Royal Air Force Squadron No.112 was established in February 1918 in Kent, England at the Throwley Aerodrome. (I ‘ve always preferred that word.) Equipped with Sopwith Camels and Pups, the squadron was tasked with protecting the skies over London.
Shortly after the end of WW1, the squadron was disbanded in June of 1919, but was re-formed at the outbreak of hostilities on board the HMS Argus, for deployment at Helwan, Cairo Governorate,Egypt, However initially designated ‘B” flight, they received their outdated Gloster Gladiator bi-planes in June of that year. When Italy entered the war in 1940, the unit became part of No. 239 Wing. Eventually the Wing , which included Squadron No.112, received it’s first truly ‘modern’ fighter aircraft; the Curtiss Tomahawk where they served along with several other fighter squadrons which included Squadrons; RAAF No.3, RAAF 450 No. and RAF No.360, as fighter-bombers flying supply interdiction and air support for ground forces. RAF crews who first noted the ‘shark mouth logo on some Luftwaffe Bf-110s earlier in the war ,painted a similar ‘shark mouth’ to their Kittyhawks, which seemed a match made in heaven, at least from an asthetics point of view, and was continued when No.239 elements upgraded to Curtiss P-4os.
I was surprised to learn that the Shark Mouth logo of AVG’ Flying Tigers was inspired by the No.112 squadron logo.
June 1944 saw the first Mustang lll, essentially a P-51C, fielded by the squadron, and like their Curtiss predessessors, continued to sport the now ubiquitous ‘Sharkmouth’, we have all come to admire and emulate. In fact; I was surprised to learn that the Shark Mouth logo of the AVG ‘Flying Tigers was inspired by the N0.112 logo. Along with the new planes came a new assignment, under Fighter Command. That of engaging and destroying Luftwaffe bombers and night fighters, a task unsuited to the normally aspirated P-40 Kitty hawk, which while a competent platform ‘down low’ was sorely lacking at high altitudes where it’s normally aspirated Allison V-12 came up short. The Rolls Royce Merlin powered Mustangs were a ‘whole new animal. Higher power, longer range, the Mustangs gave Bomber Command something it lacked; the ability to engage in daylight raids which proved to be much more effective than night bombing which was frankly only marginally successful. In early 1945, the 112 squadron was soon upgraded to the Mustang lV s and continued to operate the type till war’s end. In fact the Mustang was the last recip fighter deployed by the Squadron. Mustangs of the Royal Air Force No.112 Squadron and their crews, racked up over 200 air victories and some 60+ aircraft of various types, on the ground.
…in April 1954, the Vampires arrived…
As matter of interest, No.112 Squadron was reformed and operated somewhat sporadically during the ‘Cold War. The march of new technologies was relentless, and with the advent of Frank Whittle’ new engine De Havilland went to work, and in April !954, the ‘Vampires’, arrived. ( The aluminum, twin-tailed variety) until 1956, when it’s vampires were replaced by Canadair Saber Mk.Vls as an interim fighter until that type was replaced by the Hawker Hunter later the same year. The unit was disbanded in 1957 and while it was reformed for a time, sadly, No.112 Sqdrn was to serve as a Blood Hound surface to air missile unit at RAF Woodhall Spa from until 1967, when it was moved to Cypress, until it finally disbanded in June of 1975.