No. 317 Polish Fighter Squadron
No. 317 "City of Wilno" Polish Fighter Squadron (Polish: 317 Dywizjon Myśliwski „Wileński") was a Polish fighter squadron formed in Great Britain as part of an agreement between the Polish Government in Exile and the United Kingdom in 1941. It was one of several Polish fighter squadrons fighting alongside the Royal Air Force during World War II.
|No. 317 "City of Wilno" Polish Fighter Squadron|
317 Squadron logo. Digital vector rendering made from a breast lapel pin.
|Active||22 February 1941 – 18 December 1946|
|Allegiance||Polish government in exile|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||RAF Fighter Command|
|Nickname(s)||"Wileński" (of Wilno)|
|Squadron Codes||JH (Feb 1941 – Dec 1946)|
The squadron was formed at RAF Acklington on 22 February 1941 and reached operational readiness on 24 April 1941. It was equipped with Hurricane Mk.Is until July when it received Mk.IIs. The squadron moved south in June and received Spitfires in October. As with most Fighter Command squadrons it alternated its operations between offensive sweeps from bases in the south and defensive duties whilst based in the north and midlands.
In June 1943 the squadron was allocated to the 2nd Tactical Air Force and moved to RAF Heston. During the buildup to the invasion of Normandy the squadron carried out offensive sweeps in preparation for the landings. After the invasion they conducted ground attack operations in support of Allied ground forces, moving to the continent in August. The squadron arrived in Belgium in October 1944 and Germany in April 1945, remaining there as part of the occupation forces until disbanding as a Polish fighter unit on 3 January 1947 (it had earlier disbanded as a RAF fighter unit at RAF Hethel on 18 December 1946).
|Mar 1941||Apr 1941||S/Ldr C.J. Mount||British Officer|
|Apr 1941||Jun 1941||S/Ldr A.N. Cole||British Officer|
|Jun 1941||Aug 1941||Maj. Stanisław Brzezina||Polish co-commander since formation|
|Aug 1941||Mar 1942||Kpt. Henryk Szczęsny, KW, VM|
|Mar 1942||May 1942||Kpt. Piotr Ozyra|
|May 1942||Nov 1942||Kpt. Stanisław Skalski|
|Nov 1942||May 1943||Kpt. Zbigniew Czajkowski|
|May 1943||Dec 1943||Kpt. Franciszek Kornicki|
|Dec 1943||Jan 1944||Kpt. Rutkowski|
|Jan 1944||Aug 1944||Kpt. Włodzimierz Miksa|
|Aug 1944||Aug 1944||Kpt. Władysław Gnyś|
|Aug 1944||May 1945||Kpt. Marian Chełmecki|
|May 1945||Oct 1945||Kpt. Paweł Niemiec|
|Oct 1945||Dec 1946||Kpt. Marian Trzebiński|
|Feb 1941||Jul 1941||Hawker Hurricane||Mk.I|
|Jul 1941||Oct 1941||Hawker Hurricane||Mks.IIa, IIb|
|Oct 1941||Sep 1943||Supermarine Spitfire||Mks.Vb, Vc|
|Sep 1943||May 1945||Supermarine Spitfire||Mk.IXe, LF.IXe|
|May 1945||Dec 1946||Supermarine Spitfire||Mk.XVI|
- Halley 1988, p. 366.
- Rawlings 1978, p. 404.
- Jefford 2001, p. 88.
- Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
- Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
- Józefiak, Stanislaw. God, Honour and Country: A True Story. Nottingham, UK: S. Józefiak, 1997. ISBN 0-9530146-0-6.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald & Jane's (Publishers)Ltd., 1969 (revised edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
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