No. 308 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 308 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No. 308 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War

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No.308 'Krakowski' Squadron was a Polish manned fighter squadron that performed a mix of defensive and offensive duties from 1941 to 1943, before becoming a fighter-bomber squadron in Second Tactical Air Force.

The squadron was formed on 9 September 1940 at the RAF Polish Depot, Blackpool. Its Hurricanes arrived in October, and the squadron became operational on 12 December.

The squadron received Spitfires in April 1941. In June it moved south to Northolt, and was used to provide fighter escort for bombers operating over France. This lasted until December, when the squadron was moved to Lancashire.

In April 1942 the squadron moved back south, and resumed offensive operations. This role lasted for the next year, before another spell of defensive duties in the north, this time in Yorkshire from April-September 1943.

After this interlude in the north the squadron joined Second Tactical Air Force, and converted to the fighter bomber role, flying offensive missions over France. The squadron moved to Normandy in August 1944, and followed the advancing Allied armies as they moved east, arriving in Belgium in October. It spent the rest of the war flying offensive sweeps over Germany, attacking transport targets, airfields and German troops.

On 1 January the squadron's base was attacked during Operation Bodenplatte, but the three Polish squadrons of No.131 Wing had taken part in an early morning raid, and returned to their base as the Germans were attacking. As a result the Germans lost at least 17 aircraft, while the Poles only lost 2 in the air (and eighteen on the ground, but those could easily be replaced)

After the war the squadron served with the occupation forces in Germany, before being disbanded on 18 December 1946.

October 1940-April 1941: Hawker Hurricane I
April-May 1941: Supermarine Spitfire I
May-September 1941: Supermarine Spitfire IIA and IIB
September 1941-November 1943: Supermarine Spitfire VB
November 1943-March 1945: Supermarine Spitfire IX
March 1945-December 1946: Supermarine Spitfire XVI

September 1940: Blackpool
September 1940: Speke
September 1940-June 1941: Bagington
June 1941: Chilbolton
June-December 1941: Northolt
December 1941-April 1942: Woodvale
April-May 1942: Exeter
May-July 1942: Hutton Cranswick
July 1942: Redhill
July 1942: Hutton Cranswick
July-September 1942: Heston
September 1942: Ipswich
September-October 1942: Heston
October 1942-April 1943: Northolt
April-July 1943: Church Fenton
July-September 1943: Hutton Cranswick
September 1943: Friston
September-October 1943: Heston
October 1943-March 1944: Northolt
March 1944: Llanbedr
March-April 1944: Northolt
April 1944: Deanland
April-June 1944: Chailey
June-July 1944: Appledram
July-August 1944: Ford
August-September 1944: B.10 Plumetot
September-October 1944: B.31 Londonieres
October 1944-January 1945: B.61 St. Denis Westrem
January-March 1945: B.60 Grimbergen
March-April 1945: B.77 Gilze-Rijen
April 1945: B.101 Nordhorn
April-June 1945: Fairwood Common
June-September 1945: B.113 Varrelbusch
Septembe 1945-October 1946: B.111 Ahlhorn
October-December 1946: Hethel

Squadron Codes: ZF

1940-1943: Fighter squadron
1943-1945: Fighter-bomber squadron, 2nd Tactical Air Force

Part of
6 June 1944: No.131 Wing; No.84 Group; Second Tactical Air Force; Allied Expeditionary Air Force


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Watch the video: 308 Squadron Polish Heroes RAF pilots