No. 34 Wing RAF

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No. 34 Wing RAF
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Role Reconnaissance
Size Wing

No. 34 Wing RAF was a formation of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. It comprised No. 16 Squadron RAF, No. 69 Squadron RAF and No. 140 Squadron RAF. Today it is an Expeditionary Air Wing based at RAF Waddington

D-Day[edit]

For Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944, No. 34 was a reconnaissance wing in 2nd Tactical Air Force at RAF Northolt with Nos 16 (Spitfire PRXI), 69 (Wellington XIII) and 140 (Mosquito PRIX/XVI) Squadrons;[1][2]

Operation Bodenplatte[edit]

No. 34 Wing was based at Brussels-Melsbroek during Operation Bodenplatte, the German aerial attack of 1 January 1945. The Germans hit Melsbroek hard. According to Emil Clade (leading III./JG 27), the anti-aircraft gun positions were not manned, and aircraft were bunched together or in lines, which made perfect targets. The attack caused considerable damage among the units based there and was a great success. The reconnaissance wings lost two entire squadrons worth of machines. No. 69 Squadron RAF lost 11 Vickers Wellingtons and two damaged. Possibly all No. 140 Squadron RAF′s de Havilland Mosquitoes were lost. At least five Supermarine Spitfires from No. 16 Squadron RAF were destroyed. No. 271 Squadron RAF lost at least seven Handley Page Harrow transports "out of action". A further 15 other aircraft were destroyed. 139 Wing reported five North American B-25 Mitchells destroyed and five damaged. [3][4] Another source states that 13 Wellingtons were destroyed, as were five Mosquitoes, four Austers and five Avro Ansons from the Tactical Air Forces 2nd Communications Squadron. Three Spitfires were also lost and two damaged.[5]

Post war[edit]

After the Second World War 34 Wing formed part of No. 2 Group RAF as part of Second Tactical Air Force in West Germany.

Today it is 34 Expeditionary Air Wing based at RAF Waddington.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Orders of Battle, June 1944', Ken Delve, D-Day: The Air Battle, London: Arms & Armour Press, 1994, ISBN 1-85409-227-8.
  2. ^ Appendix VI: 'Allied Air Forces', Major L.F. Ellis, History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series: Victory in the West, Vol I: The Battle of Normandy, London: HM Stationery Office, 1962/Uckfield: Naval & Military, 2004, ISBN 1-845740-58-0.
  3. ^ Manrho & Pütz 2004, p. 217.
  4. ^ Weal 2003, p. 117.
  5. ^ Franks 2000, p. 134.