No. 278 Squadron RAF

No. 278 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron formed as an air-sea rescue unit in World War II.

No. 278 Squadron RAF
Active1 October 1941 – 15 October 1945
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Motto(s)Latin: Ex mare ad referiendum (From out of the sea to strike again)
Squadron BadgeA seagull in front of a lifebelt
Squadron CodeMY (October 1942 – October 1945)


Formation in World War II

The squadron formed at RAF Matlaske on 22 December 1941 equipped with the Lysander, Walrus and then the Anson. Spitfires were then supplied for spotting downed aircrew. The area of operations of the squadron was the coast of East Anglia and North East England. There were also detachments in Scotland.

The Warwick was operated from April 1944 and the Sea Otter from May 1945. The squadron was disbanded at Thorney Island on 15 October 1945.

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by no. 278 Squadron RAF[1]
Oct 1941Feb 1943Westland LysanderIIIA
Feb 1943May 1944Avro AnsonI
Apr 1944May 1944Supermarine SpitfireIIA
Apr 1944Jan 1945Vickers WarwickI
May 1944Feb 1945Supermarine SpitfireVB
May 1945Oct 1945Supermarine Sea OtterII


  1. C.G.Jefford (1988). RAF Squadrons. UK Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
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