No. 304 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.304 'Slaski' Squadron was a Polish-manned squadron that served with Bomber Command from 1940-1942 before transferring to Coastal Command for the rest of the war.

The squadron was formed on 22 August 1940 around a core of Polish airmen who had escaped from France. At first it was equipped with the Fairey Battle, but these obsolete light bombers were replaced with the Vickers Wellington before the squadron became operational.

The first operation mission was flown on 25 April 1941. The squadron was part of Bomber Command's main force for the next year, but in May 1942 was transferred to Coastal Command.

The squadron became operational with Coastal Command on 18 May 1942, flying patrols from Tiree. In the next month it moved to Pembrokeshire, and began to fly long range patrols over the Bay of Biscay. At this point standard Wellington bombers were in use, but in July 1943 the specialised Wellington XIII arrived. By this point the squadron had moved twice - first to East Anglia, from where it flew anti E-Boat patrols (April-June 1943) and then to Cornwall, from where it resumed operations over the Bay of Biscay. In the days after D-Day the squadron helped protect the flanks of the Allied invasion fleet, sinking U-1191 in the English Channel on 18 June.

In September 1944 the squadron moved north to Benbecula, and began to fly patrols over the North Atlantic. After spending a winter on this duty, the squadron returned to Cornwall in March 1945. On 2 April the squadron sank U-321 to the south-west of Ireland.

After the end of the war the squadron was transferred to Transport Command, where it swapped its Wellingtons for Warwicks. The squadron flew transport flights to Italy and Greece from December 1945 until April 1946. It then converted to the Halifax, but hadn't returned to operations when it was disbanded on 18 December 1946.

August-November 1940: Fairey Battle I
November 1940-July 1943: Vickers Wellington IC
June-July 1943: Vickers Wellington III and X
July-September 1943: Vickers Wellington XIII
September 1943-January 1946: Vickers Wellington XIV
July 1945-May 1946: Vickers Warwick III
May-December 1946: Handley Page Halifax C.8

August-December 1940: Bramcote
December 1940-July 1941: Syerston
July 1941-May 1942: Lindholme
May-June 1942: Tiree
June-November 1942: Dale
November 1942: Talbenny
November 1942-April 1943: Dale
April-June 1943: Docking
June-December 1943: Davidstowe Moor
December 1943-February 1944: Predannack
February-September 1944: Chivenor
September 1944-March 1945: Benbecula
March-July 1945: St. Eval
July-September 1945: North Weald
Septemebr 1945-December 1946: Chedburgh

Squadron Codes: NZ, QD

1940-1942: Bomber Command
1942-1945: Coastal Command
1945-1946: Transport Command

Part of
15 February 1943: No.19 Group; Coastal Command


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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 October 2011), No. 304 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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