List of Gloster Gladiator operators

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The following are operators of the Gloster Gladiator.

Operators of the Gladiator and Sea Gladiator



Royal Australian Air Force


Belgium received 16 Mk I aircraft (G15-G30) and an additional eight were built at SABCA (G31-G38)[2] According to other sources[3] 22 aircraft were ordered, 15 of which were delivered carrying the serials G5-1 to G5-15, the remaining seven were assembled by SABCA. The 'G' serials mentioned by Spencer (but then only the range G-17 to G-38) would have been applied later, while in service.

Belgian Army Aviation


China received 36 Mk I aircraft in January 1938,[5] given the Chinese serial numbers 5701-5736. They served until December 1939, when the last aircraft was shot down.[6]

Chinese Nationalist Air Force


Egypt received over 40 Mk II aircraft.[7]

Royal Egyptian Air Force
  • No. 2 Squadron
  • No. 5 Squadron


Finland received 30 Mk.IIs from the UK during the Winter War, plus an additional 12 Mk.Is from Sweden after the Winter War.[8]

Finnish Air Force

 Free France[edit]

Free French Air Force[9]
  • Free French Flight 'Alsace'


The Third Reich captured at least 15 airworthy Mk Is.[10]



Greece received 19 Mk I and 6 Mk II aircraft. The first two Mk I aircraft were bought by M. Zarparkis Hoimogenos (for ₤9.200) for presentation to the Royal Hellenic Air Force in 1938.[11] They carried the serial numbers Delta Epsilon 1 and 2. The later 17 obtained Mk I aircraft retained their RAF serials, as did the six Mk IIs. Most of them were eventually destroyed by enemy air attack at Paramytia or at Amphiklia the next day.[12][13]

Hellenic Royal Air Force


Iraq received 24 Mk I and 5 Mk II aircraft. The initial 15 purchased Mk I aircraft bore the Iraqi serial numbers 80 to 94. Two of the Mk II aircraft were still in use in 1949 at Mosul,[14][15] the last finally withdrawn in 1951.[16]

Royal Iraqi Air Force


Ireland received 4 Mk I aircraft. The aircraft received the Irish serial numbers 23 to 26. The last surviving aircraft was 24, which crashed in January 1944, while 26 spent most of its life in the repair shop after a landing accident.[18]

Irish Air Corps
  • No. 1 Army Co-operation Squadron


Latvia received 26 Mk I aircraft.[19][20]

Latvian Air Force


Lithuania received 14 Mk I aircraft,[20] bearing the serial numbers G-704 to G-717. Twelve of them fell in Russian hands when Russia invaded Lithuania in June 1940,[22] at least one of them later fell in German hands when Germany invaded the by then former Lithuania in June 1941.[23]

Lithuanian Air Force


Gladiator in pre-Second World War RNoAF colours

Norway received six Mk I and six Mk II aircraft from the UK in 1938-39.[24][25]

Royal Norwegian Air Force


Portugal received 15 Mark I and 15 Mk II aircraft for its Arma da Aeronáutica Militar (Army Military Aviation), the aircraft delivered in two batches of 15. They received the Portuguese serial numbers 450-464 and 465-479 respectively. The Gladiators served until 1953 with the Força Aérea Portuguesa (Portuguese Air Force) as it was by then called.[27][28][29]

Portuguese Air Force
  • Esquadrilha Expedicionária de Caça nº1 (Expeditionary Fighter Squadron No. 1), based at Rabo de Peixe.
  • Esquadrilha Expedicionária de Caça nº2 (Expeditionary Fighter Squadron No. 2 of Azores), first based at Achada and later at Lajes.
  • Esquadrilha de Caça (Fighter Squadron), based at Ota.

 South Africa[edit]

South Africa received 12 Mk II and 11 Mk I ex-RAF aircraft.[30]

South African Air Force

 Soviet Union[edit]

The Soviet Union captured 32 Latvian and Lithuanian Mk. Is aircraft.[31]

Soviet Air Force


Sweden received 37 Mk I (designated J-8) and 18 Mk II (designated J-8A) aircraft.[32] The 37 Mk Is were built new from 1927-1938 and were fitted with NOHAB built Bristol Mercury VIS2 engines. The 12 Mk IIs were built new in 1938 and were fitted with NOHAB built Bristol Mercury VIIIS.3 engines. The Gladiators were in action from January 1940 against Russian attacks on Finland and some were fitted with ski landing gear and underwing bomb-racks for eight lightweight bombs.

Swedish Air Force

 United Kingdom[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Wahlert 2009, p. 39.
  2. ^ Spencer 2003, p. 10.
  3. ^ Crawford 2002, p. 68-74.
  4. ^ Thomas 2002, p. 17
  5. ^ Thomas 2002, p. 10
  6. ^ Spencer 2003, p. 33-35
  7. ^ Alex Crawford: Royal Egyptian Air Force Gladiators
  8. ^ Alex Crawford: Finnish Gloster Gladiator
  9. ^ Alex Crawford's Gloster Gladiator pages
  10. ^ Captured Fleet Air Arm Aircraft. Fleet Air Arm Archive. [1] Access date: 31 January 2007.
  11. ^ Mason 1964, p. 124
  12. ^ Crawford 2002, p. 90-91
  13. ^ Spencer 2003, p. 39-41
  14. ^ Crawford 2002, p. 91-92
  15. ^ Mason 1964, p. 124,128
  16. ^ Spencer 2003, p. 45
  17. ^ Lyman 2006, p. 26.
  18. ^ Crawford 2002, p. 93-95
  19. ^ Alex Crawford: Latvian Air Force Gladiators
  20. ^ a b James 1971, p.218.
  21. ^ a b Crawford 2002, p. 96.
  22. ^ Alex Crawford: Lithuanian Air Force Gladiators
  23. ^ Crawford 2002, p. 100-102
  24. ^ Alex Crawford: Norwegian Gloster Gladiators
  25. ^ James 1971, p.220.
  26. ^ Thomas 2002, p. 25
  27. ^ Spencer 2003, p. 10,12,46
  28. ^ Crawford 2002, p. 109-112
  29. ^ Portuguese Air Force use of the Gloster Gladiator during the Second World War
  30. ^ Alex Crawford: South African Air Force Gladiators
  31. ^ Håkans Aviation Page: Soviet Red Air Force (VVS) use of the Gloster Gladiator during the Second World War
  32. ^ J 8 - Gloster Gladiator (1937-1947) Archived 2007-11-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  33. ^ a b Mason 1992, p. 245.
  34. ^ Lewis 1959, p.11.
  35. ^ Lewis 1959, p.32.
  36. ^ Thetford 1992, p.13.
  37. ^ Thetford 1992, p.15.
  38. ^ a b c d Spencer 2003, p. 26


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  • Chairulin, M. "Kryla Litvy" AC 1/1990.
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  • Jan, A. H. "Das Irish Air Corps" Flieger Revue.
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  • Lyman, Robert. Iraq 1941: The battles for Basra, Habbniya, Fallujah and Baghdad. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-84176-991-6.
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  • Poolman, Kenneth. Faith, Hope and Charity: Three Biplanes Against an Air Force. London, UK: William Kimber and Co. Ltd., 1954. (1st pocket edition in 1958)
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