No. 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF

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No. 312 Squadron RAF
RAF312Sq.gif
Active 29 August 1940 - 15 February 1946
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Allegiance Czech Republic Czechoslovakia
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg RAF Fighter Command
Role Fighter Squadron
Motto Latin: Non Multi Sed Multa
("Not much, but many")
Engagements Normandy landings
Dieppe Raid
Insignia
Squadron Badge A stork volant
Squadron Codes DU (Aug 1940 - Feb 1946)

No. 312 Squadron RAF was a Czechoslovak-manned fighter squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

History[edit]

It was first formed at Duxford in July 1940, equipped with Hurricane I fighters and crewed mostly by escaped Czechoslovak pilots. Its first victory was a Junkers Ju 88 above Liverpool by Alois Vašátko, Denys Gillam and Josef Stehlík on 8 October 1940.[1] During April and early May, 1941, the squadron was briefly stationed at RAF Jurby, Isle of Man. No. 312 Squadron transitioned to Hurricane IIs in May 1941, and to Spitfires in October. It operated the Spitfires from the west of England during 1942 mainly operating coastal patrols and shipping reconnaissance flights. In September 1943 it joined the 2nd Tactical Air Force as a fighter-bomber unit with the Spitfire IX. The squadron operated over France softening up targets in preparation for the invasion and then supporting the landings.[2] In July 1944 the squadron moved to RAF Coltishall and operated daytime bomber escort flight over continental Europe. Following the end of the war the squadron moved to Prague in August 1945 before being disbanded on transfer to the Czechoslovak air force in February 1946.[2]

Among other major operations, it flew in cover of the Operation Jubilee raid on Dieppe in 1942, losing one aircraft.

Seven Spitfire FMk.IXs survive today that flew with the squadron in 1944-45. This is by far the largest number of surviving aircraft associated with a single squadron.

Members[edit]

Aircraft operated[edit]

[5][6][7]

From To Aircraft Variant Notes
August 1940
May 1941
May 1941
December 1941
Hawker Hurricane I
IIb
single-engined monoplane piston-engined fighter
October 1941
November 1941
December 1941
August 1942
September 1943
January 1944
June 1944
December 1941
January 1942
February 1944
June 1943
February 1944
June 1944
February 1946
Supermarine Spitfire IIa
IIb
Vb
Vc
Vc
LF.IXb
HF.IX
single-engine monoplane piston-engined fighter

Aircraft of this squadron used a unit code letters DU.

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b Orbis 1985, page 4092
  3. ^ "Czech wartime RAF fighter pilot Standera dies aged 95". Czech News Agency. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  4. ^ "Czech pilot who fought for UK, France dies at 95". Associated Press. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  5. ^ Rawlings 1978, p. 398.
  6. ^ Halley 1988, p. 363.
  7. ^ Jefford 2001, p. 87.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Hurt, Zdenek. In Focus: Czechs in the RAF. Walton on Thames, Surrey, UK: Red Kite, 2004. ISBN 0-9538061-9-7.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G. MBE, BA, RAF (Retd.). RAF Squadrons, A Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1998 (Second edition 2001). ISBN 978-1-84037-141-3.
  • Polak, Tomas and Jiri Rajlich. No. 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron, 1940-45: Hurricane, Spitfire. France: WWW.RAF-in-Combat.com, 2008. ISBN 978-2-9526381-5-9.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (new edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 1985. 

External links[edit]