No. 327 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.327 Squadron was the RAF designation given to G.C. I/3 'Corse', a French fighter squadron that had served with the Vichy forces in North Africa before joining the Allies in 1943.

G.C. I/3 had been renumbered as G.C. III/3 in 1940. Under this designation it was very active during Operation Torch, claiming a number of victories. After the end of hostilities between the Vichy French and the Allies in North Africa the squadron renumbered itself G.C. I/3.

At first the Allies were uncertain about the loyalty of former Vichy units, but in May 1943 G.C. I/3 was given the P-39 Airacobra. Later in the summer the squadron converted to the Spitfire V. The squadron took these aircraft to Corsica soon after the Allied liberation of that island.

On 1 December 1943 G.C. I.3 was given the RAF designation No.327 Squadron, indicating that it was to be used outside North Africa and Corsica, and under RAF operational control. The squadron operated alongside No.326 Squadron (G.C. II/7 'Nice'), and from the spring of 1944 was joined by No.328 Squadron (G.C. I/7 'Provence'). The three French squadrons then formed a complete Spitfire wing.

In August 1944 the French Spitfire wing was used to cover the invasion of southern France. In September they moved onto French soil. In October the RAF squadrons allocated to the invasion were transferred to Italy, leaving the three French squadrons operating independently on their own home soil. They followed the armies as they advanced north into Alsace-Lorraine, and were then used to support the French First Army, flying offensive sweeps over Germany. No.327 Squadron officially ceased to be an RAF unit in November 1945.

Aircraft
December 1943-April 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
December 1943-November 1945: Supermarine Spitfire IX
July-September 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VIII

Location
December 1943-April 1944: Ajaccio/ Campo del Oro
April-August 1944: Bastia/ Borgo
August-September 1944: Calvi
September 1944: Le Vallon
September 1944: Lyon/ Bron
September 1944: Dijon/ Longvic
September 1944-January 1945: Luxeuil
January-February 1945: Nancy/ Essey
February-March 1945: Luxeuil
March-April 1945: Colmar
April 1945: Strasbourg/ Entzheim
April-November 1945: Stuttgart/ Sersheim

Squadron Codes: -

Duty
1943-1945: French fighter squadron under RAF operational control

Books

Links

Fondation de la France Libre: French language site of the Foundation for the Free French.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 November 2011), No. 327 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/327_wwII.html

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