No. 318 Polish Fighter-Reconnaissance Squadron
|No. 318 "City of Gdańsk" Polish Fighter-Reconnaissance Squadron|
Badge of 318 "City of Gdansk" Polish Fighter-Reconnaissance Squadron during World War II
|Active||20 March 1943 – 12 December 1946|
|Allegiance||Polish Government in exile|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||RAF Army Cooperation Command, March 1943-May 1943|
RAF Second Tactical Air Force, June 1943-August 1943
Mediterranean Air Command, September 1943-December 1943
Mediterranean Allied Air Forces, December 1943-July 1945
RAF Mediterranean and Middle East, August 1945-August 1946
|Nickname(s)||"Gdański" (of Gdańsk)|
|Engagements||World War II|
|Squadron Badge heraldry||Unofficial design, based on the coat of arms city of Gdańsk|
|Squadron Codes||LW (Nov 1944 - Aug 1946)|
No. 318 "City of Gdańsk" Polish Fighter-Reconnaissance Squadron (Polish: 318 Dywizjon Myśliwsko-Rozpoznawczy Gdański") was a Polish tactical reconnaissance aircraft 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 (RAF) during World War II.
Formation and training
The squadron was formed on 20 March 1943 at RAF Detling, Kent from personnel of No. 309 Squadron and after training with Hawker Hurricane Mk.Is it moved to the Middle East, operating from RAF Muqeibila and RAF Gaza and continuing its training, specifically with II Corps of the Polish Army, by now using Hurricane Mk.IIBs. Training went on until 1944, when the squadron converted to Supermarine Spitfires.
Operations in Italy
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 saw action at the Battle of Monte Cassino. After hostilities ceased the squadron remained in Italy for another year, but on 15 August 1946 it 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, while others mention 12 December 1946.
|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|
|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|
|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|
- Delve 1994, p. 65.
- Delve 1994, p. 75.
- Rawlings 1982, p. 2006.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 88.
- Onyszk, Piotr (8 July 2007). "1943-03 - No. 318 Squadron - F540". Polish AIr Force, 1940-1947: Operations Record Books. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- Halley 1988, p. 366.
- Onyszk, Piotr (8 July 2007). "1946-08 - No. 318 Squadron - F540". Polish AIr Force, 1940-1947: Operations Record Books. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- Delve 1994, p. 149.
- Lake 1999, p. 256.
- Jefford 2001, p. 88.
- "No. 318 Squadron RAF (Polish)". valka.cz. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- 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.
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