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No.202 Sqn RAF - Squadron Profile.

No.202 Sqn RAF

Founded : 1st April 1918
Country : UK
Fate :
Known Aircraft Codes : Y3, AX, JU, TJ, TQ

Semper vigilate - Be always vigilant

No.202 Sqn RAF

No.202 Sqn RAF Artwork

Westland Sea King SAR.3 XZ585 of 202 Sqn RAF by Keith Woodcock.

Signatures for : No.202 Sqn RAF
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.

Wg. Cdr. A.W.L. Paddy Mahon MBE, C. Eng. MRAeS
Click the name above to see prints signed by Wg. Cdr. A.W.L. Paddy Mahon MBE, C. Eng. MRAeS
Wg. Cdr. A.W.L. Paddy Mahon MBE, C. Eng. MRAeS

Started his 37 year career in the Royal Air Force in 1930 when he enlisted as an Aircraft Apprentice at Halton. he served as Metal Rigger and later as an Aircraft Fitter on Fleet Air stations and ships, for a while on Queen Bee aircraft. In 1937 he finally succeeded in selection as an Airman Pilot. EFTS at Bristol, SFTS at South Cerney, Maritime Recce at Thorney Island, and finally Flying Boat School at Calshot. There he learned his craft as a Boat pilot on ageing Supermarine Scapas formerly used by 202 Squadron, Malta. On completion he was posted to 228 Squadrion at Pembroke Dock which was in process of re-equipping with Stranraers. In December 1938 he was 2nd pilot on the collection from Rochester of the Squadron's first Sunderland. In June 1939 the Squadron moved to Alexandria for Naval Co-operation Exercises. In addition to these the Sunderlands were used for long range V.I.P. flights and for transport around the Med. In course of these, the crew of which Sgt Mahon was a member, visited Malta, Bizerta, Cairo, Cyprus and for the third time Athens, leaving on 2nd September 1939. The Squadron was ordered home to Pembroke Dock on September 9th and immediately started the round of convoy escorting anti-submarine sweeps and general maritime tasks covering from Norway to Malta. On 24th November Sgt Mahon was one of the crew detailed to search for the Deutschland after it had sunk the armed merchant cruiser Jervis Bay. The operation involved the crew in 15 hours of flying in the most severe weather. Detachments to the Shetlands often meant the whole crew living on the aircraft for several days at a time because the weather prevented small craft coming along side but flying by day continued. In June 1940 he was seconded to 10 RAAF Squadron at Mount Batten to increase their roll of qualified first Pilots. One of his first trips was to convey Lord Gort and Mr Duff Cooper to Rabat on an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Sultan of Morocco to continue the war on its allies' side. That trip earned the Captain a DFC. In the months he spent with 10 Squadron several trips were made to Malta supporting the Hurricane reinforcement by aircraft carriers conveying essential ground personnel and equipment including one load of several tons of Browning gun links, none of which were held on the island. In February 1941 it was back to two layers of wing. He was posted to 202 Squadron at Gibraltar, which was flying Saro Londons but expected to be re-equipped with Sunderlands. He travelled as a passenger on a 10 Squadron aircraft in company with Anthony Eden and Lord Dill. That trip is recorded in several books on the Sunderland as being special. It was Sgt Mahon's last ever time flying in a Sunderland as 202 Squadron were subsequently re-equipped with Catalinas. The transfer meant flying to UK with a London, a memorable trip of over 15 hours. Qualifying courses at Stranraer on the Catalina led to the ferrying flight back to Gibraltar. Unfortunately on Sgt Mahon's ferry trip the elevator controls failed en route and the attempted landing at Gibraltar using only trim tabs resulted in a serious crash ending his flying career. After a long period of hospital and subsequent rehabilitation, he reverted to his ground trade. He was commissioned into the Technical Branch in which he served until 1967 being awarded the MBE in 1963.

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