The Air Force Chapel - The National Basilica Brussels

The Air Force Chapel - The Squadrons

Of the 141 RAF Squadrons on which Belgian personnel served, the latest 12 to be added to the Squadron shields represented in The Air Force Chapel on the 29th April 2014 dedication ceremony, are listed here.   The full list of 141 Squadrons will be added in due course.  A total of 35 squadrons are currently represented in the Chapel (those squadrons who had 5 or more Belgians serving).

24 Squadron. 
Originally formed in 1915, in the Second World War the Sqn provided air transport support throughout the conflict, route flying with the Dakota and York aircraft.  Immediately after the end of the War, the Squadron was tasked with returning many exiled members of Royalty, Heads of State and Government members back to their own countries.  

32 Squadron. 
Originally formed in 1916, the Sqn was operating the Hurricane at the start of the Second World War.  During the early days of the Battle of Britain, the Squadron suffered heavy losses and was withdrawn from the frontline until 1942 when it was deployed to the Near East and Mediterranean.  

91 Squadron.
Originally formed in 1917, reformed with Spitfires in 1941 to undertake shipping patrols, weather reconnaissance and air-sea rescue sweeps. In 1944 and 45 the Squadron conducted a wide variety of operations: armed reconnaissance sweeps over the approaches to the invasion area in Normandy, destruction of V1 flying-bombs, long-range escort missions for day bombers, armed reconnaissance missions over the Netherlands and searches for midget submarines off the coast of Holland and Belgium.  

123 Squadron. 
Originally formed in 1918, reformed as a Fighter Sqn in 1941 and became operational on defensive duties.  In 1942 the Sqn was deployed to the Middle East and subsequently to India and Burma.

124 Squadron. 
Originally formed in 1918, reformed with Spitfires in 1941 initially providing convoy patrols and escort missions over France including for USAAF B-17s, and later targeting V-2 sites in the Netherlands and conducting shipping reconnaissance missions.  

141 Squadron. 
Originally formed in 1918, reformed in 1939 and became operational with Defiants in April 1940.  In July 1940 having lost 6 out of 9 aircraft over the Channel to Me 109s the squadron was withdrawn.  In 1941 the Sqn converted to Beaufighters for local defence and intruder missions.  In late 1943, the Sqn re-equipped with Mosquitoes and for the rest of the war supported Bomber Command by attacking enemy
night-fighters and their bases. 

143 Squadron. 
Originally formed in 1918, reformed in 1941 as a long-range fighter unit in Coastal Command equipped with Beaufighters and later Mosquitoes, provided fighter support to maritime operations throughout the war including anti-shipping, convoy patrol and air-sea rescue missions.  

147 Squadron. 
Originally formed in Egypt in 1918, reformed in 1944 at Croydon as a transport unit with Dakotas, and later Ansons, providing passenger and freight flights between the UK and the newly-liberated cities in France, Belgium and Italy.  

171 Squadron. 
Formed in 1942 equipped with Tomahawks and later Mustangs to provide tactical reconnaissance support to the Army.  In 1944 and 45 the Sqn was equipped with Halifaxes and Stirlings to fly bomber support ops, dropping 'Window' to disrupt enemy radar.  

236 Squadron. 
Originally formed in 1918, reformed in 1939 with Blenheim fighters and later Beaufighters to provide fighter and reconnaissance support to maritime and maritime air operations.  From mid-42 until the end of the war, the Sqn conducted anti-shipping ops.

272 Squadron. 
Originally formed in 1918, reformed in 1940 with Blenheims to conduct shipping escort patrols.  In mid 41, the Sqn converted to Beaufighters and was deployed for the rest of the war to the Mediterranean and the Near East in the long-range fighter and convoy escort role. 

525 Squadron. 
Formed in 1943 as a transport unit with Warwicks, and later Dakotas, operating to Gibraltar and to Allied bases in France and Belgium.  Immediately after the war the squadron took over the mail and newspaper service between the UK and British bases on the Continent. The Squadron has a special place in Belgian aviation history as it was the air transport training ground for many who later formed the new SABENA.