighter #quadron and e,er" #ing%e officer and airman wa# )re#ent for 

    thi# #)ecia% occa#ion= (n the 1#t of Se)tember 1940 the Sqdn f%ew into Aorth 'ea%d

    equi))ed now with ;ri#to% ;%enheim two #eat fighter#

     

    Bristol Blenheim

    fter a )eriod of night f%"ing dutie#& #uch a# checing factorie# for b%acout effecti,ene## and

     gun affi%iation e-erci#e#& 604 became officia%%" a night fighter #qdn F/( unningham

    wa# crewed with hi# /> B!imm"B awn#%e" b" thi# time and in +ecember of 1939 had

    recie,ed their fir#t BradarB equi))ed ;ri#to% ;%enheim 54@47 *he #qdn mo,ed to Mart%e#ham

    Heath for e-ten#i,e training and to )ro,ide co,er for the merchant #hi)# u#ing the :a#t oa#t

     )ort#  mo,e to en%e"& Surre"& fo%%owed %ater that "ear to co,er the ;:F?# %ea,e #hi)# from

    France and on the 10th of Ma" the" e#corted ;%enheim ;omber# to the beache# off the Hague

    where the" attaced !C2 troo) tran#)ort# de#tro"ing 4 and damaging 4 other#& one of 604?#

    aircraft cra#hing in Ho%%and& but the crew e#ca)ed with aid from the dutch ci,i%ian# nearb"*hi# wa# the fir#t b%ood to the #qdn= *he fir#t night ,ictor" fe%% to the gun# of F/( Hunter& thi#

    wa# a !C@@& and in Se)tember to the great de%ight of a%%& the #qdn recie,ed it# fir#t ;ri#to%

    ;eaufighter 8 .radar aircraft& the airgunner# were di##a)ointed with the %ac of a gun turret

     but mo#t were ha))" to remu#ter a# radar o)erator#& b" thi# time !ohn unningham wa# a

    F/L and with a tem)orar" /( he de#tro"ed a !C@@ and in order to concea% from the german#

    the e-i#tence of a functiona% radar #"#tem the ru#e wa# )ut about that F/L unningham

     )o#e##ed e-ce)tiona% night ,i#ion& hence the nicname of Bcat# :"e#B a name he did not

    en$o"= *hi# man& with B!imm"B awn#%e"& went on to become one of &if not the mo#t&

    #ucce#fu% night fighter team# of the Second 'or%d 'ar

     

    Bristol Beaufihter

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    *he ,ictim# of 604#qdn were often the aircraft of >100 the Luftwaffe?# )remier )athfinder

    #quadron and& b" the end of 1941& the #quadron had f%own for 2&@00 hr#& with 26 enem"

    aircraft de#tro"ed& 40 damaged& and had gained  +S(?#& 10 +F?# and a bar& @ +FM?#

    and 1 bar& 3 ;:M?#& to the ground crew#& and a M:; to S/L ;rown for hi# )art in So)%e"

    >8

    C) to thi# date the #quadron had %o#t 4 aircraft& with @ crew member# dead& a #acrifice that

    #hou%d not be forgotten

    *he career of 604 #quadron continued throughout the Second 'or%d 'ar being ba#ed at

    :-eter from the 3rd of Ma" and quic%" #haring #ucce## with Ao 307 .5o%i#h #quadron& F%t/%t

    crew downing a +o17 o,er owe#& 8#%e of 'ight o,er Stud%and ;a" S/L #inner de#)atched

    an He111 on the 4th of Ma" another He111 wa# de#tro"ed b" a new crew to 604 5/( Fo#ter

    and Sgt Aewton

    !u%" #aw the de)arture of !ohn unningham for a re#t )eriod after 6 "ear# with the Squadron

    8t wou%d be im)o##ib%e to render an account of a%% 604?# ,ictorie# here the #ource of thi# information i# be#t read in the e-ce%%ent boo B*went" (ne Squadron# a om)%ete Hi#tor" of

    the u-i%iar" Squadron# of the o"a% ir forceB

    +etachment# of 604 o)erated from man" airfie%d# in :ng%and& from Leed# to & ornwa%% to

    :##e-& the #quadron wa# #ucce##fu% on #o man" occa#ion#& from downing the fir#t He 177

    four engine ;omber o,er Sunder%and to de#tro"ing an :;oat in the :ng%i#h hanne%& for

    in#tance on the 7th of !u%" S/L Ho" and '/(fficer a"& interce)ted Bweather 'i%%ieB a fa#t

    mo,ing !u@@ that radioed re)ort# for the C;oat?# and for Lord Haw Haw# broadca#t#& but the

    !u@@ wa# forced to radio that he wou%d not be returning to ba#e a# he hit the #ea= another

    Bweather 'i%%ieB wa# de#tro"ed on the nd of augu#t b" 'ing ommander Ma-we%%& 'ing

    commander Ma-we%% #cored the #quadron# 100th i%%& and 'ing ommander& +e#mond

    Hughe# came into the #quadron a# it# new /( He wa# a former ;ou%ton5au% +efiant )i%ot

    from the ;att%e of ;ritain& with a +F and two bar# for night fighting with 12

    .Aewfound%and #quadron& and 600 .it" (f London #quadron& hi# na,igator wa# F%t Lt

    Laurie +i-on +F and ;ar

     

    De Havilland !os"uito

    'ing ommander Ma-we%% %eft for a #taff $ob 604 became equi))ed with the Mo#quito

    MD11& and #oon after the #quadron wa# airborne o,er the 8n,a#ion ;eache# of Aormand"  )art of the #quadron wa# fir#t ba#ed