No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron
|No. 300 (Masovian) Squadron RAF|
|Active||1 July 1940 – 2 February 1947|
|Allegiance||Polish government in exile|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||RAF Bomber Command|
|Aircraft||Fairey Battle, Vickers Wellington, Avro Lancaster|
|Battle honours||Millennium Offensive, bombing raids on V-weapon sites, D-Day, crossing the Rhine, Battle of the Ruhr, bombing of Hamburg and Battle of Berlin.|
|Squadron Leader Bronislaw Szota|
|Squadron code||BH (Jul 1940 – Oct 1946)|
No. 300 (Polish) "Land of Masovia" Bomber Squadron (Polish: 300 Dywizjon Bombowy "Ziemi Mazowieckiej") was one of several Polish squadrons in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War. It was formed as part of an agreement between the Polish Government in Exile and the United Kingdom in 1940. 300 Squadron is now represented by 300 (Isle of Axholme) Squadron of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, which made the alliance with the Polish Air Force is 1994.
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 got 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.
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.
Initially equipped with Fairey Battle light bombers, the squadron was equipped with Vickers Wellington medium bombers on 16 November 1940. The squadron used several variants, including Mark IC, IV, III and X. In 1941 while the unit was equipped with Wellingtons and flying from Hemswell on 'Gardening' (mining) operations, the squadron's Intelligence Officer was Michael Bentine, later to become well known as an entertainer. On 5 March 1944 the unit was re-equipped with Avro Lancaster bombers and continued to use that bomber until the end of World War II (Mk I and Mk III variants).
During the war, the squadron took part in most of the notable air offensives in Europe, including attacks on Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine preparing for Operation Seelöwe, also ships such as the German battleship Gneisenau docked in Brest, France, other naval facilities in Wilhelmshaven and its U-boat facilities in St. Nazaire, Millennium Offensive on large bombing raids on Cologne, bombing raids on V-weapon sites, D-Day, in support of crossing the Rhine, the Battle of the Ruhr, the bombing of Hamburg and the Battle of Berlin.
The last mission was flown on 25 April 1945 against Adolf Hitler's residence in Berchtesgaden. The unit was disbanded on 2 January 1947, after the Allies withdrew their support for the Polish government in exile.
|1 July 1940||Lt.Col. engineer pilot Wacław Makowski||with W/Cdr K. P. Lewis as a British supervisor|
|18 July 1941||Mjr pilot Stanisław Cwynar|
|27 January 1942||Mjr pilot Romuald Suliński|
|1 August 1942||Mjr pilot Władysław Dukszto||Since 9 July a c/o commander|
|31 October 1942||Mjr pilot Adam Kropiński|
|4 May 1943||Mjr pilot Mieczysław Kucharski|
|18 November 1943||Mjr pilot Kazimierz Kuzian|
|18 January 1944||Mjr pilot Adam Kowalczyk|
|1 April 1944||Mjr pilot Teofil Pożyczka|
|2 February 1945||Mjr pilot Bolesław Jarkowski|
|17 September 1945||Mjr pilot Romuald Suliński|
|22 February 1946||Mjr pilot Bolesław Jarkowski||Until the dissolution of the unit after the Allies withdrew their support for the Polish government.|
|1 July 1940||RAF Bramcote|
|22 August 1940||RAF Swinderby|
|18 July 1941||RAF Hemswell|
|18 May 1942||RAF Ingham|
|31 January 1943||Hemswell|
|22 June 1943||Ingham|
|1 March 1944||RAF Faldingworth|
Notes and references
- also "No 300 (Masovian) Squadron"
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to No. 300 (Polish) Squadron RAF.|