No. 317 Polish Fighter Squadron

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No. 317 "Wilno" Polish Fighter Squadron
317th Polish Fighter Squadron.svg
317 Squadron logo
Active 22 February 1941 – 18 December 1946
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Allegiance Poland Polish government in exile
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Fighter Squadron
Part of RAF Fighter Command
Nickname Dywizjon Myśliwski "Wileński"
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Stanisław Skalski
Władysław Gnyś
Insignia
Squadron Codes JH (Feb 1941 – Dec 1946)

No. 317 "Wilno" Polish Fighter Squadron (Polish: 317 Dywizjon Myśliwski „Wileński”) was a Polish fighter squadron formed in Great Britain as part of an agreement between the Polish Government in Exile and the United Kingdom in 1941. It was one of several Polish fighter squadrons fighting alongside the Royal Air Force during World War II.

History[edit]

The squadron was formed at RAF Acklington on 22 February 1941[1] and reached operational readiness on 24 April 1941. it was equipped with Hurricane Mk.Is until July when it received Mk.IIs. The squadron moved south in June and received Spitfires in October. As with most Fighter Command squadrons it alternated its operations between offensive sweeps from bases in the south and defensive duties whilst based in the north and midlands. In June 1943 the squadron was allocated to the 2nd Tactical Air Force and moved to RAF Heston. During the build up to the invasion of Normandy the squadron carried out offensive sweeps in preparation for the landings. After the invasion they conducted ground attack operations in support of Allied ground forces, moving to the continent in August. The squadron arrived in Belgium in October 1944 and Germany in April 1945, remaining there as part of the occupation forces until disbanding as a Polish fighter unit on 3 January 1947 (it had earlier disbanded as a RAF fighter unit at RAF Hethel on 18 December 1946).[1]

Commanding officers[edit]

From To Name Remark
Mar 1941 Apr 1941 S/Ldr C.J. Mount British Officer
Apr 1941 Jun 1941 S/Ldr A.N. Cole British Officer
Jun 1941 Aug 1941 Maj. Stanisław Brzezina Polish co-commander since formation
Aug 1941 Mar 1942 Kpt. Henryk Szczęsny, KW, VM
Mar 1942 May 1942 Kpt. Piotr Ozyra
May 1942 Nov 1942 Kpt. Stanisław Skalski
Nov 1942 May 1943 Kpt. Zbigniew Czajkowski
May 1943 Dec 1943 Kpt. Franciszek Kornicki
Dec 1943 Jan 1944 Kpt. Rutkowski
Jan 1944 Aug 1944 Kpt. Włodzimierz Miksa
Aug 1944 Aug 1944 Kpt. Władysław Gnyś
Aug 1944 May 1945 Kpt. Marian Chełmecki
May 1945 Oct 1945 Kpt. Paweł Niemiec
Oct 1945 Dec 1946 Kpt. Marian Trzebiński

[2]

Aircraft operated[edit]

From To Aircraft Version
Feb 1941 Jul 1941 Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
Jul 1941 Oct 1941 Hawker Hurricane Mks.IIa, IIb
Oct 1941 Sep 1943 Supermarine Spitfire Mks.Vb, Vc
Sep 1943 May 1945 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXe, LF.IXe
May 1945 Dec 1946 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XVI

[1][2][3]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Halley 1988, p. 366.
  2. ^ a b Rawlings 1978, p. 404.
  3. ^ Jefford 2001, p. 88.

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.
  • 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, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Józefiak, Stanislaw. God, Honour and Country: A True Story. Nottingham, UK: S. Józefiak, 1997. ISBN 0-9530146-0-6.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald & Jane's (Publishers)Ltd., 1969 (revised edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.

External links[edit]