No. 308 Polish Fighter Squadron

Summary

No. 308 "City of Kraków" Polish Fighter Squadron
308th Polish Fighter Squadron.svg
Active5 September 1940 – 18 December 1946
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
AllegiancePoland Polish Government in exile
BranchEnsign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
RoleFighter and fighter bomber
Part ofRAF Fighter Command
Nickname(s)Dywizjon Myśliwski "Krakowski"
AircraftHawker Hurricane
Supermarine Spitfire
Insignia
Squadron CodesZF (Sep 1940 - Dec 1946)

No. 308 "City of Kraków" Polish Fighter Squadron RAF (Polish: 308 Dywizjon Myśliwski "Krakowski") was one of several Polish squadrons in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War. It was formed as part of an agreement between the Polish Government in Exile and the United Kingdom in 1940.

Pilots of 308 squadron (from left): Marian Wesołowski, Bolesław Palej, Forest Yeo-Thomas, Stefan Krzyżagórski, Stanisław Piątkowski, Stefan Janus, Tadeusz Rolski, Jerzy Popławski, Franciszek Skiba, Marian Pisarek, Jan Jakubowski, Tadeusz Schiele. Jerzy Zbierzchowski is kneeling, accompanied by the mascot of the 308 Squadron - female Jumbie
308 Squadron ground personnel at the Spitfire

History

The squadron was formed on 5 September 1940 at the RAF Polish Depot in Squires Gate, Blackpool. After initial training at Speke it was supplied with Hurricanes. The first CO, Squadron Leader John Davies, was killed after striking a balloon cable just a few weeks after taking command. By October 1941 the squadron was based at Baginton Aerodrome where "Tommy" Yeo-Thomas was intelligence officer.[1] It then converted to Spitfires and operated from RAF Northolt.

The squadron was then operated over France before its transfer to the 2nd Tactical Air Force as a fighter-bomber squadron. The squadron then followed the allied advance across Europe after the Normandy Landings in 1944. It disbanded at RAF Ahlhorn, Germany on 18 December 1946 after hostilities had ceased.

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by No. 308 Squadron RAF[2]
Oct 1940 Apr 1941 Hawker Hurricane I
Mar 1941 May 1941 Supermarine Spitfire I
May 1941 Aug 1941 Supermarine Spitfire IIA
Aug 1941 Nov 1943 Supermarine Spitfire VB
Jan 1942 Feb 1942 Supermarine Spitfire IIA
Nov 1943 Mar 1945 Supermarine Spitfire IX
Mar 1945 Dec 1946 Supermarine Spitfire XVI

See also

References

  1. ^ James Hutchison, ‘Thomas, Forest Frederic Edward Yeo-(1902–1964)’, rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2010
  2. ^ C.G.Jefford (1988). RAF Squadrons. UK Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.

External links

  • History of No.'s 300–318 Squadrons at RAF Web
  • 308 Squadron history on the official RAF website
  • Personnel of the Polish Air Force in Great Britain 1940-1947