Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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No 300 - 315 Squadron Histories


Squadron numbers in the 300 series were allocated to units manned by personnel who had escaped from occupied Europe.  The squadrons detailed on this page were all manned by the Free Polish Forces.  However, between the formation of the first group and final group there were four Czechoslovakian squadrons formed (310 - 313), hence the break in the numbering sequence between 309 and 315.

No 300 (Masovian) Squadron

No 300 Squadron BadgeFormed at Bramcote on 1 July 1940 as a Polish light bomber unit, it was equipped with Fairey Battles.  In October 1940 it moved to Swinderby where it re-equipped with Wellingtons flying these until April 1944 when it converted to Lancasters.

The squadron continued to operate as part of Bomber Command's Main Force moving to Hemswell in 1941, Ingham in 1942, back to Hemswell in January 1943, Ingham again in June 1943 and finally Faldingworth in March 1944, where the squadron disbanded on 11 October 1946.

Squadron Codes used: -

ZN Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
BH Jul 1940 - Oct 1946

 

Flight Sergeant Michail Kulagin and the crew he was with and their Wellington U-Uncle

Flight Sergeant Michail Kulagin and the crew he was with and their Wellington U-Uncle

Photo courtesy Mike Carter (Michail's grandson)

Aircraft & Markings

Yahoo Group - No 300 Squadron

Video of No 300 Sqn in WW2

 

No 301 (Pomeranian) Squadron

No 301 Squadron BadgeFormed at Bramcote on 26 July 1940 as a Polish light bomber unit, it was equipped with Fairey Battles, carrying out attacks against invasion barges during September from Swinderby, where it had moved in August.  In October the squadron re-equipped with Wellingtons, which it operated until disbanding at Hemswell on 7 April 1943, due to severe aircraft and crew losses.  Most of the squadron personnel were transferred to No 300 Squadron with some going to No 305 Squadron and others going to No 138 Squadron.  By May 1943 those with No 138 were trained and joined The Polish C Squadron using the code letters 'NF' .

 In July 1943, the Polish Flight of No 138 Squadron moved out to the Middle East, where on 4 November 1943 it was re-named No 1586 (Special Duties) Flight.  Just over a year later No 1586 Flight was renamed No 301 Squadron at Brindisi.  Equipped with Liberators and Halifax Vs and was involved in supply dropping to underground forces in Yugoslavia and surrounding areas.   The squadron personnel returned to the UK in March 1945 and the squadron re-equipped with Warwicks at Blackbushe as a transport unit.  It operated services to Norway, Greece and Italy until April 1946, after which it only undertook training flights, finally disbanding at Chedburgh on 10 December 1946.

Squadron Codes used: -

MW Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
GR Jul 1940 - Apr 1943, Nov 1944 - Dec 1946

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 302 (Poznan) Squadron

No 302 Squadron BadgeFormed at Leconfield on 13 July 1940 from Polish personnel who had managed to escape from Nazi occupied Europe, it was equipped with Hurricanes.  The squadron managed to take part in the final rounds of the Battle of Britain, when it moved to Northolt in October.  A move north came in May 1941 when it re-located to the Isle of Man, but in August it was back down south taking part in offensive sweeps over the continent, re-equipping with Spitfires in October.

In February 1943 the squadron returned north to Kirton-in-Lindsey but in June was allocated to the 2nd Tactical Air Force, in preparation for the invasion of France.  It converted to the fighter-bomber role in April 1944 and moved to the beachhead area in August.

As the Allied armies advanced towards Germany, No 302 followed and supported them moving into Germany itself in April 1945, where it remained as part of the occupation forces until disbanding on 18 December 1946.

Squadron Codes used: -

EG Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
WX Oct 1941 - Jan 1945
QH Jan 1945 - Dec 1946

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 303 (Kosciusko) Squadron

No 303 Squadron BadgeFormed at Northolt on 2 August 1940 from Polish personnel who had managed to escape from Nazi occupied Europe, it was equipped with Hurricanes.  It was soon in the thick of the fighting during the Battle of Britain and remained so until moving north to Leconfield in October.

In January 1941 the squadron returned to Northolt and re-equipped with Spitfires.  It alternated between offensive operations in the South and defensive duties in the North and Midlands until November 1943 when it moved to Northern Ireland, to protect shipping in the Irish Sea ending for the Clyde.

The squadron was transferred to the 2nd Tactical Air Force in April 1944, carrying out armed reconnaissance missions and escorting bomber sorties in preparation for the forthcoming invasion.  Unlike other 2 TAF units it never re-located to the continent, continuing to operate from the UK.  In April 1945 its Spitfires were replaced by Mustangs, but the end of the war only permitted two operations to be carried out with these.  The squadron moved to Scotland in November 1945 remaining there until disbanding on 11 December 1946.

Squadron Codes used: -

NN Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
RF Aug 1940 - Apr 1945
PD Apr 1945 - Dec 1946

Aircraft & Markings

Snowflakes on the Don

 

No 304 (Silesian) Squadron

No 304 Squadron BadgeFormed at Bramcote on 22 August 1940 as a Polish light bomber unit, it was equipped with Fairey Battles.  In November 1940 it re-equipped with Wellingtons and in December it moved to Syeston.  The squadron began operations on 25 April 1941 and continued to do so for the next year, when the squadron was transferred to Coastal Command.

The squadron began operations from Tiree but a few days later moved to South Wales in order to provide anti-submarine patrols over the Bay of Biscay.  Until June 1943 it made use of its previous Wellington bombers but that month it received Wellington Xs equipped for the purpose.

Two months in 1943 were spent on anti E-boat patrols from East Anglia before returning to its previous area of operations, although it was now based in Cornwall.  It returned to Scotland (Benbecula) in September 1944 and was back in Cornwall in March 1945.  With the war in Europe over, the squadron transferred to Transport Command in July 1945 and received some Warwicks, services to Italy and Greece beginning in December 1945.  In Aril 1946 the squadron converted to the Halifax C VIII and operated this type until disbanding at Chedburgh on 10 December 1946.

Squadron Codes used: -

UB Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
NZ Aug 1940 - May 1942
2 Aug 1943 - Jul 1944
QD Jul 1944 - Dec 1946

Aircraft & Markings    

 

No 305 (Wielpolska) Squadron

No 305 Squadron BadgeFormed at Bramcote on 29 August 1940 as a Polish light bomber unit, it was equipped with Fairey Battles.  In November 1940 it re-equipped with Wellingtons and in December it moved to Syerston.

The squadron continued in the night bombing role until August 1943 when it was transferred to No 2 Group and began to convert to the day bombing role, receiving Mitchells in September.  Operations re-commenced in November 1943 but after only a few missions the squadron converted to the Mosquito VI and did not undertake further operations until February 1944.

In November 1944 the squadron moved on to French soil, thereby reducing the distances the squadron needed to travel to its targets in Germany and the Low Countries.  With the end of the war the squadron joined the occupation forces until returning to Faldingworth in October 1946, where it disbanded on 6 January 1947.

Squadron Codes used: -

BV Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
SM Aug 1940 - Jan 1947

Aircraft & Markings    

 

No 306 (Torun) Squadron

No 306 Squadron BadgeFormed at Church Fenton on 28 August 1940 as a Polish fighter unit, it was equipped with Hurricane Is.  In September 1940 it attained operational status and moved to Northolt in April 1941, replacing its Mk Is with Mk IIAs at the same time. 

It now took part in offensive sweeps over France and in July 1941 re-equipped with Spitfires.  In October the squadron moved north for the defence of Liverpool and in December moved yet again to the South-West for operations over France.  This interchange of offensive and defensive operations continued until August 1943 when the squadron was transferred to the 2nd Tactical Air Force.

Mustangs replaced the Spitfires in March 1944 and these were employed in covering the D-Day landings.  However, attacks on London and the South-East by V-1 flying bombs resulted in 306 's Mustangs being needed to combat this threat, which lasted until October 1944.  The squadron then moved to East Anglia in the bomber escort role, which it maintained until the end of the war in Europe.  Retained as part of Fighter Command the squadron disbanded at Coltishall on 6 January 1947.

Squadron Codes used: -

HK Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
UZ Aug 1940 - Jan 1947

Aircraft & Markings    

 

No 307 (Lwow) Squadron

No 307 Squadron BadgeFormed at Kirton-in-Lindsey on 5 September 1940 as a Polish night fighter unit, equipped with Defiants.  Following a work-up period it moved to Jurby in the Isle of Man and began operations in December.  Moving to Squires Gate in January 1941 to defend Liverpool, it transferred to the South-West in May and converted to Beaufighters in August.  Mosquitoes were received in December 1942 becoming the squadron's standard equipment until disbanding.  The squadron began intruder operations over enemy airfield in May 143 but in November it transferred to Drem in Scotland.

In March 1944 intruder operations were re-commenced from Coleby Grange and later Church Fenton.  In January 1945 the squadron moved to Castle Camps and converted to the Bomber Support role, remaining on these duties until the end of the war.  The squadron was retained by Fighter Command but disbanded at Horsham St Faith on 2 January 1947.

Squadron Codes used: -

VK Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
EW Aug 1940 - Jan 1947

Aircraft & Markings    

 

No 308 (Krakow) Squadron

No 308 Squadron BadgeFormed at the RAF Polish Depot in Blackpool on 9 September 1940, the squadron began training at Speke on 12 September.  Its Hurricanes arrived in October and it was declared operational on 12 December.

Initially based in the Midlands, it converted to Spitfires in April 1941 and moved to Northolt in June.  From then until September 1943, the squadron alternated between offensive operations over France from bases in the South-East and defensive duties in the North and Midlands.

n September 1943 the squadron was transferred to 2nd Tactical Air Force and undertaking fighter-bomber operations in preparation for the invasion.  The squadron moved to the continent in August 1944 and continued to support and follow the Allied armies as they moved towards Germany.  Remaining in Germany as part of the occupation forces, the squadron disbanded on 18 December 1946 at Ahlhorn.

Squadron Codes used: -

BM Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
ZF Sep 1940 - Dec 1946

Aircraft & Markings    

 

No 309 (Ziema Czerwienska) Squadron

No 309 Squadron BadgeFormed at Abbotsinch on 8 October 1940 in the Army Co-operation role from Polish personnel.  It was proposed that it should work with the Polish Army, them training in Scotland and was equipped with Lysanders for this purpose. Lysanders remained the squadron's main equipment until March 1943, but in July 1942 some Mustang Is were received, which were used for tactical reconnaissance operations over France.  In February 1944 the squadron converted to the Hurricane IV due to the unreliability of the Mustang I's Alison engine.  Hurricane IICs replaced the IVs in April and Mustangs returned in October in the form of the Merlin engined Mk III.  In December 1944 the squadron became a bomber-escort unit based in East Anglia, remaining as such until the end of the war.  The unit remaining part of Fighter Command until disbanding on 6 January 1947 at Coltishall.

Squadron Codes used: -

XV Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
AR Oct 1940 - Nov 1941
ZR Nov 1941 - 1943
WC Apr 1944 - Jan 1947

Aircraft & Markings    

 

No 315 (Deblin) Squadron

No 315 Squadron BadgeFormed at Acklington on 21 January 1941 as a Polish fighter unit, it was equipped with Hurricane Is in February and moved to Speke in March.

In July 1941 the squadron moved to Northolt and re-equipped with Spitfires beginning offensive sweeps over the continent. These offensive operations interspersed with defensive duties in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland became the order of the day until 315 joined the 2nd Tactical Air Force in November 1943.

Mustangs replaced the Spitfires in March 1944 and in June the squadron covered the invasion of Normandy but instead of moving to France, it was retained in the UK to combat V-1 flying bomb attacks.  With this threat reduced the squadron began bomber escort missions from East Anglia. 

In November 1944 the range of the Mustang led the squadron to be posted to Peterhead in Scotland to provide protection to Coastal Commands strike wings operating off the Norwegian coast.  A return to East Anglia came in January 1945 and from then until the end of war the squadron was involved in offensive sweeps over the Low Countries.  The squadron was retained in Fighter Command until disbanding at Coltishall on 14 January 1947.

Squadron Codes used: -

OG Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
PK Jan 1941 - Jan 1946

Aircraft & Markings    

 

No 316 (Warsaw) Squadron

Formed at Pembrey on 15 February 1941 as a Polish fighter unit, it was equipped with Hurricane Is and carried out defensive duties over South-West England.  In August it re-equipped with Hurricane IIs and began offensive sweeps over France.  It then began the standard round of alternating duties between offensive sweeps in the south and defensive duties in the North of England.

Mustangs replaced the Spitfires in April 1944 and it moved to East Anglia for bomber escort duties and with a short interlude from July to October, when it was engaged in anti-diver (V-1) operations, it continued in this role until the end of the war.  The squadron finally disbanded on 11 December 1946.

Squadron Codes used: -

NL Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
SZ Feb 1941 - Dec 1946

Aircraft & Markings    

 

No 317 (Wilno) Squadron

No 317 Squadron BadgeFormed at Acklington on 22 February 1941 as a Polish fighter unit, it was equipped with Hurricane Is until July when it received Mk IIs.   The squadron moved south in June and received Spitfires in October.  As with most Fighter Command squadrons it alternated its operations between offensive sweeps from bases in the south and defensive duties whilst based in the north and midlands.

In June 1943 the squadron was allocated to 2nd Tactical Air Force and moved to Heston.  During the build up to the invasion the squadron carried out offensive sweeps in preparation for the landings.  After the invasion they conducted ground attack operations in support of Allied ground forces, moving to the continent in August.

The squadron arrived in Belgium in October 1944 and Germany in April 1945, remaining there as part of the occupation forces until disbanding at Ahlhorn on 18 December 1946.

Squadron Codes used: -

WU Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
JH Feb 1941 - Dec 1946

Aircraft & Markings    

 

No 318 (Danzig) Squadron

No 318 Squadron BadgeFormed at Detling on 20m March 1943 in the tactical reconnaissance role, it was initially equipped with Hurricanes.  However, the squadron was destined for operations with the Polish Army, which was then training for operations in Italy and in August the squadron moved to the Middle East, but it was April 1944 before the squadron arrived in Italy. 

From February 1944 Spitfires replaced the Hurricanes and these were used in the ground attack and tactical reconnaissance roles in support of the 8th Army until the end of war.  The squadron handed over its aircraft to other units in August 1946 and the personnel returned to the UK, where the squadron disbanded at Coltishall on 31 August 1946

Squadron Codes used: -

XP Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
LW Nov 1944 - Aug 1946

Aircraft & Markings


This page was last updated on 21/08/12 using FrontPage XP

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