No 85 Squadron originally formed on the
1st of August 1917 and had two distinguished leaders Major W.A.'Billy'
Bishop and Major 'Mick' Mannock.
It was reformed from 'A' flight of No
87 Squadron on the 1st of June 1936 at Debden in Essex. It was originally
equipped with Gloster Gladiator's.
It received its Hurricane's on
the 4th of September 1938. The Squadron fought in the Battle of France
and they fought well. From France they moved back to Debden they then moved
to Croydon. The Squadron took part in the Battle of Britain, when with
three other Hurricane units it
was directed to intercept a large force of German bombers and escorting
fighters. On the 3rd of September 1940,
exhausted and depleted, the Squadron then went North to Church Fenton.
In October 1940, with German night raids
increasing, the unit went over to night-fighting. Relying on visual contacts
alone, the Hurricane's had little
or no success and, in February 1941, the first twin-engined Douglas Havocs
arrived to replace them.