Royal Egyptian Air Force use of the Gloster Gladiator during the Second World War

Egypt received under the Anglo-Egyptian Defence Agreement, 18 late-series Gladiators Mk.Is (serials L8005 and L8012-L8028) from RAF in March 1939. These were given the Egyptian serials K1331-K1348. The aircraft had been modified to Mk.II standard at 27 MU in January 1939.

In 1940 a further batch of Gladiators were purchased from Britain, these being ex-RAF N5875-N5892, Egyptian serials L9030-L9047. Additional Gladiators may have been passed on to the Egyptians but most of the serials are unknown (known aircraft are N5755, N5758, N5760, N5762, N5767 and N5771). The Gladiators were to be used by the 2 and 5 REAF Fighter Squadrons.

Several of the Egyptian aircraft were later returned to RAF.
Known Gladiators with Egyptian serials returned and used by the RAF are:
K1340 used by 1414 (Met) Flight.
K1341 used by 1413 (Met) Flight.
K1344 used by 1414 (Met) Flight.
L9042 used by 94 RAF Squadron.
L9043 used by 33 RAF Squadron.
L9044 used by 33 RAF Squadron and 3 RAAF Squadron.
L9046 used by 33 RAF Squadron.

By 1943, the REAF had on strength around 140 aircraft, mostly worn out and obsolete. By this time 2 Squadron was based at Almaza still with 15 Gladiators, while 5 Squadron were in the Suez area with 14 Gladiators. In addition to these, the RAF had 1411 (Met) Flight, which was fully equipped with Gladiators, but was entirely manned and serviced by Egyptian personnel. The aircraft even carried Egyptian markings.
The Gladiators were soon relegated to second line duties and in 1945, they were retired from active service.

Known Egyptian Gladiators:
RAF serials:
K8016, L8005, L8012, L8013, L8014, L8015, L8016, L8017, L8018, L8019,
L8020, L8021, L8022, L8023, L8024, L8025, L8026, L8027, L8028, N5590,
N5591, N5592, N5755, N5758, N5760, N5762, N5767, N5771, N5875, N5876,
N5877, N5878, N5879, N5880, N5881, N5882, N5883, N5884, N5885, N5886,
N5887, N5888, N5889, N5890, N5891, N5892.
Notes:
K8016; sent to the Mediterranean on 17/05/41. To Royal Egyptian Air Force on 01/03/44.
N5755; from 33 RAF Squadron on 23/01/40.
N5758; from Middle East depot on 23/01/40.
N5760; to Royal Egyptian Air Force on 23/01/40. Later repossessed by 112 Squadron RAF.
N5762; to Royal Egyptian Air Force on 23/01/40.
N5767; to Royal Egyptian Air Force on 23/01/40.
N5771; to Royal Egyptian Air Force on 23/01/40.
N5876; later repossessed by 80 RAF Squadron.
N5887; later repossessed by 94 RAF Squadron.
N5888; later repossessed by RAF. Shot down by CR.42s near Sollum on 19/06/40.
N5889; later repossessed by 94 RAF Squadron.
N5890; later repossessed by 94 RAF Squadron.
N5891; later repossessed by 33 RAF Squadron.
N5892; later repossessed by 94 RAF Squadron. Returned to REAF as L9047 on 31/05/41.

Source:
Gloster Gladiator Home Page - Alexander Crawford.
Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-N9999 - James J. Halley, 1993 Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd, Kent, ISBN 0-85130-208-4
The Gloster Gladiator - Francis K. Mason, 1964 Macdonald & Co. Ltd. London





Last modified 02 February 2016