Date Founded: 7th September 1943 (Disbanded 30th November
Mission When Founded: To provide aerial support and transport for SOE and other Allied agents behind enemy lines
Mission During the War: Same
Jurisdiction: Mediterranean of Operations
Headquarters: Blida (Algeria), and many others (Malta, Tunisia, Italy)
# of Personnel: Unknown
Annual Budget: N/A
History/Profile: The history of the 624(SD) Squadron RAF is at least blurred, due to the high level of secrecy involved in its mission. It began on 28 May 1943, when the 1575(SD) Flight was formed at Tempsford, and a week later it was transferred to Maison Blanche (North Africa). On 13th June the squadron commenced operations over Corsica, while the maritime section of the flight moved to Blida and until September continued Special Duties sorties also over Sardinia and over Italian mainland.
On 7th September 1943, all personnel, equipment and aircraft transferred to Blida where 1575 Flight was disbanded and 624 (SD) Squadron RAF was formed under the command of Wing Commander C. S. G. Stanbury.
The main missions of 624 (SD) Squadron were to support the SOE and other Allied infiltrated forces with aerial transport, to provide intelligence gathering during its flights, to drop agents and supplies directly behind enemy lines, and even to drop leaflets with Allied propaganda. To accomplish these missions, the aircrew often flew as low as 200-300ft over mountainous terrain.
The 624's bases were located in different geographical locations, and its detachments were often moved to advanced bases for operations behind enemy lines. Aircraft, ground crew and pilots were based on Algeria (for operations over Southern France, Corsica and Sardinia), on Protville (Tunisia, for operations over Yugoslavia) and on Malta (for operations over Czechoslovakia). Later, on 21st November 1943, the squadron moved to Brindisi in Southern Italy as part of 334 (SD) Wing Mediterranean Allied Air Force: from here it operated over the Balkans and Northern Italy.
It must be noted that the Squadron was operating under extremely difficult conditions, with shortage of strength in aircrew, aircraft and transport vehicles. More than often, due to the high level of secrecy, only the flight's navigator knew the exact location of the dropzone, or the complete orders for the operation.
Even so, during January 1944 , 93 missions were carried out and 72.5% of these were successful. During 1944, it's supposed that flights performed by the squadron involved a number of paratroop tasks for the USAAF, and also the insertion of OSS Operational Groups over Southern France. On 5th September the squadron strength was reduced and finally on 24th September 1944 it was deemed that 624 Squadron had completed its job and was disbanded. It again became operational in February 1945 as a mine-spotting unit in the Adriatic from Foggia, but only for a short time.
The 624 (SD) Squadron was finally disbanded on 30th November 1945.
Pilot/Flight Navigator: Cartography, Military Science, Navigate (Sea/Air), Parachuting, Photography, Pilot(Aircraft), Signals
Gunner/Bombardier: Demolitions, First Aid, Machine Gun, Mechanical Repair, Parachuting, Spot Hidden
Ground Crew: Electrical Repair, Mechanical Repair, Operate Heavy Machinery, Rifle, Machine Gun, Signals
Sample CharacterFlight Officer William Archer, age 32
Written by Morpheus.
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