105 Squadron

Fortis in proeliis ('Valiant in battles')
Squadron Code(s):
Dates Mosquitos on Squadron Strength:
15th November 1941 to 1st February 1946
Mosquito Variant(s) Flown:
B.IV (November 1941 to May 1944)
B.IX (July 1943 to February 1946)
B.XVI (March 1944 to February 1946)
Main Base(s):
Swanton Morley (October 1940)
H orsham St.Faiths (December 1941)
Marham (September 1942)
Bourn (March 1944)
Upwood (June 1945)
Commanding Officer(s):

W/C P.H.A. Simmons DFC (1st October 1941)
W/C H.I. Edwards VC, DFC (1st August 1942)
W/C G.P. Longfield (KIA) (10th February to 26th February 1943)
W/C J.de L. Wooldridge DFC, DFM (17th March 1943)
G/C H.J. Cundall DFC, AFC (25th June 1943)
G/C K.J. Somerville DSO, DFC, AFC (25th September 1944)
W/C T.W. Horton DSO, DFC (1st June 1945)
W/C C.N. Collard DSO, DFC (15th October 1945)
S/L G.O. Lister (6th November 1945)
W/C D.G. Stokes (31st December 1945 to February 1946)

Aircraft Examples:
B.IV Series I: W4064 (1st a/c on squadron charge 15/11/1941) to W4072,W4075.
B.IV Series II: DK288,DK291 to DK303, DK313, DK316, DK317, DK322, DK326, DK330, DK336 to DK339, DZ311 to DZ315.
B.IX: LR475 to LR477, LR503 (LR503 completed 213 sorties with109 & 105 Squadrons), LR510 to LR513, ML896 to ML898,ML913 to ML917,ML919 to ML924.
B.XVI: ML934, ML967, MM112, MM119 to MM121, MM224 to MM226.
Over 150 different Mosquitos were flown by 105 Squadron.
S/L A.H.Oakenshott carried out 1st operational sortie, 31/05/41, for 105 Sqd. in W4072.
In 1st year of operations: 524 sorties for the loss of 35 a/c.
105 Sqd. was the 1st fully operational squadron in the RAF(not included odd a/c or units eg photo recon flights)
Many bombing raids (in this early period), were carried out in daylight at low level. 105 Sqd. developed a bombing technique which enabled all the attacking a/c to attack the target before the leading a/c's bombs went off. This technique consisted of two flights, the first at low level (50-100ft), and the second flight attacking in a shallow dive, starting from about 1500ft. The bombs used had an eleven second time delay, before exploding. So timing was of the essence! The idea was to get both flights across the target quickly, before the defences could react. Thus the speed of the attack made it safer for the second flight.
01/06/43: 105 Sqd became part of No.8 Group Path Finders Force, under Don Bennett. After joining 8 PFF 105 Sqd went from low level daylight raiding to high altitude (28,000ft) marking and bombing.
105 & 109 Sqds. the only 2 Mosquito/Oboe PathFinder Sqds. which specifically marked targets for Bomber Command.
During this period with 8 PFF 105 Sqd. flew 4947 sorties for the loss of 10 a/c. After 109 Sqd. this was the highest number of sorties within 8 PFF.
Many Mosquitos flew over 100 sorties, but LR503, Fbar-Freddie flew a record 213 sorties.
01/02/46; 105 Sqd. is disbanded at Upwood.
Examples of Types of Operations:

31/05/42; S/L Oakenshott takes off in Mosquito W4072 (GB-D), to carry out 1st Mosquito attack for 105 Sqd. This was a nuisance raid on Cologne, which had just had it's 1st 1000 bomber raid.
06/12/42; W/C H.I.Edwards VC, DSO,DFC leads eight 105 and two 139 Sqd. Mosquitos on Operation Oyster. This was a daring low level raid on the Philips radion factory at Eindhoven. The raid was led by the Bostons and Ventureas of 21, 464 and 487 Sqds. This was a very successful operation. Mosquitoes taking part: DZ365 GB-V, DZ372 GB-C, DZ374 GB-X, DZ370 GB-Z, DK296 GB-G, DK336 GB-P, DK338 GB-O, DK367 GB-J.
30/01/43; S/L R.Reynolds leads three Mosquitos to Berlin. This raid was to disrupt Nazi Party celebration. Reichsmarschall Goering was to address a rally at 11.00am. The Mosquitos of Reynolds/Sismore (DZ413 GB-K), Gordon/Hayes (DZ372 GB-C) & Wickham/Makin (DZ408 GB-F).The Mosquitos attacked right on time. This held up Goerings speech for over an hour.
09&10/07/42; This was 105 Sqds. first Oboe operation (with 109 Sqd.). It was led by S/L Bill Blessing/F/O G.Muirhead (DK333 GB-F) with F/O W.Humphrey/F/Sgt.E.Moore (DZ485 GB-W). Gelsenkirchen was successfully marked for the main bomber force.
06/06/44; Early hours of D-Day, 50 Oboe Mosquitoes (25 Mosquitos from both 105 & 109 Sqds.) marked the coastal guns along the Pas-de-Calais, for the main force of over 1000 bombers.
02&03/05/45; This was the last wartime operation for 105 Sqd. This was a large scale attack by 8 & 100 group Mosquitos, on Kiel area, attacking mainly enemy airfields.
April & May 1945; Operation Manna. This was a humanitarian operation, in which allied A/c. dropped food supplies, for beleaguered Dutch people. Marking was carried out by 105 & 109 Sqds. 105 Sqd flew 80 sorties during 'Operation Manna'.
105 Squadron flew over 5000 sorties, in Mosquitos. It's very difficult to pick out just a few, to highlight it's activities during WWII, however, the books listed below give an excellent insight to one of the premier squadrons of Bomber Command, during this period.

Analysis of Sorties Flown by 105 Sqd. in 8 Group PFF:
Further Reading:
Mosquito by Martin Sharp & Michael Bowyer
Mosquito Thunder by Stuart R.Scott
Mosquito Squadrons of the RAF by Chaz Bowyer
Squadron Profiles No.130: Mosquito Squadrons of the Pathfinder Force by Chris Ward
Low Attack by W/C John d.L.Wooldridge


Squadron profile provided by Neil Hutchinson. Comments or additions? Please contact me.