No. 91 (Nigeria) Squadron

Normal a spitfire mk xiv as flown by no. 91 sqn 1944

About This Unit

No. 91 Squadron (Nigeria) had its origins in WW1 having been initiay raised in 1917.  In January 1941 the squadron was reformed from No. 421 (Reconnaissance) Flight and based at RAF Hawkinge, Kent equipped with Spitfires, carrying out weather reconnaissance and Air Sea Rescue operations.

In April 1943 they were upgraded to Spitfire XIIs,the first Griffon engined Spitfires, which proved very successful in intercepting the low-flying Focke-Wulf 190s which had begun carring ot nuisance raids over the south coast. They also flew reconnaissance missions over northern France and later concentrated on bomber escort duties.

In March 1944 the squadron was assigned to the Second Tactical Air Force and flew tactical sweeps over the Normandy landing zones.

Later in the year, now based at RAF West Malling, Kent and equipped with the faster Spitfire XIVs they were deployed to combat the V-1 flying-bomb attacks.  The superior performance of the Mk XIV made it (and the Hawker Tempest) the ideal aircraft to deal with the menace of the V-1.  No.91 Squadron ended up with the best record against the flying bomb, shooting down 184 with its Mk XIVs.

Capitaine Jean Maridor was blown up in mid-air when he got in too close to shoot a V-1 down.  One of the Squadron's pilots, Flying Officer Ken Collier, RAAF, is credited with ahving been the first to carry out the 'wing tipping' of V-1s to upset their guidance system and cause them to spiral out of control and detonate in the relative saefty of the countryside. 

In April 1945 the squadron relocated to East Anglia to carry out reconnaissance missions and searches for midget submarines off the coast of the Netherlands and Belgium.