|Formed in June 1916. the squadron went to France in the
critical days of April 1917 when the enemy was making a final, bid for
air supremacy. It was more than a match for the Germans in aerial combat,
and by the time of the Armistice (Nov. 1918) had downed 427 enemy aircraft,
Its ranks included the famous V,C. aces Captain Albert Ball and Major J.T.B.
McCudden, who destroyed 44 and 50 German aircraft respectively.
No 56 Squadron’s arrival in France during the Second Great War was at an equally critical period in May 1940, when the Allied line wan cracking under the German hammer-blows. On its first day in action the Squadron destroyed seven German aircraft. Later its pilots helped to provide an air umbrella for the Dunkirk evacuation.
No 56 Squadron flew Hurricane's from North Weald until being moved to the relative quiet of Boscome Down in 10 Group from the 1st of September 1940. In late 1941 the squadron was the first to re-equip with Typhoons.