No. 332 Squadron RAF

Summary

No. 332 (Norwegian) Squadron RAF
332 Squadron Spitfire AH-S L1031.jpg
No. 332 Squadron Spitfire AH-S/L1031 at RAF Catterick
Active16 January 1942 – 21 September 1945
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
AllegianceNorway Norwegian Government in exile
BranchEnsign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
RoleFighter
Motto(s)Norwegian: Samhold i strid
("Together in battle")
AircraftSupermarine Spitfire
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldryAn axes's head[1]
Squadron CodesWW (Apr 1939 – Sep 1939) (allocated but not used)
HG (Jan 1942 – Feb 1942)
AH (Feb 1942 – Nov 1945)
332 Skvadron
Active21 September 1945 – Present
Country Norway
BranchLuftforsvaret-emblem.gif Royal Norwegian Air Force
RoleFighter
Part of132 Luftving
BaseØrland Air Station
Motto(s)Norwegian: Samhold i strid
("Together in battle")
AircraftLockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II
Insignia
Identification
symbol
A demi-Norwegian axe

Number 332 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed at RAF Catterick in the North Riding of Yorkshire on 16 January 1942, as a Supermarine Spitfire-equipped fighter squadron manned by Norwegians.

History

In World War II (1942–1945)

The squadron became operational on 21 March 1942, and moved on to RAF North Weald to operate alongside another Norwegian crewed squadron, No. 331 Squadron.

With squadron code "AH", No. 332 squadron became part of No. 132 Wing alongside Norwegian No. 331 Squadron. It operated as air cover for the Dieppe Raid, and later flew fighter sweeps and escort operations over occupied France and the Low Countries. In late 1943/early 1944 both squadrons were transferred to the 2nd Tactical Air Force and participated in the Normandy Landings as fighter-bombers and tactical air superiority fighters. From September onwards No. 132 Wing participated in the liberation of the Netherlands.

In April 1945, the squadron was transferred to Scotland, and the following month transferred to Norway after the German surrender. On 21 September 1945, the squadron was disbanded at Værnes as an RAF unit and passed to the control of the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF). During the war between them, No. 331 and No. 332 Squadrons scored many air victories: 180 confirmed destroyed, 35 probables and more than 100 damaged. Combined losses were heavy as well: 131 aircraft lost with 71 pilots killed.

In the Royal Norwegian Air Force (1945–present)

In honour of its achievements during World War II, the Royal Norwegian Air Force has maintained its RAF squadron names. Thus, the RNoAF still has the fighter units 331 Squadron and 332 Squadron. Today, the Norwegian 332 Squadron is based at Ørland Air Station where it operates the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II.[2]

Notable pilots

  • Sgt Per Bergsland (Captured August 1942)
  • Sgt Carl Sejersted Bødtker (April 1943)
  • Sgt Jan Staubo
  • Cpt Finn Thorsager
  • Lt Soren Kjell Liby
  • Lt Marius Eriksen
  • Gunnar Piltingsrud
  • Fnr Ola Gert Aanjesen
  • Maj Reidar Emil From

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated include:[3][4][5]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Rawlings 1978, p. 409.
  2. ^ Insinna, Valerie (6 November 2017). "Norway accepts its first three F-35s". Defense News. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  3. ^ "No 332 Squadron Aircraft & Markings". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  4. ^ "F-86K Sabre". Duncan's Sabre Website. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  5. ^ "332nd skvadron (RNoAF)". f-16.net. Retrieved 6 January 2020.

Bibliography

  • 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.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (new edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.

External links

  • RAf official website Squadron history
  • Historical photos from the No. 332 Squadron during WW2
  • Article about 331 and 332 squadron during WW2
  • ML407 – The Norwegian Story
  • Article about the No.331-332 Squadrons' 60th anniversary visit to North Weald Airfield