No. 321 (Dutch) Squadron RAF


No. 321 (Dutch) Squadron RAF
Aircraft of the Royal Air Force 1939-1945- Avro 652a Anson. C2119.jpg
Avro Anson of No. 321 Squadron, carrying Dutch markings on its tail.
Active1 June 1940 – 18 January 1941
15 August 1942 – 8 December 1945
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
AllegianceNetherlands Dutch government in exile
BranchEnsign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Part ofRAF Coastal Command
AircraftConsolidated Catalina, Consolidated Liberator

No. 321 (Dutch) Squadron RAF was a unit of the Royal Air Force during World War II formed from the personnel of the Marineluchtvaartdienst (MLD), the Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service.



Formed on 1 June 1940 at RAF Pembroke Dock, the squadron moved to RAF Carew Cheriton on 28 July 1940 and became operational. The squadron flew coastal and anti-submarine patrols with Avro Ansons until the squadron was disbanded, due to lack of personnel, and merged with No. 320 Squadron on 18 January 1941.


The squadron was re-activated at RAF Trincomalee, Ceylon on 15 August 1942. It was equipped with PBY Catalinas, which were crewed by MLD personnel who escaped to Ceylon. The squadron's headquarters was located at RAF China Bay with detachments based in Mombasa, Cocos Islands, Socotra, Masirah, Ceylon, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Aden and Cape Town. Supplemented with Consolidated Liberators in July 1945, the air echelon moved to Cocos Island in preparation for Operation Zipper, the proposed invasion of Malaya.

After the Japanese surrender, relief flights and supply drops to thousands of internees in the POW camps were flown to Java and Sumatra, and in October the squadron moved to its new base near Batavia, where the squadron passed to MLD control on 8 December 1945, keeping the same squadron number, No. 321 Squadron MLD. Along with 320 Squadron, it flew maritime patrol missions from Valkenburg for decades afterwards. The Squadron was disbanded in January 2005, due to budget cuts.[1]

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Version
Jun 1940 Jan 1941 Avro Anson Mk.I
Aug 1942 Dec 1944 Consolidated Catalina Mk.II
Dec 1943 Aug 1945 Consolidated Catalina Mk.III
Dec 1944 Dec 1945 Consolidated Liberator Mk.VI
Aug 1945 Dec 1945 Consolidated Catalina Mk.Va
Dec 1945 Dec 1945 Consolidated Catalina Mk.IVb


Commanding officers

From To Name
Jun 1940 Aug 1940 Lt/Cdr. H. Kolff
Aug 1940 Oct 1940 Lt/Cdr. M.G. Smalt
Oct 1940 Jan 1941 Lt/Cdr. W. van Lier
Jul 1942 1945 Lt/Cdr. W. van Prooijen




  1. ^ Evans, John (2005). Final Flights: Aviation Accidents in West Wales from the Great War to the 1990s (1 ed.). Pembroke Dock: Paterchurch Publications. pp. 16–18. ISBN 1-870745-14-0.
  2. ^ a b Rawlings 1982, p. 201.
  3. ^ Halley 1988, p. 368.
  4. ^ Jefford 2001, p. 88.


  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, C.G. RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.

External links

  • Scramble – The Aviation Magazine
  • Squadron bases at RAF Commands
  • RAF website
  • Nos 310–330 Squadron Aircraft & Markings on RAFweb
  • Nos. 310–347 Squadron Histories on RAFweb