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No. 59 Squadron R.A.F.

Description of the Squadron's BadgeA broken wheel
Squadron's Motto:Ab uno disce omnes (From one learn all)
Formation date:
Brief History: Disbanded 4/8/1919, Reformed 28/6/1937 Transferred to Coastal Command and recon role 7/1940 Transport after VE Day, Disbanded 15th June 1946 and reformed 1st December 1947, Disbanded 31/10/1950. Reformed 20th August 1956 Disbanded 4/1/1961 when renumbered No.3
Squadron Bases & Airfields Equipment Used and Dates
Hector 6/1937-9/1939
Blenheim IV 5/1939-9/1941
Hudson IIIA/V/VI 8/1941-9/1942
Liberator V 4/1943-3/1945
Liberator VIII 3/1945-6/1946
Liberator VI 6/1945-6/1946

No. 59 Squadron was formed on 1 August 1916 and moved to France on 13 February 1917 with R.E.8s. For the remainder of the war No. 59 engaged in artillery spotting and reconnaissance work and was disbanded on 4 August 1919. The Squadron was reformed at Old Sarum on 28 June 1937 equipped with Hectors, initially specialising in night reconnaissance before being re-equipped with Blenheims in May 1939. The Squadron was moved to France in October and undertook reconnaissance missions before being forced out of their airfields by the advancing Germans. Withdrawn to southern England it continued to operate over France from British bases. In July 1940 the Squadron started bombing raids on the Channel ports and anti-submarine patrols and continued night attacks during the winter. Anti-shipping strikes began in July 1941 the Squadron converted to Hudsons. The Squadron became non-operational for a while but in March 1942 it resumed anti-shipping patrols off the Dutch coast. In August No. 59 converted to Liberators and continued with anti-submarine patrols. Then in December the Liberators were replaced with Fortresses although by March 1943 the Squadron was flying Liberators again. In May the Squadron moved to Northern Ireland and flew patrols over the Atlantic for the rest of the war. After the war No. 59 was transferred to transport Command and started trooping flights to India until the Squadron was disbanded on 15 June 1946. On 1 December 1947 No. 59 was reformed with Yorks and took part in the Berlin Airlift before being disbanded again on the 31 October 1950. On 20 August 1956 No. 102 Squadron flying Canberras at Gutersloh was renumbered No. 59 until4 January 1961 when it was renumbered No. 3 Squadron.

Aircraft PhotosPersonnel PhotosTarget PhotosOther Photos


Posted: 6 years 7 months ago by Gary #4629
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Anything is always of interest, there's no such thing as too much information here.
Posted: 6 years 7 months ago by JW #4628
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My Dad moved from 120 Sqn to 59 Sqn at the end of the war. He was again the Adjutant, but also flew as a W/Op on the trooping flights to India. I have scanned copies of his log book entries if are of interest.
Posted: 7 years 4 days ago by David.N #4590
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I have just received a copy of 'Combat Codes' by Vic Flintham and Andrew Thomas. Not many Liberators are shown

but I did find these photos which I thought you might like to see.
The caption reads:
At the end of the war many squadrons switched to transport duties using converted bombers or maritime aircraft. One such was 59 Squadron which flew Liberator C.VIs like KL687 / AE-R from which all camouflage paint has been stripped. (Via M J F Bower)

Posted: 8 years 2 months ago by Gary #4143
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Hi Geoffrey
Welcome to the site.
Posted: 8 years 2 months ago by SantaChuff #4142
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Nat Beames was my father. I'm Geoffrey David Beames.
Posted: 8 years 5 months ago by Greay Uncle Nat #4055
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Hi my Mothers Uncle served with 59,according to his Observers and air gunners logbook,which I now have.
He was an Engineer and gunner. His service number.Nathaniel William Beames, 568520. he was awarded the DFM for an action on 24.05.44
which we don't know too much about.The pilot was Sqd/ldr Sisson.