Irish Army Air Corps use of the Gloster Gladiator during the Second World War

In 1937 the Irish Government ordered four new Gladiator Mk.Is. These were registered "23" to "26" and delivered during 1938.
The Gladiators served with 'B' Flight, First Army Co-Operation Squadron at Baldonnel during 1938-40.

A further four Gladiators were ordered, allocated serials 27-30, but these were never delivered due to the high demand placed on Glosters for aircraft for the RAF and Fleet Air Arm. The British Air Attaché in Dublin, on behalf of the Department of Defence ordered a further batch of four aircraft. These would have been allocated the serials 57-60, but Britain placed an arms embargo on companies selling military hardware to Ireland, so these were never delivered.

During 1939 the First Army Co-Operation Squadron was renamed No. 1 Fighter Squadron.

During the early part of 1943 the British Government supplied Ireland with Hurricanes and these gradually replaced the Gladiators in No. 1 Squadron. The Gladiators had by now become worn out and suffered from serviceability problems. The first aircraft to be retired was No. 25, which went in August 1943. No. 26 went a few months later while No. 24 soldiered on until January1944 when it was destroyed in a crash. No. 23 had been destroyed in a crash before the war.

Gloster Gladiator Home Page - Alexander Crawford.
The Gloster Gladiator - Francis K. Mason, 1964 Macdonald & Co. Ltd. London