No. 351 Squadron RAF
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|No. 351 Squadron RAF|
|Active||1 July 1944 – 15 June 1945|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||Balkan Air Force|
|Engagements||World War II in Yugoslavia|
Formed on 1 July 1944 at Benina in Libya from Yugoslav personnel, 351 Sqn was equipped with Hawker Hurricane IICs in the fighter-bomber role. In September the squadron re-equipped with Hawker Hurricane IVs and moved to Canne, Italy, where it joined No. 281 Wing RAF (281 Wg).
281 Wg was part of the Balkan Air Force and the squadron was involved in supporting the Yugoslav partisans. The squadron used an advanced operating base on the island of Vis and, from February 1945, was also able to make use of an advance base on the Yugoslav coast.
The squadron was organised according to the war formation prescribed for mobile fighter squadrons in the RAF, with two flights, each of eight Hawker Hurricanes. The flying and technical staff were composed of personnel who came from the Royal Yugoslav Air Force moved to NOVJ, and staff from the First Air Base NOVJ. The first squadron commander was Captain Aleksandar Cenić, the commander of "A" flight was Lieutenant Stanislav Vouk, and the commander of "B" flight was Captain Francis Jež.
The first combat operation of the squadron was on 13 October 1944. Through the remaining nine months of the war, 351 Sqn carried out 226 combat operations with 971 take offs, tasked with supporting troops in Yugoslavia, fighter protection and reconnaissance, using Canne, Vis and Zemunik airports as bases. During the war, the squadron lost 23 pilots, of whom four were killed, including the squadron commander.
On 5 April 1945, the whole squadron moved to what had been their advanced base in Yugoslavia, Prkos, where it continued to operate until the squadron was disbanded from the RAF on 16 May 1945, re-forming on 18 May 1945, with No. 352 Squadron RAF (352 Sqn), as 1st Fighter Regiment of the Yugoslav Air Force.
|July 1944||September 1944||Hawker Hurricane||IIC|
|September 1944||June 1945||Hawker Hurricane||IV|
- No. 352 Squadron RAF (also Yugoslav-manned)
- Notes and citations
- Dimitrijević, Bojan (2012). Jugoslovensko ratno vazduhoplovstvo. Beograd: Institut za savremenu istoriju. ISBN 8674031633.
- Lazarević, Božo (1972). VAZDUHOPLOVSTVO U NOR-u 1941-1945. Beograd: Vojnoizdavački zavod.
- Pejčić, Predrag (1991). PRVA I DRUGA ESKADRILA NOVJ. Beograd: Vojnoizdavački i novinski centar.
- Kovačević, Miloš ed. (1965). Vazduhoplovstvo u narodnooslobodilačkom ratu Jugoslavije (PDF). Zemun: Komanda Ratnog vazduhoplovstva.
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