351 and 353 Squadron RAF

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K.Kocjancic
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351 and 353 Squadron RAF

Post by K.Kocjancic » 09 Nov 2003 10:17

Looking info on this two Squadrons, specially info on COs.

Soon about 60 pilots had gathered there, and after an agreement with the Allies they were transferred at the beginning of January 1944 to Bari, Italy. There basic schooling began with more than 220 pilots. At the beginning of March 1944 all pilots were transferred by ships to North Africa. On 22.April 1944 the First Yugoslav Fighter Squadron (or in RAF records 353 Squadron RAF) was formed under RAF Command on the airfield Benina near Benghazi in Libya. On 1.July 1944 the Second Yugoslav Fighter Squadron (351 Squadron RAF) was formed. After intensive training they were given 16 Spitfire V and 16 Hawker Hurricane IV.In these units were a lot of pilots from the late Royal Yugoslav Air Force who till now had served in various American and British Air Force Units find a place. Agreement was made between Allied and partisans that those two units would operate exclusively over Yugoslavian territory. Spitfires of the First squadron made their first combat flight on 18.August 1944 from Canne Airfield, Italy. They took off under command of their Squadron Commander Milet Protic and crossed the Adriatic Sea to Peljesac Penisula where they attacked German coastal positions. Till the end of the war this Squadron made 364 combat missions with about 1208 flights. Their casualties were big: out of 21 pilots who ended their training in Libya 7 pilots were killed. German anti-aircraft artillery managed to shoot down 9 planes and 4 others were damaged. The Second Squadron at first went on a special training course where they were trained for attacks with rocket missiles which were at that time standard armament of Hurricane fighters. They made their first combat flight on 13.October 1944. Till the end of the war they performed 978 combat flights in which they attacked various enemy columns, ships and artillery positions. They often supported infantry units of the NOVJ in their actions. Three pilots were killed and the Squadron lost 9 planes. Soon both Squadrons were transferred to the Vis Airfield on Vis Island and later at the beginning of the year 1945 to the Skabrnje Airfield near Zadar. In this way they were now much more closer to the potential targets. Battle effect of both Squadrons was very high: they destroyed more than 270 motor vehicles, 29 locomotives, 172 railway carriages, 52 various sea targets (like ships, tugboats etc.) and 100 other vehicles. They also destroyed 6 railway stations, 2 bridges and 1 power plant.

http://www.geocities.com/kumbayaaa/1stl ... phics.html

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 09 Nov 2003 17:51

Kocjo

353 Squadron:

Formed on 1 June 1942 at Dum Dum near Calcutta from elements of No 62 Squadron and No 103 (Coast Defence) Flight, Indian Air Force. It began patrolling the Bay of Bengal using Hudsons on 13 July and continued on these until 8 August 1943.

In August 1943 the squadron moved to Palam where it took over the mail flights of No 194 Squadron. Dakotas were added to its inventory in April 1944 to form 'D' Flight and by October Dakotas had replaced Hudsons completely. Ansons arrived in August 1944 to undertake short range communications duties, these being replaced by Expeditors in January 1945.

The squadron continued in its duties, becoming fully Dakota equipped by April 1945, until disbanding on 1 October 1945

http://www.rafweb.org/Sqn353-361.htm
http://www.rafweb.org/SqnMark331-360.htm

History of No. 351 Squadron.

No.351 Squadron was formed at Benina, Libya, on 1 July 1944 as a Yugoslav-manned fighter-bomber unit. Equipped with Hurricanes, it moved to Italy to join No.281 Wing of the Balkan Air Force for ground attack missions in support of Yugoslav partisans. To shorten the range from its mainland base, the squadron normally mounted its sorties from the island of Vis in the Adriatic, while in February 1945 it began to operate from a captured airfield on the Yugoslav coast. In April the squadron moved to Yugoslavia and was disbanded on 15 June 1945.

Motto: Fear naught in unity

http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/h351.html

Andy H

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nublu
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Post by nublu » 09 Nov 2003 21:08

Probably you meaned 352nd Squadron?

History of No. 352 Squadron.

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No.352 Squadron was formed at Benina on 22 April 1944, the first Yugoslav-manned fighter unit to be formed in the Mediterranean. Equipped with Hurricanes initially, it received Spitfires in June, and in August moved to Italy to join No.281 Wing. Escort was provided for fighter-bomber squadrons and No.352 was also engaged in ground attack missions for the rest of the war, using Vis as an advanced base until 1 January 1945, when the squadron's air echelon became permanently based there. Headquaters remained in Italy until moved to the Yugoslav mainland to join its air echelon in April 1945 and the squadron disbanded on 15 June 1945.

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K.Kocjancic
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Post by K.Kocjancic » 10 Nov 2003 00:24

Thank you both.

Regrads,
Kocjo

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