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No. 356 Squadron RAF

No. 356 Squadron RAF
Active 15 January 1944 – 15 November 1945
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Role long range bomber
Part of No. 231 Group RAF, South East Asia Command[1]
Motto We bring freedom and assistance[2][3]
Squadron Badge heraldry A demi-tiger erased[2][3]
Aircraft flown
Bomber Consolidated Liberator

No. 356 Squadron RAF was a short-lived long range bomber squadron of the Royal Air Force between 1944 and 1945.


  • History 1
  • Aircraft operated 2
  • Squadron bases 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
    • Citations 5.1
    • Bibliography 5.2
  • External links 6


The squadron was formed on 15 January 1944 at Salbani, Bengal, British India, as a long range bomber unit equipped with the Consolidated Liberator. No.356 Squadron had many Canadian members from the Royal Canadian Air Force because the only British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Liberator Conversion Unit was in Canada at Boundary Bay, British Columbia. Wing Commander Hugo Beall, DSO, a Canadian in the RAF, was the first CO of 356 Squadron when it started operations in 1943. Under his leadership in the early raids this squadron developed techniques for low-level bombing of the dispersed and relatively small targets in Burma and Siam. After one intermediary, Beall was succeeded by another Canadian, Wing Commander G.N.B. Sparks, DSO, RCAF, who led the Squadron until almost the end of the war with comparable skill and professionalism.-The squadron attacked Japanese bases in South East Asia and planted mines outside enemy harbours. In July 1945 the squadron moved to the Cocos Islands to prepare for the invasion of Malaya. The end of the war came before the invasion was carried out and the squadron performed supply-dropping and transport duties until it was disbanded on 15 November 1945.

Aircraft operated

356 Sqn. Liberators after bombing Ramree Island, in 1945.
Aircraft operated by No. 356 Squadron RAF, data from[2][3][4]
From To Aircraft Version
January 1944 November 1945 Consolidated Liberator Mk.VI

Squadron bases

Bases and airfields used by No. 356 Squadron RAF, data from[2][3][4][5]
From To Base Remark
15 January 1944 22 July 1945 RAF Salbani, Bengal, British India
22 July 1945 15 November 1945 Cocos Islands, Straits Settlements

See also



  1. ^ Delve 1994, pp. 77, 84.
  2. ^ a b c d Moyes 1976, p. 233.
  3. ^ a b c d Halley 1988, p. 385.
  4. ^ a b Jefford 2001, p. 90.
  5. ^ Jefford 2001, pp. 268–278.


  • Delve, Ken. The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
  • Gwynne-Timothy, John R.W. Burma Liberators: RCAF in SEAC. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Next Level Press, 1991. ISBN 1-895578-02-7.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force and Commonwealth, 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF(Retd). 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. ISBN 1853100536. (second revised edition 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.)
  • Jones, Mike. Signed with their Honour. 355/356 Squadrons' Association, 2005.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1964 (new edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
  • Oughton, James D. with John Hamlin and Andrew Thomas. The Liberator in Royal Air Force and Commonwealth Service. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 2007. ISBN 978-0-85130-362-8.

External links

  • No. 356 Squadron history
  • Squadron histories of nos. 353–361 squadron on rafweb
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