No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron

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No. 300 (Masovian) Squadron RAF
PSP Dywizjon 300.jpg
Badge of no. 300 (Masovian) squadron RAF
Active 1 July 1940 – 2 February 1947
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Allegiance Poland Polish government in exile
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Bomber
Part of RAF Bomber Command
Nickname Mazowiecki
Aircraft Fairey Battle, Vickers Wellington, Avro Lancaster
Battle honours Millennium Offensive, bombing raids on V-weapon sites, D-Day, crossing the Rhine, Battle of the Ruhr, bombing of Hamburg and Battle of Berlin.
Insignia
Squadron code BH (Jul 1940 – Oct 1946)

No. 300 (Polish) "Land of Masovia" Bomber Squadron (Polish: 300 Dywizjon Bombowy "Ziemi Mazowieckiej")[1] was a Polish World War II bomber unit. It was fighting alongside the Royal Air Force and operated from airbases in the United Kingdom.

History[edit]

Already before the outbreak of World War II, the Polish government signed an agreement with the Royal Air Force. According to the appendix to the Polish-British Alliance, should the war with Germany break out, two Polish bomber squadrons were to be created on British soil. However, following the German invasion of Poland and subsequent Soviet invasion of Poland, most of Polish airmen who managed to get to the west were incorporated into the Polish Air Forces being created in France. It was not until the fall of France that Polish airmen started to arrive to the United Kingdom in large numbers.

Polish evacuees and refuges with experience in aerial warfare were initially kept in a military camp in Eastchurch.

Finally on July 1, 1940 the No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron was created as the first such Polish units at RAF Bramcote, as a part of the Polish Air Forces in Great Britain.

As the number of Polish airmen, often with experience in fights against the Germans from Poland and France, was high, by July 24 additional bomber squadrons were created.

Between July 19, 1940 and May 8, 1945, the crews of the squadron flew 3,891 sorties and spent 20,264 hours in air.

Initially equipped with Fairey Battle light bombers, the squadron was equipped with Vickers Wellington medium bombers on November 16, 1940. The squadron used several versions, including Mark IC, IV, III and X. In 1941 while the unit was equipped with Wellingtons and flying from Hemswell on 'Gardening' (mining) operations, the squadron's Intelligence Officer was Michael Bentine, later to become well known as an entertainer. On March 5, 1944 the unit was re-equipped with Avro Lancaster bombers and continued to use that bomber until the end of World War II (versions Mk I and Mk III).

During the war, the squadron took part in most of the notable air offensives in Europe, including attacks on Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine preparing for Operation Seelöwe, also its naval ships such as the German battleship Gneisenau docked in Brest, France, other naval facilities in Wilhelmshaven and its U boat facilities in St. Nazaire, Millennium Offensive on large bombing raids on Cologne, bombing raids on V-weapon sites, D-Day, in support of crossing the Rhine, the Battle of the Ruhr, the bombing of Hamburg and the Battle of Berlin.

A number of the crew members were in late 1942 attached to the RAF Tempsford based No. 138 (Special) Squadron RAF as the newly formed Flight C operating Handley Page Halifax bomber.

The last mission was flown on May 8, 1945 against Adolf Hitler's residence in Berchtesgaden. The unit was disbanded on January 2, 1947, after the Allies withdrew their support for the Polish government.

Details[edit]

Period Commanding Officer Notes
July 1, 1940 Lt.Col. engineer pilot Wacław Makowski with W/Cdr K. P. Lewis as a British supervisor
July 18, 1941 Maj. pilot Stanisław Cwynar
January 27, 1942 Maj. pilot Romuald Suliński
August 1, 1942 Maj. pilot Władysław Dukszto Since July 9 a c/o commander
October 31, 1942 Maj. pilot Adam Kropiński
May 4, 1943 Maj. pilot Mieczysław Kucharski
November 18, 1943 Maj. pilot Kazimierz Kuzian
January 18, 1944 Maj. pilot Adam Kowalczyk
April 1, 1944 Maj. pilot Teofil Pożyczka
February 2, 1945 Maj. pilot Bolesław Jarkowski
September 17, 1945 Maj. pilot Romuald Suliński
February 22, 1946 Maj. pilot Bolesław Jarkowski Until the dissolution of the unit after the Allies withdrew their support for the Polish government.


Period Airlield
July 1, 1940 Bramcote
August 22, 1940 Swinderby
July 18, 1941 Hemswell
May 18, 1942 RAF Ingham
January 31, 1943 Hemswell
June 22, 1943 Ingham
March 1, 1944 Faldingworth

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ also "No 300 (Masovian) Squadron"

External links[edit]