No. 320 (Netherlands) Squadron RAF
|No. 320 (Netherlands) Squadron RAF|
|Active||1 June 1940 – 2 August 1945|
|Allegiance||Dutch government in exile|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||RAF Coastal Command|
RAF Bomber Command
RAF Second Tactical Air Force
|Motto(s)||Latin: Animo libre dirigimur|
("We are guided by the mind of liberty")
Dutch: ("Wij worden geleid door een vrije geest")
|Squadron Badge||In front of a fountain an orange tree fracted and eradicated. The orange tree refers to the squadron's connection with the Netherlands and the fountain to its operations over the sea.|
|Squadron Codes||SP (allocated June 1939 – Sep 1939)|
TD (Jun 1940 – Oct 1940)
NO (Oct 1940 – Aug 1945)
Formed on 1 June 1940 at Pembroke Dock, after flying from the Netherlands in eight Fokker T.VIIIW twin-engined patrol seaplanes, as part of Coastal Command. The squadron flew coastal and anti-submarine patrols in the Fokkers until they became unserviceable due to lack of spares and were re-equipped with Ansons in August 1940 and supplemented in October with Hudsons. Due to insufficient personnel, the squadron absorbed No. 321 (Netherlands) Squadron on 18 January 1941.
To Bomber CommandEdit
The squadron moved to RAF Leuchars on 1 October 1941, re-equipped with Hudson IIIs, flying patrols and anti-shipping attacks in the North Sea. Detachments were located at RAF Silloth and RAF Carew Cheriton until 24 April 1942 when the squadron moved to RAF Bircham Newton. The squadron was reassigned to Bomber Command and loaned to No.2 Group on 15 March 1943. The squadron was re-equipped with Mitchells during spring 1943 and moved to RAF Methwold.
In the 2nd Tactical Air ForceEdit
On 30 March 1943, the squadron moved to RAF Attlebridge, then was reassigned to Second Tactical Air Force on 1 June with the squadron attacking enemy communications targets and airfields. The squadron relocated to RAF Lasham on 30 August and to RAF Dunsfold on 18 February 1944. From these airfields the squadron participated in many "Ramrod" and "Noball" operations and bombing attacks on construction works, railway yards, fuel dumps and V-1 sites in the North of France, in advance of D-Day.
After D-Day the bombing of tactical targets continued and changed from France to the Dutch Coast of Zeeland, and in September 1944 the squadron was involved in bombing German troops in the surroundings of Arnhem during the Airborne battle. In September the squadron started bombing targets in Germany along the Rhine for the advancing allied troops. In October 1944 the squadron was transferred to Melsbroek (B.58), in Belgium. From there the bombing of bridges and airfields in the east of the Netherlands and Germany continued. During 1943 and 1944 the squadron took heavy losses. On 30 April 1945 the squadron moved to Achmer (B.110), Germany.
The squadron was passed to the control of the Dutch Naval Aviation Service (Marine Luchtvaart Dienst) on 2 August 1945, keeping the same squadron number No. 320 Squadron MLD. The squadron was disbanded in 2005, due to budget cuts.
|Jun 1940||Oct 1940||Fokker T.VIII||TVIIIW/G (Floatplane version of TVIII)|
|Aug 1940||Jul 1941||Avro Anson||Mk.I|
|Oct 1940||Oct 1942||Lockheed Hudson||Mk.I|
|Mar 1941||Sep 1941||Lockheed Hudson||Mk.II|
|Jul 1941||Sep 1942||Lockheed Hudson||Mk.III|
|Jan 1942||May 1942||Lockheed Hudson||Mk.V|
|Aug 1942||Mar 1943||Lockheed Hudson||Mk.VI|
|Mar 1943||Aug 1945||North American Mitchell||Mk.II|
|Feb 1945||Aug 1945||North American Mitchell||Mk.III|
|July 1940||June 1941||Wing Cdr. J.M. van Olm|
|June 1941||June 1942||Wing Cdr. J.M van Olm|
|June 1942||Sept1943||Wing Cdr.K.J.A. Meester|
|Sept 1943||Oct 1943||Wing Cdr E.Bakker|
|Oct 1943||Dec 1943||Sqn.Ldr. J.F. Breedveld|
|Dec 1943||June 1944||Wing Cdr. H.V.B. Burgerhout|
|June 1944||Sept. 1944||Sqn. Ldr. J.N. Mulder|
|Sept 1944||Dec. 1944||Wing Cdr. H.V.B. Burgerhout|
|Dec. 1944||April 1946||Wing Cdr. A.W. Witholt|
- Rawlings 1982, p. 200.
- Moyes 1976, p. 228.
- Rawlings 1982, p. 201.
- Halley 1988, p. 367.
- Jefford 2001, p. 88.
- Geldof, Nico. De Vliegtuigen van 320 Squadron, 1940 – 1946 (in Dutch). Maarssen, the Netherlands: Geromy Uitgeverij BV, 2006. ISBN 90-6720-397-1.
- Geldof, Nico. De Operaties van 320 Squadron, 1940 – 1946 (in Dutch). Maarssen, the Netherlands: Geromy Uitgeverij BV, 2006. ISBN 90-6720-396-3.
- Geldof, Nico. "'Alle Hens' van 320 Squadron: 'Regina et patria'" (in Dutch). Maarssen, the Netherlands: Geromy Uitgeverij BV, 2007. ISBN
- 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, C.G. 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.
- Kloos, J.P. 320 Squadron R.A.F., Memorial 1940–1945 (in Dutch). J.P. Kloos Publisher, 1987 (republished in 1992).
- Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's, 1964 (2nd edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
- Van der Kop, Hans. The Flying Dutchman: An Exciting True Story of War in the Air. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens Ltd, 1985. ISBN 0-85059-755-2.
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