1939 – At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Squadron was at Ramleh and Haifa with a mixed bag of aeroplanes namely Hawker Hardys, Gloster Gauntlets & Gladiators and Westland Lysanders.
1941 – Eventually a Flight was equipped with Hawker Hurricane Mk1s to operate with the 2nd Armoured Division while two flights were stationed at Tobruk with Lysanders. An incident reminiscent of the Great War occurred at this time when Flight Lieutenant McFall, carrying out a Lysander reconnaissance, located the enemy unit and then landed beside our gun batteries to direct the fire. McFall was also credited with the only air combat victory by a Lysander when he and his gunner shot down a JU52
1942 – The next major change in Squadron aircraft was to Hurricane IIDs in April of that year, fitted with two 40mm S Guns.The Vickers Company had originally produced the cannon as a quick firing mobile anti tank gun and its shells could pierce the armour of any German or Italian tank involved in the North African campaign. Attacks were conducted at ultra low level against armour and earned the Squadron its nickname of “THE FLYING TIN OPENERS”. An emblem symbolising the Flying Tin Openers has been carried on Squadron aircraft ever since. The Squadron played a full part in the El Alamein offensive, exacting a heavy toll on Rommel’s armour and support vehicles.
1943 -The second phase of the Squadron’s role as Tank Busters began in March with operations carried out in support of General Le Clerq’s Fighting French Forces. French forward units had been attacked early one morning by a German armoured force trying to outflank them. As a result of the sorties carried out by the Squadron and other R.A.F. units, the German force was virtually annihilated. In July the Squadron was re-equipped with the Hurricane IV equipped with rocket projectiles.
1944 – In January the first edition of “The Tin-opener” newsletter was published. In the following months, the Squadron never stayed in one place for long and in February they moved to Taranto, Italy and were employed against both land and marine targets. The Squadron transferred to the Balkan Air Force sometimes operating from airstrips in Yugoslavia. Long journeys over the sea, searching the coastline of the islands and reconnaissance of enemy ports were the standard fare of the day coupled with the odd submarine hunt. Land strikes against enemy forts, coastal gun positions and strong points were pressed home with the same gusto. Offensive shipping patrols with attacks on enemy strongholds and Radar stations in Albania, Yugoslavia and Corfu resulted in the score from April 1944 to April 1945 of 191 ships sunk and 157 damaged.
1945 – The last war patrol was carried out on the 1st May 1945 when F/O White, F/O Mould, Flt Sgt Hobbs and Flt Sgt Curtis took off from Prkos to search for and force the surrender of 30 enemy troopships that had been reported leaving Trieste.
Peace came- but not for No 6 Squadron