No. 309 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.309 'Ziemia Czerwienska' Squadron was a Polish manned squadron formed as an army co-operation unit, but that became first a tactical reconnaissance unit and then a fighter squadron.

The squadron was formed on 8 October 1940 to work alongside the Polish Army, then forming in Britain after escaping from France. The squadron was equipped with Lysanders for this role, and retained them until March 1943.

Mustang III of No.309 Squadron
Mustang III of
No.309 Squadron

A second, more active role, was added during 1942. In July the squadron was issued with a number of Mustangs, and in December these aircraft began to fly tactical reconnaissance missions over France, while the rest of the squadron continued in its army co-operation role.

In March 1943 the Lysanders went, and the squadron was fully equipped with the Mustang. In June the squadron moved to East Anglia, from where it flew shipping reconnaissance off the Low Countries.

By the start of 1944 the Mustang I's engines were beginning to cause problems, and the squadron converted to the Hurricane, soon after moving to Scotland to provide defensive cover.

Merlin-powered Mustang IIIs and Mustang IVs arrived in October 1944 and the squadron returned to East Anglia, this time to escort bombers operating over German occupied territory. As with many Polish manned squadrons, No.309 survived 1946 but was disbanded on 6 January 1947

Aircraft
November 1940-March 1943: Westland Lysander III and IIIA
July 1942-February 1944: North American Mustang I and IA
February-April 1944: Hawker Hurricane IV
April-October 1944: Hawker Hurricane IIC
October 1944-January 1947: North American Mustang III and IV

Location
October-November 1940: Abbotsinch
November 1940-May 1941: Renfrew
May 1941-November 1942: Dunino
November 1942-March 1943: Findo Gask
March-June 1943: Kirknewton
June-November 1943: Snailwell
November 1943: Wellingore
November 1943-April 1944: Snailwell
April-November 1944: Drem
November-December 1944: Peterhead
December 1944-August 1945: Andrews FIeld
August-October 1945: Coltishall
October-November 1945: Bradwell Bay
November 1945-January 1947: Coltishall

Squadron Codes: AR (Mustang I), WC (Hurricane IIC and Mustang III, IV)

Duty
1940-1942: Army co-operation
1942-1943: Army co-operation and tactical reconnaissance
1943-1944: Shipping reconnaissance
1944: Defensive fighter cover, Scotland
1944-1945: Bomber escort

Part of
6 June 1944: No.13 Group; Air Defence of Great Britain; Allied Expeditionary Air Force

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (25 October 2011), No. 309 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/309_wwII.html

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