THE HISTORY OF 49 SQUADRON R.A.F. (1916 - 1965) 

     No 49 Squadron was formed at Dover on 15 April 1916 under the command of Major A S Barratt and spent its first 18 months as an aircrew training unit equipped with  BE2cs and RE7s.  In November 1917 the Squadron was re-equipped with DH4s and moved to La Belle Vue aerodrome in France.  Here the Squadron was employed in the day-bomber role as part of the 3rd (Army) Wing,  its first raid being made on 26 November 1917. Later the squadron took part in the Battle of Cambrai, attacking enemy supply and communications centres. In April 1918 the Squadron re-equipped with DH9s and continued high and low-level bombing until the end of the war. After the Armistice the Squadron moved to Bickendorf as part of the Army of Occupation and disbanded there on 18 July 1919.  According to its records, No 49 Squadron destroyed 56 enemy aircraft, drove down another 63 out of control,  dropped a total of 120 tons of bombs and operated from 10 airfields in FRANCE during the 1914-18 war.
      On 10 February 1936 No 49 Squadron re-formed at Bircham Newton from a nucleus provided by 'C' Flight of No 18 Squadron. It was equipped with Hawker Hind light bombers and initially commanded by FIt Lt J C Cunningham. It moved to Worthy Down in August 1936 where its official badge, depicting a racing greyhound surmounting the motto 'CAVE CANEM' (Beware of the Dog), was presented on 14 June1937. At first sight the badge seems inappropriate for a bomber squadron but it is in fact indicative of the performance of the Hawker Hind when compared with its contemporaries. A move to Scampton in March 1938 was followed by conversion to the Handley Page Hampden, No 49 Squadron being the first unit to be equipped with the type.
      During the opening months of World War 2 the Squadron was employed mainly on reconnaissance, mine-laying and leaflet-dropping. On 11 May 1940 bombing attacks on Germany began, the oil refineries at Munchen Gladbach being attacked. On 12 August 1940 a most successful low-level attack on the Dortmund-EMS Canal was pressed home.      (GO TO PAGE 2)