No. 342 Squadron RAF
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|No 342 (GB/I/20 'Lorraine') Squadron|
|Active||7 April 1943 – 2 December 1945|
|Allegiance||Free French Forces|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||RAF Fighter Command|
|Motto(s)||Nous Y Sommes (We are here)|
|Squadron Badge heraldry||On a billet in bend indented to the base, three alérions|
|Squadron code||OA (Apr 1943 – Dec 1945)|
No. 342 Squadron was formed on 7 April 1943 at RAF West Raynham with personnel from the Free French Air Forces (Forces aériennes françaises libres) transferred from the Middle East, in particular the personnel of the French Escadrilles "Metz" and "Nancy". The squadron was part of No. 2 Group RAF of RAF Bomber Command and equipped with Douglas Mk IIIA Bostons (aka Douglas A-20C Havocs). They later moved with their sister squadron No. 88 Squadron to RAF Hartford Bridge.
The squadron flew low-level bombing and strafing missions (nicknamed "hedgehopping"), over France and the Netherlands, in particular against V-1 bases in Northern France and selected sites connected with the preparation for D-Day.
In October 1944 the squadron relocated to France from where it continued to support the Allied advance. In March/April 1945 the Bostons were replaced by Mitchells and the squadron relocated to the Netherlands. The squadron was transferred from RAF control to the French Air Force ( Armée de l'Air ) on 2 December 1945.
- 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, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (2nd edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
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