No. 117 Squadron

The War Illustrated, Volume 10, No. 243, Page 410, October 11, 1946.

Motto: "It Shall be Done"

Nothing is known of the squadron's early activities in the war, but in June 1943 they were at Castel Benito in Tripolitania operating with Dakota transport aircraft throughout North Africa. In July 1943, during the Sicilian campaign, they flew supplies into that island, evacuating casualties on return trips, and did valuable work during the fierce battles for Catania, flying in supplies and evacuating some 2,749 casualties.

On October 25 the entire squadron moved to Cairo, where they received a glowing tribute from Air Chief Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas, A.O.C.-in-C. Middle East. The squadron settled in at Dhamial (Punjab) on November 1, and from that date until February 1944 were engaged in intensive training paratroop and supply dropping in conjunction with General Wingate's Special Force.

On February 16 the move to Lalmai (Bengal) was commenced and the first supply dropping operations were carried out on the 24th. A few aircraft flew each day to Lalaghat to be fitted with mule stalls and to practise glider tugs in preparation for Wingate's airborne invasion of North Burma, and on March 4 aircraft were detached to Tulihal (Imphal) Valley. On October 31, 1944, No. 117 moved to Risalpur in the N.W. Frontier Province for rest, later to Bikram for training in glider towing, and in December to Hathazari near Chittagong. In January 1945 the Arakan offensive was as far as air supply was concerned sustained by 117 Squadron alone.

It moved to Kyaukpyu (Ramree Island) in May, back to Chittagong in August, and to Hmawbi in Southern Burma in September to prepare for the occupation by airborne forces of Bangkok and Saigon and the evacuation of Allied prisoners.