No. 250 Squadron

The War Illustrated, Volume 10, No. 254, Page 766, March 28, 1947.

Motto: "Close to the Sun"

Formed at Aqir, Palestine, on April 1, 1941, and equipped with Tomahawks American fighter aircraft the first action of No. 250 Squadron was recorded on May 13, 1941, when it was stationed at Amriya, 25 miles from Alexandria, an Italian flying-boat being engaged over the port. Later, from desert aerodromes, the Squadron hunted Stukas until 1942, when it moved back to Port Said to re-equip with Kittyhawks.

Returning to the desert on April 12, it carried out many escort missions with bomber aircraft. Before the Battle of Alamein the Squadron was doing a certain amount of bombing on its own account; and after November 1942 it was chiefly employed in a fighter-bomber role. From North Africa it went to Malta for the invasion of Sicily, assisting in the rapid conquest of the island by bombing and strafing.

It moved to Italy on Sept 16, after supporting the landings, and moved up the Adriatic coast through Bari and on to Foggia. Close-support bombing in the battles for the crossings of the Trigno and Sangro rivers followed. German forces in Yugoslavia were also bombed, the R.A.F. giving a good deal of support to Marshal Tito's partisans. It made sorties over Cassino and Anzio, and in June 1944 attacked the Italian royal yacht in Ancona Harbour, where the Germans were making it a blockship.

The Squadron supported the 8th Army's successful attacks on the Hitler and Gothic Lines, a large bridge over the Savio River being destroyed during the latter action. In February 1945 it attacked targets in the Southern Alps and shipping at Venice, and in the following April it shot-up the retreating Germans in the Po Valley as the war was ending.