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No. 310 Squadron RAF

No. 310 Squadron RAF
The official badge of the № 310 RAF Squadron
Active 29 July 1940 – 15 February 1946
Country United Kingdom
Allegiance Czechoslovakia
Branch Royal Air Force RAF Fighter Command
Role Day Fighting
Motto We Fight to Rebuild
Engagements Battle of Britain
Normandy landings
Insignia
Squadron Badge In front of a sword erect, a lion rampant queue fourches
Squadron Codes NN (July 1940 – February 1946)

No. 310 Squadron RAF was a Czechoslovak-manned fighter squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

History

It was first formed on 10 July 1940 at RAF Duxford, equipped with Hawker Hurricane I fighters and was the first RAF squadron to be raised crewed by foreign nationals, in this case escaped Czechoslovak pilots. Led by Squadron Leader Douglas Blackwood and using experienced pilots the squadron was operational in only a month and as part of 12 Group became involved in the Battle of Britain as part of the Duxford 'Big Wing'. 37.5 victories were claimed during the battle.

From 1941, the squadron began offensive operations flying sweeps over the English Channel and providing bomber escorts. It re-equipped with the Hurricane II in March 1941. In July 1941 the squadron moved to RAF Dyce, Scotland, to rest and then re-equip with the Supermarine Spitfire IIa and Vb on October 1941.

The squadron returned to defensive operations in December 1941 in Cornwall in the west of England. Another three-month rest period was required in June 1943 when the squadron moved back to Scotland.

In 1944, the squadron re-equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire IX and became a fighter-bomber unit with 134 Wing, flying ground attack duties during the Normandy landings. The squadron then spent the rest of the war flying armed reconnaissance missions along the Dutch and Belgian coasts. The final number was 52.5 claims with four V-1s shot down.

On 7 August 1945 the squadron moved to Hildesheim and then a few days later to Prague to form part of the new Czechoslovak Air Force. It officially disbanded as an RAF squadron on 15 February 1946.

Aircraft operated

Spit Mk.IX in markings of 310 Sqn., Aviation Museum Prague Kbely
Aircraft used[1][2]
From To Aircraft Variant Notes
July 1940 March 1941 Hawker Hurricane I
March 1941 December 1941 Hawker Hurricane IIa
June 1941 November 1941 Hawker Hurricane IIb
October 1941 December 1941 Supermarine Spitfire IIa
November 1941 March 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Vb
July 1942 June 1943 Supermarine Spitfire Vc
July 1943 September 1943 Supermarine Spitfire VI
September 1943 March 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Vc
January 1944 July 1944 Supermarine Spitfire LF.IX
July 1944 September 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Vb
August 1944 February 1946 Supermarine Spitfire LF.IX

References

Notes

  1. ^ Rawlings 1978, p. 397.
  2. ^ Halley 1988, p. 362.

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.
  • Hurt, Zdenek. In Focus: Czechs in the RAF. Walton on Thames, Surrey, UK: Red Kite, 2004. ISBN 0-9538061-9-7.
  • 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, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1998 (Second edition 2001). ISBN 978-1-84037-141-3.
  • Polak, Tomas with Jiri Rajlich and Pavel Vancata. No. 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron, 1940–45: Hurricane, Spitfire. France: WWW.RAF-in-Combat.COM, 2008. ISBN 2-9526381-1-X.
  • 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

  • Official history of no. 310 squadron
  • No. 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF movement and equipment history
  • Aircraft and markings of no. 310 squadron
  • About Czech airmen who served in the RAF
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