Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Appendix IX: Tiger Force

At the Quebec Conference of September 1944, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill proposed to transfer a large part of Bomber Command to the Pacific, comprising from 500 to 1,000 heavy bombers, once Germany was defeated. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the offer, stating that a "long and costly struggle" still lay ahead of the Allies.

The proposed force was soon scaled back to 22 squadrons in three groups: one British Royal Air Force (RAF), one Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and one from various air forces. By the end of the war this had been scaled back to 10 squadrons in two composite groups, made up of RAF, RCAF, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) squadrons. Tiger Force was to have been based on Okinawa and would have used Avro Lancasters, Avro Lincolns (the latest development of the Lancaster) and Consolidated Liberators.

The bomber force would take its escorts from the fighter units of the U.S. Far East Air Force, the Australian First Tactical Air Force and/or other Commonwealth units.

The colour scheme for Tiger Force aircraft was white upper-surfaces with black undersides; this scheme, despite the cancellation of operations against Japan, was apparent on many post-war Lancasters and Lincolns. To enable the aircraft to operate at the long distances involved, flight refuelling was to have been employed, using equipment developed by Flight Refuelling Ltd.

Tiger Force was officially disbanded on October 31, 1945.

Bomber squadrons
•    No. 7 Squadron RAF
•    No. 9 Squadron RAF
•    No. 35 Squadron RAF
•    No. 44 Squadron RAF (replaced by 49 Squadron)
•    No. 49 Squadron RAF (replaced 44 Squadron)
•    No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron RAF
•    No. 207 Squadron RAF
•    No. 405 Squadron RCAF
•    No. 408 Squadron RCAF
•    No. 419 Squadron RCAF
•    No. 420 Squadron RCAF
•    No. 425 Squadron RCAF
•    No. 428 Squadron RCAF
•    No. 431 Squadron RCAF
•    No. 434 Squadron RCAF
•    No. 460 Squadron RAAF
•    No. 463 Squadron RAAF
•    No. 467 Squadron RAAF
•    No. 617 Squadron RAF
•    No. 627 Squadron RAF
•    No. 635 Squadron RAF
•    No. 692 Squadron RAF
Support units
•    No. 426 Squadron RCAF (Transport)

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