No. 305 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.305 'Weilkopolski' Squadron was a Polish manned bomber squadron than originally served as a night bomber squadron, but that converted to daylight operations in 1943 and ended the war as a low-level bomber squadron.

The squadron was formed on 29 August 1940 around a core of Polish airmen who had escaped from France. It was originally equipped with the Fairey Battle, but these were replaced after two months by Wellingtons, and the squadron became a night bomber squadron with Bomber Command's main force. Operations began in April 1941.

In August 1943 the squadron was transferred from night to day bombing, joining No.2 Group. The Wellingtons were replaced with Mitchells, and the first daylight raid took place in November 1943.

The Mitchells were only used on sixteen missions before they were replaced with Mosquitoes. The new aircraft became operational in February 1944 and were used to make low level attacks on German transportation targets, first in France and later in Germany. The squadron was responsible for one of the 'set piece' attacks in which special targets were destroyed - in this case the squadron attacked and destroyed a barracks near Poitiers being used by a sabotage school.

In November 1944, as the armies moved east, the squadron moved to France to reduce the distance to its targets. After the end of the fighting the squadron became part of the occupation forces, before returning to the UK in October 1946. The squadron was disbanded on 6 January 1947.

Aircraft
September-November 1940: Fairey Battle I
November 1940-July 1941: Vickers Wellington IC
July 1941-August 1942: Vickers Wellington II
August 1942-May 1943: Vickers Wellington IV
May-September 1943: Vickers Wellington X
September-October 1943: North American Mitchell II
December 1943-November 1946: de Havilland Mosquito VI

Location
August-December 1940: Bramcote
December 1940-July 1941: Syerston
July 1941-July 1942: Lindholme
July 1942-June 1943: Hemswell
June-September 1943: Ingham
September-November 1943: Swanton Morley
November 1943-October 1944: Lasham
October-November 1944: Hartfordbridge
November 1944-July 1945: A.75 Cambrai/ Epinoy
July-September 1945: B.80 Volkel
September-November 1945: B.77 Gilze-Rijen
November 1945-March 1946: B.58 Melsbroek
March-July 1946: Wahn
July-August 1946: Handorf
August-October 1946: Wahn
October 1946-January 1947: Faldingworth

Squadron Codes: SM

Duty
1940-1943: Night bomber, Bomber Command
1943: Day bomber, Bomber Command
1944-1945: Low level Mosquito bomber squadron

4 March 1943: No.1 Group; Bomber Command
6 June 1944: No.138 Wing; No.2 Group; Second Tactical Air Force; Allied Expeditionary Air Force

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (21 October 2011), No. 305 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/305_wwII.html

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