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  550 Squadron Royal Air Force
per ignem vincimus - through fire we conquer

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Heavy Conversion Units
1654 HCU
1656 HCU
1660 HCU
1661 HCU
1662 HCU
1665 HCU
1667 HCU
1668 HCU
21 HGCU

Advanced Flying Schools
201 AFS

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12 AFU
15 AFU

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1 FTS
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3 FTS
6 FTS
7 FTS
12 FTS
1 Lancaster Finishing School
Central Flying School

Operational Training/
Conversion Units
(Fighter)
6 OTU
53 OTU

56 OTU

(Bomber)
228 OCU
230 OCU

Air Armament Schools
1 AAS
2 AAS
Empire Central AS

Other schools
1 Gp Aircrew School
1 Ground Defence School
1 Air Observers School
Central Gunnery School
5 Gp Anti Air School

Other units
Bomber Command
Coastal Command
Fighter Command
HQ No 5 Group
HQ No 23 Group
1485 Gunnery Flight
2782 Defence Sqn
178 Support Unit
399 Signals Unit
Nationality based Sqns

Updated: 14 Feb 05

Formed: 25 Nov 1943

Disbanded: 31 Oct 1945

Squadron was based at:

RAF Grimsby :: 25 Nov 1943 - 3 Jan 1944

RAF North Killingholme :: 3 Jan 1944 - 31 Oct 1945

Squadron code: BQ

Aircraft operated:

Lancaster Mk I, Mk III :: Nov 1943 -

550 Sqn was formed from C Flt, 100 Sqn, on 25 Nov 1943. Shortly thereafter it moved to the nearly completed RAF North Killingholme and flew its first mission from there on 14 Jan 1944. From the initial single flight the Sqn grew to 3. The Sqn operated within the Main Force of Heavy Bombers under Bomber Command.

A 550 Sqn Lancaster (LL811 J-Jig (Bad Penny II)) was credited with opening the D-day attack when it dropped the first string of bombs at 23:34 on 5 Jun 1944. Combat operations continued until 25 Apr 1945 and until disbandment at the end of October the Sqn was committed to activities such as food drops to the Dutch and repatriating troops from Italy.

RAF North Killingholme and 550 Sqn are commemorated in a memorial stone in North Killingholme village close to the oil refineries. View this page "A Brief History of the RAF in Lincolnshire" and the other memorials page on this site.

A detailed squadron history has been compiled and may be found on the 550 Sqn website.

550 Sqn memorials

550 Sqn website including wartime history and in-depth history

550 Sqn association

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