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No. 351 Squadron RAF

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No. 351 Squadron RAF

No. 351 Squadron RAF
Active 1 July 1944 - 15 June 1945
Country United Kingdom
Allegiance Yugoslavia
Branch Royal Air Force
Role Fighter Squadron
Part of Balkan Air Force
Engagements World War II in Yugoslavia
Hawker Hurricane Mk IVRP of No. 351 Squadron RAF, Museum of Aviation in Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

No. 351 Squadron RAF was a Yugoslav-manned fighter-bomber squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. The squadron was also known as Second NOVJ Squadron.

History

Formed on 1 July 1944 at Benina in Libya from Yugoslav personnel, it was equipped with Hawker Hurricane IICs in the fighter-bomber role. In September the squadron re-equipped with Hawker Hurricane IVs and moved to Canne, Italy, where it joined No. 281 Wing RAF.

281 Wing was part of the Balkan Air Force and the squadron was involved in supporting the Yugoslav partisans. The squadron used an advanced operating base on the island of Vis and from February 1945, was also able to make use of an advance base on the Yugoslav coast.

The squadron was organized according to the war formation prescribed for mobile fighter squadron RAF, with two flights, each of eight Hawker Hurricanes. The flying and technical staff were composed of personnel who came from the Royal Yugoslav Air Force moved to NOVJ, and staff from the First Air Base NOVJ. The first squadron commander was Captain Aleksandar Cenić, the commander of "A" flight was Lieutenant Stanislav Vouk, and the commander of "B" flight was Captain Francis Jež.

The first combat operation of the squadron was on 13 October 1944.[1] Through the nine months of the war, No. 351 Squadron RAF carried out 226 combat operations with 971 take offs. These tasks included supporting troops in Yugoslavia, fighter protection and reconnaissance. Canne, Vis and Zemunik airports were used. During the war, the squadron lost 23 pilots, of whom four were killed, including the squadron commander.

On 5 April 1945, the whole squadron moved to what had been their advanced base in Yugoslavia, Prkos,[2] where it continued to operate until the squadron was disbanded from RAF on 16 May 1945. On 18 May 1945, together with No. 352 Squadron, it formed 1st Fighter Regiment of Yugoslav Air Force.

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Variant Notes
July 1944 September 1944 Hawker Hurricane IIC
September 1944 June 1945 Hawker Hurricane IV

See also

References

Notes and citations
  1. ^ Pejčić 1991, p. 95.
  2. ^ "Second RAF Yugoslav fighter squadron". www.ww2incolor.com. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
Bibliography

External links

  • Official history of no. 351 squadron
  • 351 Squadron Aircraft and markings of no. 351 squadron
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