No. 342 Squadron RAF


No 342 (GB/I/20 'Lorraine') Squadron
Bombardier du groupe Lorraine.jpg
Active7 April 1943 – 2 December 1945
Country United Kingdom
Allegiance Free French Forces
Branch Royal Air Force
Part ofRAF Fighter Command
Motto(s)Nous Y Sommes (We are here)
Squadron Badge heraldryOn a billet in bend indented to the base, three alérions
Squadron codeOA (Apr 1943 – Dec 1945)

The No. 342 Squadron also known in French as ''Groupe de Bombardement n° 1/20 "Lorraine", was a Free French squadron in the RAF during World War II.


No. 342 Squadron was formed on 7 April 1943 at RAF West Raynham with personnel from the Free French Air Forces (Forces aériennes françaises libres) transferred from the Middle East, in particular the personnel of the French escadrilles "Metz" and "Nancy". The squadron was part of No. 2 Group RAF of RAF Bomber Command and equipped with Douglas Mk IIIA Bostons (aka Douglas A-20C Havocs). They later moved with their sister squadron No. 88 Squadron to RAF Hartford Bridge.

While flying Bostons, the aircraft of the Squadron featured in the film The Way to the Stars. [1]

The squadron flew low-level bombing and strafing missions (nicknamed "hedgehopping"), over France and the Netherlands, in particular against V-1 bases in Northern France and selected sites connected with the preparation for the Allied invasion.

In October 1944 the squadron relocated to France from where it continued to support the Allied advance. In March/April 1945 the Bostons were replaced by North American B-25 Mitchells and the squadron relocated to the Netherlands. The squadron was transferred from RAF control to the French Air Force ( Armée de l'Air ) on 2 December 1945.

See also



  1. ^ "LE CHEMIN DES ETOILES Vo. The way to the stars". AeroMovies Le site des Films d'Aviation. Archived from the original on 22 December 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2020.


  • 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, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (2nd edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.

External links

  • Squadron histories for nos. 310–347 sqn on RAFweb
  • Squadron histories for nos. 341 sqn at Royal Air Force website
  • Squadron Histories
  • Pathé News film of a 342 squadron raid on a power station near Paris