The Tangmere Typhoon Wing, 197 Sqn RAF & 486 (NZ) Sqn RAF, Oct/Nov 1943. On wings, l. to r: *F/S Frankie Vance, *F/O Jack Turton,*F/S Roy Allan, *F/S Ted Jolleys, *F/S Jimmy Kyle (on wheel), *F/S Peter Shelton, *F/S Bruce Gilbert, *F/S ‘Nobby’ Clark, *F/S James Mackenzie Reid RCAF (?), ‘Mack’ (on engine), Kiwi, Brian Thompson, N/K, N/K, ?/? Wayne, N/K. Standing l. to r: *P/O Earl Lavery, *F/S ‘Dickie’ Richards, *F/S ‘Taffy’ Miles, *F/S Jack Watson, *F/L Rex Mulliner, *F/L Wally Ahrens RCAF, *P/O Martin Soors, *P/O ‘Paddy’ O’Callaghan, F/L H Neville-Thomas (SIO), S/L Ian Waddy (CO 486 (NZ) Sqn) (?), Gp/Cpt ‘Paddy’ Gresham (?), W/C Desmond Scott CO Tangmere Typhoon Wing, *S/L ‘Jacko’ Holmes (CO 197 Sqn), N/K, N/K, F/L ‘Spud’ Murphy, F/L Allan Smith, N/K, N/K, N/K. Kim the dog. Photo courtesy Roy Allan (* 197 Sqn RAF)

197 Squadron was formed on November 27, 1942. Declared operational on January 31, 1943, the squadron mainly flew fighter and dive-bombing operations until the end of 1943. 197 Squadron, along with 486 (NZ) Squadron, formed the ‘Tangmere Typhoon Wing’, part of Fighter Command’s 11 Group.  In April 1944, in preparation for the invasion of France, 197 Squadron joined 146 Wing (along with 193, 257, 266 and later 263 Squadrons), under the command of 84 Group, 2nd Tactical Air Force. In the lead-up to D-Day and throughout the N.W. Europe campaign thereafter, the Squadron conducted ground attack dive and low-level bombing operations, primarily in support of the First Canadian Army.

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 initially operated from the UK 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 May 8, 1945.

The Squadron’s motto was: Findimus Cealum (“We Cleave the Sky”) and its badge was a sabre held in a lion’s paw, a reference to the Napier Sabre engine of the Typhoon.

197 Squadron RAF was disbanded in August 1945.