27-28 April 1942: No.157 Squadron (RAF) becomes the first operational Mosquito night fighter squadron
No. 157 Squadron Royal Air Force formed on 14 July 1918 at RAF Upper Heyford and was eventually equipped with Sopwith TF.2 Salamander aircraft for ground support duties, but disbanded on 1 February 1919 without becoming operational.
The squadron reformed in December 1941 at RAF Debden as a night fighter unit and was eventually equipped with the latest Mosquito night-fighter aircraft at RAF Castle Camps.
The first patrols were flown on the night of 27-28 April 1942 over East England but the first confirmed kill did not come until 22/23 August 1942.
The squadron flew patrols over East England and by July 1943, after moving to RAF Hunsdon, began intruder attacks on German fighter bases with its new Mosquito Mk VIs. In November 1943 it moved to RAF Predannack in Cornwall, closer to the German bases. In March 1944 it moved to RAF Valley and flew defensive patrols over the Irish Sea. In May 1944 it moved back to East England, receiving Mosquito Mk XIXs and supporting bomber streams as part of No. 100 Group RAF. It disbanded on 16 August 1945 at RAF Swannington.
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito is a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew. It served during and after the Second World War. It was one of few operational front-line aircraft of the era constructed almost entirely of wood and was nicknamed The Wooden Wonder. The Mosquito was also known affectionately as the “Mossie” to its crews. Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, the Mosquito was adapted to roles including low to medium-altitude daytime tactical bomber, high-altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike aircraft, and fast photo-reconnaissance aircraft. It was also used by the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) as a fast transport to carry small high-value cargoes to, and from, neutral countries, through enemy-controlled airspace. A single passenger could ride in the aircraft’s bomb bay when it was adapted for the purpose.