No. 318 Polish Fighter-Reconnaissance Squadron

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No. 318 "City of Gdańsk" Polish Fighter-Reconnaissance Squadron
318th Polish Fighter Squadron.svg
Badge of 318 "City of Gdansk" Polish Fighter-Reconnaissance Squadron during World War II
Active 20 March 1943 - 12 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 Tactical Reconnaissance
Part of RAF Army Cooperation Command, March 1943-May 1943[1]
RAF Second Tactical Air Force, June 1943-August 1943
Mediterranean Air Command, September 1943-December 1943
Mediterranean Allied Air Forces, December 1943-July 1945[2]
RAF Mediterranean and Middle East, August 1945-August 1946
Nickname 'Gdański'
Engagements World War II
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry Unofficial[3] design, based on the coat of arms city of Gdańsk
Squadron Codes LW (Nov 1944 - Aug 1946)[3][4]
Aircraft flown
Fighter Hawker Hurricane
Supermarine Spitfire

No. 318 "City of Gdańsk" Polish Fighter-Reconnaissance Squadron (Polish: Dywizjon Myśliwsko-Rozpoznawczy Gdański") was a Polish tactical reconnaissance squadron formed in Great Britain as part of an agreement between the Polish Government in Exile and the United Kingdom in 1940. It was one of several Polish squadrons fighting alongside the Royal Air Force during World War II.

History[edit]

Formation and training[edit]

The squadron was formed on 20 March 1943 at RAF Detling, Kent from personnel of no.309 Squadron[5] and after training with Hurricane Mk.Is it moved to the Middle East, operating from RAF Muqeibila and RAF Gaza, continuing training, specifically with II Corps of the Polish Army, by now using Hurricane Mk.IIBs. Training went on till 1944, when the squadron converted to Spitfires.

Operations in Italy[edit]

The squadron was then involved in ground attack and tactical reconnaissance operations over Italy in support of the Eighth Army following the allied advance and seeing action at the Battle of Monte Cassino. after hostilities had ceased the squadron remained for a few month in Italy, but on 15 August 1946 the squadron handed over its aircraft and left Italy for the UK, where it arrived on the 19th. Soon after, the squadron disbanded at RAF Coltishall, according to some sources on 31 August 1946,[3][6][7] while others mention 12 December 1946.[8][9][10]

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft operated by no.318 Squadron RAF, data from[3][6][10]
From To Aircraft Version
April 1943 August 1943 Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
September 1943 March 1944 Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIb
March 1944 March 1945 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb
March 1944 March 1945 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc
September 1944 August 1946 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX

Squadron bases[edit]

Bases and airfields used by no.318 Squadron RAF, data from[3][6][10]
From To Base Remark
20 March 1943 15 August 1943 RAF Detling, Kent dets. at RAF Weston Zoyland, Somerset and
RAF Snailwell, Cambridgeshire from April 1943
15 August 1943 31 August 1943 En route to Egypt
31 August 1943 10 September 1943 Alamaza, Egypt
10 September 1943 13 October 1943 RAF Muqueibila, Palestine
13 October 1943 22 October 1943 RAF Gaza, Palestine
22 October 1943 21 November 1943 RAF Lydda, Palestine (now Ben Gurion International Airport)
21 November 1943 23 April 1944 LG.207 (Qassassin), Egypt Ground echelon to Italy from 9 April
23 April 1944 24 April 1944 RAF Helwan, Egypt
24 April 1944 25 April 1944 RAF Marble Arch, Libya
25 April 1944 28 April 1944 RAF Castel Benito, Libya
28 April 1944 1 May 1944 Madna, Italy
1 May 1944 17 June 1944 Trigno, Italy
17 June 1944 26 June 1944 San Vito, Italy
26 June 1944 2 July 1944 Tortoretto, Italy
2 July 1944 30 July 1944 Fermio, Italy det. at Castiglione, Italy
30 July 1944 24 August 1944 Falconara, Italy
24 August 1944 31 August 1944 Chiaravalle, Italy det. at Malignano, Italy
31 August 1944 16 September 1944 Piagiolino, Italy
16 September 1944 27 September 1944 Cassandro, Italy
27 September 1944 6 November 1944 Rimini, Italy Det. at Iesi, Italy
6 November 1944 4 December 1944 Bellaria, Italy
4 December 1944 3 May 1945 Forli, Italy
3 May 1945 6 May 1945 La Russia, Italy
6 May 1945 14 May 1945 Treviso, Italy
14 May- 21 August 1945 Tissano, Italy
21 August 1945 24 January 1946 Lavariano, Italy
24 January 9 March 1946 Tissano, Italy
9 March 1946 15 August 1946 Treviso, Italy
15 August 1946 19 August 1946 En route to the UK
19 August 1946 12 December 1946 RAF Coltishall, Norfolk

Commanding Officers[edit]

Officers commanding no.318 Squadron RAF, data from[3][11]
From To Name
20 March 1943 5 August 1943 W/Cdr. A. Wojtyga
5 August 1943 5 January 1945 W/Cdr. L. Wielochowski
5 January 1945 20 May 1946 W/Cdr. S. Mosczynski, DFC
20 May 1946 12 December 1946 S/Ldr. W. Bereżecki

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Delve 1994, p. 65.
  2. ^ Delve 1994, p. 75.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rawlings 1982, p. 2006.
  4. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 88.
  5. ^ Onyszk, Piotr (8 July 2007). "1943-03 - No. 318 Squadron - F540". Polish AIr Force, 1940-1947: Operations Record Books. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Halley 1988, p. 366.
  7. ^ Onyszk, Piotr (8 July 2007). "1946-08 - No. 318 Squadron - F540". Polish AIr Force, 1940-1947: Operations Record Books. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Delve 1994, p. 149.
  9. ^ Lake 1999, p. 256.
  10. ^ a b c Jefford 2001, p. 88.
  11. ^ "No. 318 Squadron RAF (Polish". valka.cz. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Delve, Ken. The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
  • Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • Halley, James J. (1988), The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918-1988, Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., ISBN 0-85130-164-9 
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). (2001), RAF Squadrons: A Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-84037-141-2 
  • Król, Waclaw. Zarys dzialan polskiego lotnictwa w Wielkiej Brytanii 1940-1945 (in Polish). Warszawa, Poland: Biblioteczka Skrzydlatej Polski, tom 11, Wydawnictwa Komunikacji i lacznosci, 1981. ISBN 83-206-0152-5.
  • Lake, Alan. Flying Units of the RAF: The ancestry, formation and disbandment of all flying units from 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-84037-086-6.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
  • Sturtivant, Ray, ISO and John Hamlin. RAF Flying Training And Support Units since 1912. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 2007. ISBN 0-85130-365-X.

External links[edit]