No. 311 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.311 Squadron was a Czechoslovakian squadron that served with Bomber Command from 1940-1942 and from Coastal Command from 1942 until the end of the war, sinking two U-boats during that period.

The squadron was formed on 29 July 1940 as a heavy bomber squadron, and equipped with the Vickers Wellington. The squadron formed part of Bomber Command's main force from then until April 1942, and took part in the early phase of the night bombing campaign.

In April 1942 the squadron was transferred to Coastal Command. It moved to Northern Ireland and patrolled over the Atlantic. In June the squadron moved to Wales to take part in the campaign over the Bay of Biscay. Two months later, on 10 August 1942, it achieved the first of its two confirmed victories, sinking U-578 in the Bay. Its second victory came almost two years later, when U-971 was sunk to the north-west of Ushant on 24 June 1944 (with the help of the Navy)

The squadron was also active against German blockade runners. On 27 December 1943 five rockets fired from Liberator H for How hit the blockade runner Alsterufer (heading to Bordeaux from South American), starting fires that forced her crew to abandon ship well short of safety.

In August 1944 the squadron moved to the north of Scotland, and flew patrols off the coast of Norway. It took part in the series of attacks on U-boats attempting to reach Norway in May 1945.

In June 1945 the squadron was transferred to Transport Command, and began to operate transport flights between Britain and Czechoslovakia. The squadron moved to Prague in August 1945, and ceased to be an RAF unit on 15 February 1946.

Aircraft
August 1940-July 1943: Vickers Wellington IA and IC
July 1943-March 1945: Consolidated Liberator V
March 1945-February 1946: Consolidated Liberator VI

Location
July-September 1940: Honington
September 1940-April 1942: East Wretham
April-June 1942: Aldergrove
June 1942-May 1943: Talbenny
May 1943-February 1944: Beaulieu
February-August 1944: Predannack
August 1944-August 1945: Tain
August 1945: Manston
August 1945-February 1946: Prague

Squadron Codes: KX, PP

Duty
1940-1942: Bomber Command heavy bomber unit
1942-1945: Coastal Command

Part of
15 February 1943: No.19 Group; Coastal Command

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (3 November 2011), No. 311 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/311_wwII.html

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