23 Squadron

Semper Aggressus ('Ever in the Attack')
Squadron Code(s):
Dates Mosquitos on Squadron Strength:
July 1942 to December 1951
Mosquito Variant(s) Flown:
NF.II (July 1942 to June 1943)
FB.VI (June 1943 to September 1945)
NF.36 (October 1946 to December 1951)
Main Base(s):
Ford (July 1942)
Manston (August 1942)
Bradwell Bay (September 1942)
Luqa, Malta (December 1942)
Pomiligiano (October 1943)
Alghero (December 1943)
Little Snoring (June 1944)
(Disbanded 25th September 1945)
Wittering (Reformed - 10th October 1946)
Coltishall (January 1947)
Church Fenton (November 1949)
Coltishall (September 1950)
Commanding Officer(s):

Wg Cdr B. R. O'B. Hoare DSO, DFC (March 1942)
Wg Cdr P. G. Wykeham-Barnes DSO, DFC (September 1942)
Wg Cdr J. B. Selby DSO, DFC (April 1943)
Wg Cdr P. R. Burton-Gyles DSO, DFC (December 1943)
Wg Cdr A. M. Murphy DSO, DFC (December 1943)
Wg Cdr S. P. Russell DFC (December 1944)
Sqn Ldr P. G. K. Williamson DFC (September 1946)
Sqn Ldr D. L. Norris-Smith (July 1947)
Sqn Ldr V. S. H. Duclos DFC (October 1949)
Sqn Ldr A. J. Jacomb-Hood DFC (December 1951)

Aircraft Examples:
DD670, 'S'; DD673, 'E'; DD687, 'E'; DD712, 'P'; DD795, 'J'; DD798, 'S'; DD800, 'V'; DZ229, 'C'; DZ230, 'A'; DZ235, 'W'; DZ238, 'H' and 'Z'; HJ674, 'B'; HJ716; HJ737, 'R'; HJ832, 'T'; HX804, 'P'; HX814, 'E'; HX896, 'D'; HX900, 'G'; HX944, 'Z'; LR254, 'X'; LR305, 'Y'; PZ172, 'C'; PZ176, 'B'; PZ187; PZ315, 'Y'; PZ437, 'O'; RS507, 'C'; RS548, 'V'; RK977, 'G'; RK988, 'A' and 'P'; RL141, 'B'; RL193, 'B'; RL243, 'E'; RL249, 'E'; RL257, 'B'; RL261, 'A'
23 Squadron crest
Examples of Types of Operations:

23 Squadron was the original Mosquito Intruder squadron, moving to Mosquitos after filling this role with Bostons. As noted on the Production page, a series of Mosquitos were produced especially for the squadron. These Mark II Specials enabled the squadron to undertake sorties into occupied Europe with NFII airframes devoid of AI (Airborne Interception) radar sets, which at the time were considered too valuable to risk falling into enemy hands.
The squadron later undertook the same role in the Mediterranean, first from Luqa on the island of Malta, and later from bases in Italy.
The squadron first went on Mosquito Intruder operations on 6 July 1942, and scored their first kill in the new aircraft the very next night, a Do 217. Two nights later, another two German bombers were shot down.
Early operations from Malta involved flying to the African coast, to harrass axis troop movements around Tripoli. During the German evacuation, the squadron's Mosquitos were able to block the road over a length of about 15 miles, and subsequently flew up and down the jam strafing targets revealed by burning transports.
On their return to the U.K., the pilots of 23 Squadron joined the Bomber Support operations of 100 Group, again using their Mosquitos to intrude over enemy airfields by night. In an unusual operation, they provided escort to Lancasters on a daylight raid to Bordeaux.

Further Reading:


Squadron profile provided by Mark Huxtable.
Comments or additions? Please contact me.