No. 340 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.340 'Ile-de-France' Squadron was a Free French fighter squadron that spent most of its existence on offensive duties, ending the war as part of Second Tactical Air Force.

The squadron was formed in Scotland on 7 November 1941. It spent the winter of 1941-42 flying defensive patrols from Scotland, before moving to southern England to begin its first period of fighter sweeps. This lasted until March 1943, when the squadron moved back to Scotland to rest.

In November 1943 the squadron moved to the south-west of England and flew fighter sweeps over northern France. In April 1944 it joined No.145 Wing, Second Tactical Air Force, a wing made up of French fighter squadrons. With this wing the squadron helped cover the D-Day landings, before moving to the bridgehead in August. The squadron moved east with the advancing armies, reaching Belgium in September.

A brief change of role then followed, when in November 1944 the squadron returned to England to provide fighter escorts for daylight bombing raids. The squadron rejoined Second Tactical Air Force on the continent in February 1945, and flew offensive sweeps over German until the end of the war.

The squadron served with the occupation forces in Germany, before on 25 November 1945 being transferred to the Armée de l'Air.

Aircraft
November 1941-March 1941: Supermarine Spitfire IIA
March-October 1942: Supermarine Spitfire VB
October 1942-March 1943: Supermarine Spitfire IXB
March 1943-February 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB
January 1944-February 1945: Supermarine Spitfire IXB
February-November 1945: Supermarine Spitfire XVI

Location
November-December 1941: Turnhouse
December 1941: Drem
December 1941-April 1942: Ayr
April 1942: Redhill
April-July 1942: Westhampnett
July 1942: Ipswich
July 1942: Westhampnett
July-September 1942: Hornchurch
September 1942-March 1943: Biggin Hill
March-April 1943: Turnhouse
April-November 1943: Drem
    August-September 1943: Detachment to Ayr
November 1943-April 1944: Perranporth
April-May 1944: Merston
May 1944: Llandedr
May-June 1944: Merston
June-July 1944: Funtington
July-August 1944: Selsey
August 1944: Tangmere
August-September 1944: B.8 Sommervieu
September 1944: B.29 Bernay
September 1944: B.37 Gamaches
September 1944: B.51 Lille/ Vendeville
September-November 1944: B.55 Wevelghem
November-December 1944: Biggin Hill
December 1944-January 1945: Drem
January-February 1945: Turnhouse
February-April 1945: B.85 Schijndel
April-June 1945: B.105 Drope
June 1945: A.41 Dreux
June-July 1945: B.105 Drope
July-September 1945: B.152 Fassberg
September 1945: Tangmere
September 1945: Warmwell
September-November 1945: B.152 Fassberg

Squadron Codes: GW

Duty
November 1941-April 1942: Defensive fighter squadron
April 1942-March 1943: Fighter sweeps, France
March-November 1943: Defensive duties, Scotland
November 1943-April 1944: Fighter sweeps from south-west England
April 1944-November 1944: 2nd Tactical Air Force
November 1944-February 1945: Bomber escort duties
February 1945 onwards: 2nd Tactical Air Force

Part of
6 June 1944: No.145 Wing; No.84 Group; Second Tactical Air Force; Allied Expeditionary Air Force

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 (21 November 2011), No. 340 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/340_wwII.html

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