No. 357 Squadron RAF


No. 357 Squadron RAF
Active1 February 1944 – 15 November 1945
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
BranchEnsign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Rolespecial operations
Part ofNo. 231 Group RAF, South East Asia Command[1]
Motto(s)Latin: Mortem hostibus
(Translation: "We bring death to the enemy")[2][3]
Squadron Badge heraldryA crocodile[2][3]
Squadron CodesNo specific identity markings are known to have been carried[4]

No. 357 Squadron was a special operations squadron of the Royal Air Force. During the Second World War it was involved in supplying Allied ground forces operating behind enemy lines, in the South-East Asian theatre.


The squadron was formed on 1 February 1944 at Digri, Bengal, from No. 1576 (Special Duties) Flight as an expansion of the Royal Air Force Special Duty Service. The squadron was equipped with Consolidated Liberator and Lockheed Hudson aircraft, which formed "A" Flight, whilst "B" Flight consisted of four Consolidated Catalina aircraft operated by the squadron from Red Hills Lake, Madras. The Catalina flight became No. 628 Squadron on 21 March 1944. On 15 September 1944, No. 357 Squadron moved to Jessore, Bengal. Operational flights dropping small numbers of agents and equipment into Malaya began in November 1944 using the squadrons Liberators. The flights in early 1945 were to locations in Kelatan and Perak. Later flights were reaching as far south as Batu Pahat and Kota Tinggi and covering 3,500 air miles with a flying times of over 22 hours - near the aircraft's maximum range.

Also early in 1945, the Hudsons were replaced by Douglas Dakotas, and "C" Flight was equipped with Westland Lysanders joined the squadron. The squadron disbanded on 15 November 1945.

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by no. 357 Squadron RAF, data from[2][3][5]
From To Aircraft Version
February 1944 March 1944 Consolidated Catalina Mk.IV
February 1944 December 1944 Lockheed Hudson Mk.IIIa
February 1944 December 1944 Consolidated Liberator Mk.III
September 1944 October 1945 Consolidated Liberator Mk.VI
December 1944 November 1945 Douglas Dakaota Mks.III, IV
January 1945 March 1945 Stinson Sentinel
March 1945 November 1945 Westland Lysander Mk.IIIa

Squadron bases

Bases and airfields used by no. 357 Squadron RAF, data from[2][3][5]
From To Base Remark
1 February 1944 15 September 1945 Digri, Bengal, British India Dets. at RAF China Bay, Ceylon
and RAF Redhills Lake, Madras, British India
15 September 1945 15 November 1945 RAF Jessore, Bengal, British India Dets. at RAF Meiktila, Burma
and RAF Mingaladon, Burma

Commanding officers

Officers commanding no. 357 Squadron RAF, data from[4]
From To Name
February 1944 December 1944 W/Cdr. J.R. Moore
December 1944 July 1945 W/Cdr. L.M. Hodges, DSO, DFC
July 1945 November 1945 W/Cdr. P.R. Gaskell, DFC



  1. ^ Delve 1994, pp. 77, 84.
  2. ^ a b c d Rawlings 1982, p. 204.
  3. ^ a b c d Halley 1988, p. 386.
  4. ^ a b Rawlings 1982, p. 205.
  5. ^ a b Jefford 2001, p. 94.


  • Delve, Ken (1994). The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
  • Gwynne-Timothy, John R.W. (1991). Burma Liberators: RCAF in SEAC. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Next Level Press. ISBN 1-895578-02-7.
  • Halley, James J. (1988). The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, C.G. (2001). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912 (2nd ed.). Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • O'Brien, Terence (1987). The Moonlight War: the Story of Clandestine Operations in South-East Asia, 1944-5. London: Collins. ISBN 0-00-217803-6.
  • Oughton, James D.; Hamlin, John; Thomas, Andrew (2007). The Liberator in Royal Air Force and Commonwealth Service. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 978-0-85130-362-8.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. (1982). Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.

External links

  • No.357 Squadron history
  • Video Interview with a 357 Squadron Engineer