518 Squadron in 1944
Photograph of RAF 518 Squadron in 1944.
Courtesy of Mr Willie Dickie
In September 1943, 518 Squadron arrived on Tiree to fly weather reconnaissance missions in long-range Halifaxes. Twice a day flights ‘Bismuth’ and ‘Mercer’ left Tiree for a ten-hour-long trip out into the Atlantic at either 20,000 or 50 feet.
Pressure to fly was relentless and in 1944 518 Squadron flew every day but two. Often icing and enormous waves made this dangerous and the Squadron lost twelve aircraft during their spell on Tiree.
Every half hour, weather readings were sent back in code. The resulting forecasts played an important part in the timing of many operations including the D-Day landings which had been delayed by fog.
Black and white photograph of RAF 224 Squadron in 1942.
The full complement of 110 crewmembers of RAF 224 Squadron with a Liberator aircraft around 1942, during World War II. Liberators were used for long-range maritime patrols and anti-submarine operations. 224 Squadron moved to Tiree from Limavady in April, 1942, with their Hudson aircraft, but in July they converted to Liberators. Following their conversion, they had to move south to Beaulieu, Hampshire, in September 1942, for anti-submarine operations in the Bay of Biscay.