No. 138 Squadron

'For Freedom'

No 138 (Special Duties) Squadron was formed on 25 August 1941 from No 1419 Flight. An earlier unit bearing the same number had been created on 30 September 1918. It had been intended to carry out fighter-reconnaissance duties but the end of the First World War rendered it redundant and the squadron was disbanded in February 1919. 

At the time of the new squadron’s formation in 1941 it was based at RAF Newmarket then it moved to RAF Stradishall. It arrived at Tempsford – its permanent home for the rest of the war – on 14 March 1942. 

In March 1945 the squadron was assigned to Bomber Command and moved to RAF Tuddenham. It carried out a variety of duties including bombing raids, food drops to Holland and repatriation of Allied prisoners-of-war. The squadron was eventually disbanded on 1 September 1950 but reformed once again on 1 January 1955 to be the first unit equipped with the new Vickers Valiant strategic bomber. No 138 Squadron was retained in this role until it was disbanded in April 1962.