197 Squadron was formed on the 27th November 1942. Declared operational on 31st January 1943, it flew mainly low-level fighter operations in the lead up to D-Day and throughout the N.W. Europe campaign it executed ground attack dive bombing and low level bombing operations mainly in support of the Canadian Army. The squadron flew under Fighter Command up until April 1944 and then became part of 146 Wing (with 193, 257, 266 and later 263 squadrons) 84 group 2nd Tactical Air Force.
The Squadron flew Hawker Typhoon 1B aircraft armed with four 20mm cannons and two 500lb bombs - later two 1,000lb bombs - carried under the wings. It operated from the U.K. to targets in North-West Europe and then from Normandy, Belgium, Holland and Germany after D-Day until the end of the war in Europe on the 8th May 1945.
The Squadron's motto was: Findimus Cealum - 'You will find us in the skies' and its badge a sabre held in a lion's paw (a reference to the Napier Sabre engine of the Typhoon).
197 Squadron was disbanded in August 1945.
This site is the beginning of an historical documentation of the brief, yet intense 3 years of 197 Squadron's existence. The pilots, the planes, the commanding officers, the ground crew: From the military significance to the individual experience. Contributions, whether anecdotes or corrections, further documentation or those seeking to contact others involved with the Squadron are all most welcome.