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No.353 Squadron was formed in India in 1942 as a reconnaissance squadron, but spent most of the war serving as a transport unit.
The squadron was formed at Dum Dum on 1 June 1942 with only three Lockheed Hudsons. These aircraft were used for reconnaissance patrols over the Bay of Bengal, and the squadron performed this role for just over a year.
On 8 August 1943 the squadron swapped to transport duties, taking over the internal air services (and in particular the mail services) previously provided by No.194 Squadron.
The squadron operated a mix of long and short range aircraft. At first it just had the Hudsons, but these were joined by the first Dakotas in April 1944, and by October the last Hudsons had gone. Long range services were standardized on the Dakotas from then on.
In August 1944 five Avro Ansons were acquired, and were used for short range communications flights. These aircraft were replaced with Expediters in January 1945, but these were also replaced by Dakotas in May. After that the squadron was entirely equipped with the Dakota.
No.353 Squadron continued to provide transport services across India after the end of the war, but was disbanded on 1 October 1946.
June 1942-October 1944: Lockheed Hudson III
October 1944: Lockheed Hudson VI
April 1944-September 1945: Douglas Dakota I
April 1944-October 1946: Douglas Dakota III and Dakota IV
August 1944-January 1945: Avro Anson I, X and XII
November 1944-March 1945: Vickers Warwick III
January-July 1945: Expediter II
June 1942-February 1943: Dum Dum
February-April 1943: Dhubalia
April-August 1943: Tanjore
August 1943-October 1946: Palam
Squadron Codes: Y
June 1942-August 1943: General reconnaissance
August 1943-October 1946: Transport duties
1 July 1944: No.229 Group; Air Command South-East Asia