History: 1940 - 1942
The Squadron re-formed at Digby, becoming operational once again at the end of June, and for the next 2 months was occupied in uneventful convoy and defensive patrols before moving south to Stapleford Tawney, the satellite of North Weald, for the defence of London during the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe's main effort at the time was against coastal objectives and shipping off the coast of Essex and Kent. The Squadron was in action continuously and had many successful engagements against far superior numbers of enemy bombers and their escorting fighters. The enemy sustained such shattering losses amongst his long range bomber force that a change of tactics was necessary, and he tried to force a decision by using fighter bombers flying very high and making every possible use of cloud cover; interception became difficult and our squadrons had to change their tactics too - mainly going over the maintenance of fighter patrols at height ranging between 20 and 30,000 feet. No 46 Squadron took part in the "security" patrols and, early in November, whilst on patrol over Foulness, encountered some 50 Italian bombers and fighters; at least 8 of them were destroyed, with no casualties or damage to the Squadron, and the remainder of the formation scattered in disorder.|
The Battle of Britain, in which No 46 Squadron had taken a full and successful part, was over, and the Squadron settled down to a few months of uneventful defensive and convoy patrols, leavened by an occasional escort duty to medium bombers in their attack on objectives on Occupied France.
In May 1941, the Squadron was withdrawn from the line in preparation for going overseas and embarked on the SS Almanzora at the end of the month. The ground crews reached Egypt early in July and, with the Squadron headquarters based at Kilo 17 Fayoum Road, various detachments co-operated in the formation of Maintenance and Repair and Salvage Units. The Squadron's pilots, meanwhile, were operating in the defence of Malta, first as No 46 Squadron, but later being absorbed into No 126 Squadron. They were in action continuously, claiming the destruction of nearly 40 enemy aircraft, 10 of them German and the remainder Italian.