No. 311 Squadron RAF
|No. 311 Squadron RAF|
|Active||29 July 1940 – 15 February 1946|
|Allegiance||Czechoslovak National Liberation Committee|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Role||Bomber, maritime patrol, transport|
|Motto(s)||(Czech): Na množství nehleďte
("Never regard their numbers", Hussite battle cry)
|Squadron badge||A thresher and a morning star in saltire, the halves fracted.|
|Squadron codes||KX (Jul 1940 - Apr 1942)
PP (1945 - Feb 1946)
At the end of the war, it disbanded as an RAF unit and became part of the reformed Czechoslovak Air Force.
It was first formed at RAF Honington on 29 July 1940, equipped with Wellington I bombers and crewed mostly by Czechoslovak aircrew who had escaped from Europe. It was transferred from Bomber Command to Coastal Command in April 1942 to carry out maritime patrol work. It re-equipped with Consolidated Liberator bombers in June 1943 and continued in anti-submarine work but now over the Bay of Biscay. The squadron was responsible for the sinking of the German blockade runner Alsterufer on 28 December 1943 prior to the Battle of the Bay of Biscay.
Following the end of the war, in June 1945 the squadron was transferred to RAF Transport Command and began flights between the UK and Czechoslovakia. The squadron continued flying from UK bases until it was disbanded in the UK at RAF Milltown on 15 February 1946, but since 21 August 1945 actually flew from Prague.
|July 1940||November 1940||W/Cdr John Griffiths DFC|
|July 1940||March 1941||W/Cdr. Karel Toman-Mareš|
|1941||1941||Sqn Ldr Percy Charles Pickard DFC.|
|March 1941||July 1941||W/Cdr. Josef Schejbal|
|July 1941||April 1942||W/Cdr. Josef Ocelka, DFC|
|April 1942||January 1943||W/Cdr. Josef Šnajdr, DFC|
|January 1943||August 1943||W/Cdr. Jindřich Breitcetl, DFC|
|August 1943||January 1944||W/Cdr. Vladimír Nedvěd, MBE, DFC|
|January 1944||August 1944||W/Cdr. Josef Šejbl, DFC|
|August 1944||February 1946||W/Cdr. Jan Kostohryz, DSO|
|29 July 1940 – 16 September 1940||RAF Honington|
|16 September 1940 – 28 April 1942||RAF East Wretham|
|28 April 1942 - 12 June 1942||RAF Aldergrove|
|12 June 1942 - 26 May 1943||RAF Talbenny|
|26 May 1943 – 23 February 1944||RAF Beaulieu|
|23 February 1944 - 7 August 1944||RAF Predannack|
|7 August 1944 - 6 August 1945||RAF Tain|
|6 August 1945 - 21 August 1945||RAF Manston|
|21 August 1945 – 15 February 1946||Prague|
|1940–1943||Vickers Wellington||IC||Twin-engined medium bomber|
|Four-engined heavy bomber|
In 1964, 311 Squadron veteran Richard Husmann as Filip Jánský published his novel Nebeští jezdci, portraying the lives of Czech and Polish airmen in the wartime RAF. In 1969 the film was released, having been made the previous year around Klecany airfield. In the same year the book was published as Sky Riders in English.
A cafe commemorating the No. 311 Squadron RAF was opened in Brno in 1999. It is called Air Cafe and exhibits a small but interesting collection of memorabilia connected with the Czech manned squadron.
- 1942 Ruislip Wellington accident
- Charles Pickard
- Jindřich Svoboda
- List of Royal Air Force aircraft squadrons
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 64.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 83.
- Halley 1988, p. 362.
- Rawlings 1982, p. 199.
- Rijnhout & Rennison 1980, p. 92.
- Sqn Histories 310-347_P rafweb.org
- Zdeněk Hurt Czechs in the RAF In Focus
- K. R. M. Short, Pickard, Percy Charles (1915–1944), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2008 accessed 24 Feb 2013 subscription required
- Jefford 1988, page 85
- Kucera, Pawel Recreating a Wimpy Aeroplane Monthly, September 2001 pp72-5
- Bowyer, Michael J.F. and Rawlings, John D.R. Squadron Codes 1937-56. Bar Hill, Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
- 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: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
- Capka, Jo and MacDonald, Kendall. Red Sky at Night, the Story of Jo Capka, DFM. London: Anthony Blond, 1958.
- Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1964, new edition 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
- 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.
- Rijnhout, Bart M. Het mysterie van de L 7788. De lotgevallen van een Engelse bommenwerper en zijn Tsjechische bemanning 1940/1944 (in Dutch). Zutphen, the Netherlands: De Walburg Pers, 1979. ISBN 90-6011-185-0.
- Rijnhout, Bart M. Het mysterie van de L 7788. Oud-bemanning even terug op plek des onheils... (in Dutch). Leidschendam, the Netherlands: House Printing Unit HTM, 1979. No ISBN.
- Rijnhout, Bart M. and Rennison, John P. The Sky is our Ocean. De rol van het 311(Tsjechisch) R.A.F.-squadron tijdens de tweede wereldoorlog (in Dutch). Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Wyt Uitgeverij, 1980. ISBN 90-6007-141-7.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to No. 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF.|
- No. 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron at raf.mod.uk Bomber Command history
- No. 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF movement and equipment history - Bomber Command
- No. 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF movement and equipment history - Coastal Command
- Air Cafe in Brno, a cafe to commemorate the Czech manned squadron with a small exhibition of memorabilia