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No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

No. 300 (Masovian) Squadron RAF
PSP Dywizjon 300.jpg
Badge of no. 300 (Masovian) squadron RAF
Active1 July 1940 – 2 February 1947
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
AllegiancePoland Polish government in exile
Branch
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Royal Air Force
RoleBomber
Part ofRAF Bomber Command
Nickname(s)Mazowiecki
AircraftFairey Battle, Vickers Wellington, Avro Lancaster
Battle honoursMillennium Offensive, bombing raids on V-weapon sites, D-Day, crossing the Rhine, Battle of the Ruhr, bombing of Hamburg and Battle of Berlin.
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Squadron Leader Bronislaw Szota
Insignia
Squadron codeBH (Jul 1940 – Oct 1946)

No. 300 (Polish) "Land of Masovia" Bomber Squadron (Polish: 300 Dywizjon Bombowy "Ziemi Mazowieckiej")[1] was a Polish World War II bomber unit. It fought alongside the Royal Air Force and operated from airfields in the United Kingdom.

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Transcription

Contents

History

Before the outbreak of World War II, the Polish government signed an agreement with the Royal Air Force. According to the appendix to the Polish-British Alliance, in the event of war with Germany, two Polish bomber squadrons were to be created on British soil. However, following the German invasion of Poland and subsequent Soviet invasion of Poland, most of the Polish airmen who got to the west were incorporated into the Polish Air Forces being created in France. It was not until the fall of France that Polish airmen started to arrive in the United Kingdom in large numbers.

Polish evacuees and refugees with experience in aerial warfare were initially housed in a military camp in Eastchurch.

Finally, on 1 July 1940, the No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron was created as the first such Polish units at RAF Bramcote, as a part of the Polish Air Forces in Great Britain.

As there were a large number of Polish airmen, often with experience in combat against the Germans from Poland and France, additional bomber squadrons were created by 24 July.

Between 19 July 1940 and 8 May 1945, the crews of the squadron flew 3,891 sorties and spent 20,264 hours in the air.

Initially equipped with Fairey Battle light bombers, the squadron was equipped with Vickers Wellington medium bombers on 16 November 1940. The squadron used several versions, including Mark IC, IV, III and X. In 1941 while the unit was equipped with Wellingtons and flying from Hemswell on 'Gardening' (mining) operations, the squadron's Intelligence Officer was Michael Bentine, later to become well known as an entertainer. On 5 March 1944 the unit was re-equipped with Avro Lancaster bombers and continued to use that bomber until the end of World War II (versions Mk I and Mk III).

During the war, the squadron took part in most of the notable air offensives in Europe, including attacks on Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine preparing for Operation Seelöwe, also ships such as the German battleship Gneisenau docked in Brest, France, other naval facilities in Wilhelmshaven and its U-boat facilities in St. Nazaire, Millennium Offensive on large bombing raids on Cologne, bombing raids on V-weapon sites, D-Day, in support of crossing the Rhine, the Battle of the Ruhr, the bombing of Hamburg and the Battle of Berlin.

A number of the crew members were in late 1942 attached to the RAF Tempsford based No. 138 (Special) Squadron RAF as the newly formed Flight C operating the Handley Page Halifax.

The last mission was flown on 8 May 1945 against Adolf Hitler's residence in Berchtesgaden. The unit was disbanded on 2 January 1947, after the Allies withdrew their support for the Polish government.

Details

Period Commanding Officer Notes
1 July 1940 Lt.Col. engineer pilot Wacław Makowski with W/Cdr K. P. Lewis as a British supervisor
18 July 1941 Mjr pilot Stanisław Cwynar
27 January 1942 Mjr pilot Romuald Suliński
1 August 1942 Mjr pilot Władysław Dukszto Since 9 July a c/o commander
31 October 1942 Mjr pilot Adam Kropiński
4 May 1943 Mjr pilot Mieczysław Kucharski
18 November 1943 Mjr pilot Kazimierz Kuzian
18 January 1944 Mjr pilot Adam Kowalczyk
1 April 1944 Mjr pilot Teofil Pożyczka
2 February 1945 Mjr pilot Bolesław Jarkowski
17 September 1945 Mjr pilot Romuald Suliński
22 February 1946 Mjr pilot Bolesław Jarkowski Until the dissolution of the unit after the Allies withdrew their support for the Polish government.
Period Airlield
1 July 1940 Bramcote
22 August 1940 Swinderby
18 July 1941 Hemswell
18 May 1942 RAF Ingham
31 January 1943 Hemswell
22 June 1943 Ingham
1 March 1944 Faldingworth

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ also "No 300 (Masovian) Squadron"

External links

This page was last edited on 29 August 2018, at 03:00
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