The squadron operated as a light, day bomber squadron throughout 1938

Stationed at:

  • RAF Worthy Down (Hampshire)
  • Detached to West Freugh (03/01/1938 to 30/01/1938)
  • Moved to RAF Cottesmore (Rutland), when RAF Worthy Down was handed over to Coastal Command (04/1938)

RAF Cottesmore [Source: Angell Collection]


  • Light, day bomber squadron for despatch overseas in times of emergency, in support of the RAF’s role in maintaining law and order in overseas territories


  • No. 2 (Bomber) Group

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer:
    • Squadron Leader AG Thackray
    • 05/09/1938: Handed over to Squadron Leader HF Chester


Squadron at Cottesmore (Date not known) [Source RAFWeb]

Events affecting the squadron

On 29th September 1938, the squadron was placed on standby for an emergency move to Manston Airport, due to international tensions


Air Crew

  • Ground Training
  • Flying Training
  • Ongoing checks and assessments)
  • Cross Country, Bombing, Air Defence and Fighter Affiliation Exercises
    • Observer Corps Calibration Exercise (July 1938)
    • Filming in connection with Air Raid Precaution Film (July 1938)
    • Home Defence Exercise (September 1938)
  • Armament Training (live bombing / firing practice at one of the Armament Training Camps)
    • West Freugh (January 1938)
  • Displays (to ensure ongoing public awareness of the need for a highly trained, efficient air force during peacetime)
    • Empire Air Display (May 1938)

Ground Personnel

  • Daily servicing, ongoing maintenance and scheduled servicing of squadron aircraft and equipment
  • Other squadron related technical and administrative duties (such as Logistics, Air Operations Support, Intelligence, Administration and Personnel / Medical support)


[Source: Flightglobal 20th January 1938]


The squadron was equipped with the following aircraft types (from its own establishment):


Vickers Wellesley Profile © Malcolm Barrass


No. 35 Squadron started to re-equip with the Fairey Battle MKI (Merlin II), receiving its first aircraft (a dual control aircraft) on 1st  April 1938.

Fairey Battle Profile © Malcolm Barrass

By 20th May 1938, it had its establishment number of 16 on charge.

In October 1938, the squadron exchanged its Merlin II aircraft for Merlin I aircraft from No. 226 Squadron and establishment numbers were increased from 16 to 21.

(Note: The squadron aircraft were grounded following the force landing of K9179 on 20th June 1938 to enable Rolls Royce engineers to check the boost control valve needles).

The following pages identify the serial numbers of the aircraft that were on charge of No. 35 Squadron during 1938, along with details of known losses and incidents: