No. 161 Squadron

'Liberate'

No 161 (Special Duties) Squadron was formed on 15 February 1942 at RAF Newmarket from elements of No 138 Squadron and the King’s Flight. The first squadron bearing the ‘161’ designation had been formed in June 1918 as a day bomber unit but was disbanded within a month for administrative reasons. 

The 1942 No 161 Squadron was initially commanded by Wing Commander E H ‘Mouse’ Fielden, the Captain of the King’s Flight. Shortly after its formation, in March 1942 it moved to Gravely but this was only a temporary step before its arrival at Tempsford in April. 

Whereas No 138 Squadron primarily met the needs of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), No 161 was most closely associated with the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) but its Lysander and Hudson flights served both organisations in pick-up and landing operations. Unlike its sister squadron, No 161 did not survive long after the end of the war in Europe and was disbanded on 2 June 1945.