No. 331 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.331 (Norwegian) Squadron was a fighter squadron that fought with Fighter Command from 1941, before joining 2nd Tactical Air Force to support the invasion of Europe.

The squadron was formed on 21 July 1941 around a core of Norwegian personnel. It was initially equipped with Hurricanes, and these were used when the squadron began to fly defensive patrols from northern Scotland. After two months Spitfires arrived, and these were used in Scotland before in May 1942 the squadron moved south. On 6 May it took part in its first offensive sweep across France, and the squadron remained on offensive duties for the rest of the war, normally working alongside No.332 (Norwegian) Squadron. Both Nos.331 and 332 squadrons took part in the Dieppe raid in August 1942.

The squadron became part of No.132 Wing, 2nd Tactical Air Force on 31 March 1944 (alongside No.332 (Norwegian) Squadron), now operating as a fighter bomber unit. It moved into the Normandy beachhead in mid-August and was used to support the Allied during the breakout from the beachhead. It followed the advancing armies east, and was based in the Low Countries from October. It spent the rest of the war supporting the Allied armies as they advanced into Germany.

The squadron returned to the UK at the end of April 1945. It then moved to Norway, where on 21 November 1945 it was transferred to the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

Aircraft
July-August 1941: Hawker Hurricane I
August-November 1941: Hawker Hurricane IIB
November 1941-August 1942: Supermarine Spitfire IIA
March-October 1942: Supermarine Spitfire VB
October 1942-November 1945: Supermarine Spitfire IX

Location
July-August 1941: Catterick
August-September 1941: Castletown
September 1941-May 1942: Skeabrae
May-June 1942: North Weald
June-July 1942: Manston
July-August 1942: North Weald
August 1942: Manston
August-September 1942: North Weald
September 1942: Ipswich
September-October 1942: North Weald
October 1942: Manston
October 1942-January 1944: North Weald
January 1944: Llanbedr
January-March 1944: North Weald
March 1944: Southend
March 1944: North Weald
March-June 1944: Bognor
June-August 1944: Tangmere
August 1944: Funtington
August 1944: Ford
August-September 1944: B.16 Villons les Buissons
September 1944: B.33 Camp Neuseville
September 1944: B.57 Lille/ Wambrechies
September-October 1944: Fairwood Common
October-December 1944: B.60 Grimbergen
December 1944-February 1945: B.79 Woendrecht
February-March 1945: B.85 Schijndel
March-April 1945: Fairwood Common
April 1945: B.85 Schijndel
April 1945: B.106 Enschede
April-May 1945: Dyce
May-November 1945: Gardermoen with detachment at Stavanger

Squadron Codes: FN

Duty
1941-1943: Fighter Command
1943-1945: 2nd Tactical Air Force

Part of
6 June 1944: No.132 Wing; No.84 Group; Second Tactical Air Force; Allied Expeditionary Air Force

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (16 November 201), No. 331 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/331_wwII.html

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