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No. 313 Squadron RAF

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

No. 313 Squadron RAF
RAF313Sq.gif
Badge of № 313 Squadron RAF
Active 10 May 1941 – 15 February 1946
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Allegiance Czech Republic Czechoslovakia
Branch
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Royal Air Force
Motto(s) (Czech): Jeden jestřáb mnoho vran rozhání
("One hawk chases away many crows")
Insignia
Squadron Badge A hawk volant, wings elevated and addorsed
Squadron Codes RY (May 1941 – February 1946)

No. 313 Squadron RAF was a Czechoslovak-manned fighter squadron of the Royal Air Force in the Second World War.

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Transcription

Contents

History

The squadron was formed at RAF Catterick[1] on 10 May 1941.[2] It was the last RAF squadron to be formed mostly of escaped Czechoslovak pilots. Its first commander was the British Squadron Leader Gordon Sinclair.[3] On 29 July, Czechoslovak fighter pilot Josef Jaške was appointed as joint commander of the squadron.[4] The plan was for responsibility to be transferred gradually from Sinclair to Jaške.

The squadron was equipped initially with Supermarine Spitfire I fighters. On 30 June 1941 it moved to RAF Leconfield[1] in the East Riding of Yorkshire. In August the squadron was re-equipped with the Spitfire IIA,[5] and on 25 August it moved to RAF Portreath[1] in Cornwall. In October the squadron was re-equipped with the Spitfire VB/C.[5]

A 313 squadron pilot with a rigger, fitter and his Spitfire at RAF Hornchurch in April 1942
A 313 squadron pilot with a rigger, fitter and his Spitfire at RAF Hornchurch in April 1942

On 15 December 1941 Sqn Ldr Karel Mrázek succeeded Jaške as commanding officer[4] and the squadron moved to RAF Hornchurch[6] in Essex. On 8 June 1942 the squadron moved to RAF Church Stanton[6] in Somerset and on 26 June Sqn Ldr Jaroslav Himr succeeded Mrázek as commanding officer.[4]

In 1943 the squadron moved to Scotland, firstly on 28 June to RAF Sumburgh "A" on Shetland, and shortly thereafter to RAF Peterhead "B"[6] in Aberdeenshire. The squadron briefly flew the Spitfire VI in June and July 1943.[5] On 20 July it moved to RAF Hawkinge[6] in Kent. On 18 September it moved to RAF Ibsley[7] in Hampshire and on 24 September Sqn Ldr František Fajtl succeeded Himr as commanding officer.[4]

On 1 February 1944 Sqn Ldr Václav Bergman succeeded Fajtl as commanding officer.[4] Also in February the squadron was re-equipped with the Spitfire IX.[5] This model was fitted with 190-gallon "slipper" tanks to extend its range, enabling the squadron to escort bombers on raids deep into Germany.[8] On 20 February the squadron moved to RAF Mendlesham[7] in Suffolk. On 14 March it moved again, to RAF Rochford[7] in Essex.

Ground crew changing the engine oil of a Spitfire LF My IX at RAF Appledram
Ground crew changing the engine oil of a Spitfire LF My IX at RAF Appledram

On 3 April 1944 the squadron moved to RAF Appledram[9] in West Sussex. On 22 May Sqn Ldr Alois Hochmál succeeded Bergman as commanding officer.[4] From 29 June the squadron spent a few days at RAF Tangmere,[9] also in West Sussex. On 4 July it spent a week at RAF Lympne[9] in Kent.

On 11 July 1944 the squadron moved to RAF Skeabrae[9] on Orkney in Scotland. The squadron briefly flew the Spitfire VII in July and August 1944.[5]

On 3 October 1944 the squadron moved to RAF North Weald[9] in Essex. Also in October it reverted to the Spitfire IX, which it continued to operate until the end of its history as an RAF unit.[5] On 1 September 1944 Sqn Ldr Karel Kasal succeeded Hochmál as commanding officer, and on 15 November Sqn Ldr Otmar Kučera succeeded Kasal.[1] On 29 December the squadron moved to RAF Bradwell Bay,[9] also in Essex.

Farewell parade of Czechoslovak squadrons at RAF Manston, Kent, on 3 August 1945. Air Marshal John Slessor, with walking stick, inspects some of the men. Air Marshal Karel Janoušek can be seen behind him.
Farewell parade of Czechoslovak squadrons at RAF Manston, Kent, on 3 August 1945. Air Marshal John Slessor, with walking stick, inspects some of the men. Air Marshal Karel Janoušek can be seen behind him.

From 27 February to 8 May 1945 the squadron was based at RAF Manston[9] in Kent. On 3 August members of all of the RAF's Czechoslovak squadrons held a farewell parade at RAF Manston. Air Marshal John Slessor inspected the parade, accompanied by A/M Karel Janoušek. On 24 August 313 Squadron moved to Ruzyně Airport in Prague. It became a squadron of the new Czechoslovak Air Force, and on 15 February 1946 was officially disbanded as an RAF squadron.[2][5]

Aircraft operated

A Spitfire Mk Vb in a sandbagged revetment at RAF Hornchurch in 1942 or 1943 as its pilot runs up its engine
A Spitfire Mk Vb in a sandbagged revetment at RAF Hornchurch in 1942 or 1943 as its pilot runs up its engine
Aircraft used[5]
From To Aircraft Variant Notes
May 1941 August 1941 Supermarine Spitfire I
August 1941 November 1941 Supermarine Spitfire IIa
October 1941 February 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Vb/c
June 1943 July 1943 Supermarine Spitfire VI
February 1944 July 1944 Supermarine Spitfire LF.IX
July 1944 August 1944 Supermarine Spitfire VII
July 1944 October 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Vb/c
October 1944 February 1946 Supermarine Spitfire LF.IX

References

313 Squadron pilot Arnošt Mrtvý, who was shot down and killed over Belgium on 19 April 1944
313 Squadron pilot Arnošt Mrtvý, who was shot down and killed over Belgium on 19 April 1944

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d van Eyck 1993, p. 21.
  2. ^ a b Lewis 1968, p. 96.
  3. ^ "Squadron Commanding Officers, Nos 300 - 361 Squadrons". Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f van Eyck 1993, p. 20.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Jackson 2003, p. 89.
  6. ^ a b c d van Eyck 1993, p. 22.
  7. ^ a b c van Eyck 1993, p. 24.
  8. ^ "Miroslav Liskutin – RAF's Czech fighter pilot". Chichester Observer. Johnston Press. 7 July 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g van Eyck 1993, p. 25.

Bibliography

  • Halley, James J (1988). The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918–1988. Tonbridge: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-164-9. 
  • Hurt, Zdeněk (2004). In Focus: Czechs in the RAF. Walton-on-Thames: Red Kite. ISBN 0-9538061-9-7. 
  • Jackson, Robert (2003). Spitfire The History of Britain's Most Famous World War II Fighter. Bath: Parragon. p. 89. ISBN 0-75258-770-6. 
  • Jefford, Wg Cdr CG (2001) [1998]. RAF Squadrons, A Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912 (second ed.). Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84037-141-3. 
  • Lewis, Peter (1968) [1959]. Squadron Histories, RFC, RNAS and RAF, Since 1912. London: Putnam. p. 96. SBN 370-00022-6. 
  • Liškutín, Miroslav A (1988). Challenge in the Air: a Spitfire pilot remembers. London: William Kimber. ISBN 0718306910. 
  • Rawlings, John DR (1976) [1969]. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft (new ed.). London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd. ISBN 0-354-01028-X. 
  • van Eyck, Manuel F (1993). Zemřeli jsme pro Anglii (in Czech). Translated by František Fajtl. prologue by František Fajtl. Prague: Naše vojsko. ISBN 80-206-0321-2. 

External links

This page was last edited on 25 May 2018, at 10:19
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