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The RAF Squadrons involved in WW2 in Belgium



Last update: 31/07/21

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Squadron 251 to 300

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263 Squadron
264 Squadron
271 Squadron
274 Squadron
300 Squadron

cest raf squadron

263 Squadron

No 263 Squadron was formed on 27 September 1918, in southern Italy form Nos 359, 435, 436 and 441 Flights at the former RNAS station at Otranto and its sub-station at Santa Maria de Leuca. For the rest of the war, it flew anti-submarine patrols over the Straits of Otranto to prevent U-boats passing into the Mediterranean from the Austro-Hungarian ports on the Adriatic. It was disbanded on 16 May 1919.
On 2 October 1939, No 263 reformed at Filton as a fighter squadron. Equipped with Gladiators, it was sent to Norway in April 1940, in an attempt to give air cover for British and Norwegian forces. Operating from a frozen lake, it had all its aircraft rendered unfit for action within three days and returned to the UK to re-equip. In May, the squadron arrived back in Norway, this time further north and flew patrols until the Allied forces were withdrawn from Narvik. Its aircraft embarked on the carrier 'Glorious', which was sunk en route to the UK by German surface ships.
On 12 June 1940, ground staff began to arrive at Drem to reform the squadron, which was intended to be the first with Whirlwind twin-engined fighters, meanwhile some Hurricanes were received. In November No.263 moved back to south-west England for convoy patrols. In June 1942, the Whirlwinds were fitted as fighter-bombers for attacks on enemy shipping and airfields. In December 1943 the squadron converted to Typhoons, resuming sweeps on 1 February 1944. In July it replaced its bombs with rockets for close-support duties with the invading Allied armies. No.263 moved to France in August 1944 and flew ground attack missions for the rest of the war, disbanding on 30 August 1945.
On 29 August 1945. No.616 Squadron at Acklington was renumbered 263 Squadron which flew Meteors as part of the fiighter defences of the UK until converted to Hunters in 1955. These remained in service with the squadron until it was renumbered 1 Squadron on 1 July 1958. On 1 June 1959, No.263 reformed at Watton as a bloodhound surface to air missile unit, disbanding on 30 June 1963.
For the full text, see here
Sources: Royal Air Force

Crashs in which the 263 squadron was involved:

* Crash of Typhoon MN476 fallen to Hoogstraten on 13/10/1944

Sources: Wikipedia
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cest raf squadron

264 Squadron

On 8 December 1939 it was re-formed at RAF Station Martlesham Heath to bring the Boulton Paul Defiant fighter into service. Operations began in March 1940 when the squadron started convoy patrols. After initial successes, the Luftwaffe soon realised that the Defiant was vulnerable to frontal attack, and the squadron started to have heavy losses of aircraft and crew. At the end of May 1940 the squadron was withdrawn from day fighting operations and began to train in the night fighter role. It was called into action again in day fighting at the height of the Battle of Britain, but again suffered losses and returned to night fighting. After a number of moves around England, including Luton Airport,[1] in May 1942 the squadron moved to RAF Colerne to operate the de Havilland Mosquito II, later trading them in for the later Mark VI. The Mosquitos were operated as night fighters in the west of England, and on day patrols in the Bay of Biscay and western approaches.
In 1943, after concentrating on night intruder missions, the squadron operated in support of the Bomber Command, defending bomber formations against enemy night-fighters. In 1944 it re-equipped with the newer Mosquito XIII and returned to defensive roles. In June it carried out patrols over the Normandy beaches, until returning to night patrols from western England in the western approaches. As the Allied forces advanced, the squadron became part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force providing night patrols. By the end of the war it was carrying out patrols over Berlin from its airfield at Twente in the Netherlands. It was disbanded at Twente on 25 August 1945.
For the full text, see here
Sources: Royal Air Force

Crashs in which the 264 squadron was involved:

* Crash of Defiant L6968 fallen off the Belgian coast on 31/05/1940

Sources: Wikipedia
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cest raf squadron

271 Squadron

No 271 Squadron was formed on 27 September 1918 from Nos.357, 358 and 367 Flights of the former RNAS station at Otranto in southern Italy. The squadron's seaplanes were part of a force of ships and aircraft guarding the exit from the Adriatic against enemy submarines based at Austro-Hungarian ports breaking out into the mediterranean. As the war ended a few weeks later the squadron was disbanded on 9 December 1918.
On 1 May 1940, No.1680 Flight at Doncaster was redesignated 271 Squadron for transport duties. Its main equipment was Harrows supplemented by a few Bombays and ex-civil airliners and within a short time the squadron was engaged in evacuating units from France in the face of German invasion. From the end of June, No.271 was engaged in a lenthy period of transporting ground crews and equipment for squadrons moving base but in January 1941 an additional task was alloted, the maintenance of a regular service with Albatrosses between the UK and Iceland, though this was infrequent and dogged by inadaquete equipment. Other types were also used in small numbers but major re-equipment came in January 1944, when Dakotas were received and the squadron became an airbourne forces unit. Harrows were still retained for ambulance flights and soon after the squadron had supplied twenty two glider-tugs on D-Day, these began operating casualty evacuation missions from the beachhead. No.271 also supplied aircraft for the Arnhem landings in September 1944 and for the Rhine crossing in March 1945. After losing seven Harrows in the German air attacks on Evère on New Years Day 1945, the Harrow flight converted to Dakotas, the last being replaced in May. With the end of the war, the squadron began transport flights to Germany, Italy and Greece which continued until civil airlines were able to operate on European routes. The squadron was renumbered 77 Squadron on 1 December 1946.
For the full text, see here
Sources: Royal Air Force

Crashs in which the 271 squadron was involved:

* Crash of Dakota KG512 fallen to Ramskapelle on 21/09/1944

Sources: Wikipedia
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cest raf squadron

300 Squadron

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 managed to get 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.
For the full text, see here
Sources: Royal Air Force

Crashs in which the 300 squadron was involved:

* Crash of Lancaster NC501-BH-U fallen in Germany on 2/03/1945

Sources: Wikipedia
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