|No. 315 (City of Deblin) Polish Fighter Squadron|
315 Squadron Logo
|Active||21 January 1941 – 14 January 1947|
|Allegiance||Polish government in exile|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||RAF Fighter Command|
|Nickname(s)||Dywizjon Myśliwski "Dębliński"|
|Squadron Codes||PK (Jan 1941 – Jan 1946)|
No 315 (City of Deblin) Polish Fighter Squadron (Polish language: 315 Dywizjon Myśliwski "Dębliński" ) 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 that fought alongside the Royal Air Force during World War II. It was named after the city of Dęblin, where the main Polish Air Force Academy has been located since 1927.
History[edit | edit source]
The squadron was formed at RAF Acklington, England on 21 January 1941. The squadron, equipped with Hurricanes, was moved in March to RAF Speke, Liverpool, where it made frequent patrols over naval convoys as part of No 9 Group RAF. Before July, when it came under Polish command, No 315 was commanded by Squadron Leader H.D. Cooke.
In July it was moved to RAF Northolt, West London, re-equipped with Spitfires, and began to conduct offensive fighter sweeps over occupied Europe. During two operations over France, on 9 August, the squadron achieved its first aircraft claims – two BF 109s destroyed, three probable, and three damaged. The squadron returned to Lancashire in April 1942, located at RAF Woodvale, Sefton. The squadron returned to Northolt in September and resumed operations over France. In June 1943, the squadron was withdrawn to Yorkshire, then to County Down, Northern Ireland in July.
Having returned to England in November, the squadron moved to the south west in April 1944, where they joined No 133 Polish Wing of the 2nd Tactical Air Force. The squadron was re-equipped with the P-51 Mustang Mk III, which they used for the remainder of the war. The squadron formed part of southern England's defence against the V-1 flying bombs and served in the Battle of Normandy.
During a sweep over France on 18 August, 12 Mustangs of No. 315 engaged 60 German fighters of JG2 and JG26, who were in the process of taking off and landing near Beauvais, France. In the ensuing battle, the Poles were officially credited with 16 victories, one probable, and three damaged for the loss of one pilot, Squadron Leader Eugeniusz Horbaczewski. Conversely, German claims were that 12 aircraft had been lost and that they had themselves shot down six aircraft (one of which was claimed to be a P-38 Lightning).
The squadron later carried out operations over Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands, where they carried out sorties until the end of the war. The squadron's claims during the war amounted to 86.33 confirmed victories, 18 probable, and 26 damaged. After the war ended No 315 Squadron remained part of RAF Fighter Command until disbanded on 14 January 1947.
Commanding officers[edit | edit source]
|Jan 1941||Jun 1941||S/Ldr. H.D. Cooke||British Officer|
|Jun 1941||Sep 1941||Maj. Stanisław Pietraszkiewicz|
|Sep 1941||Nov 1941||Kpt. Władysław Szczęśniewski|
|Nov 1941||May 1942||Maj. Stefan Janus, VM, DFC|
|May 1942||Oct 1942||Maj. Mieczysław Wiórkiewicz|
|Oct 1942||Apr 1943||Kpt. Tadeusz Sawicz|
|Apr 1943||Feb 1944||Kpt. Jerzy Popławski, DFC|
|Feb 1944||Aug 1944||Kpt. Eugeniusz Horbaczewski, DSO|
|Aug 1944||Apr 1945||Kpt. Tadeusz Andersz|
|Apr 1945||Feb 1946||Kpt. Władysław Potocki|
|Feb 1946||Dec 1946||Kpt. Janusz Siekierski|
Aircraft operated[edit | edit source]
|February 1941||July 1941||Hawker Hurricane||Mk.I|
|July 1941||August 1941||Supermarine Spitfire||Mk.IIa|
|August 1941||November 1942||Supermarine Spitfire||Mk.Vb|
|November 1942||June 1943||Supermarine Spitfire||Mk.IX|
|February 1943||March 1944||Supermarine Spitfire||Mk. Vb, LF.Vc|
|March 1944||December 1946||North American Mustang||Mk.III|
Notable pilots[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
- Air Force of the Polish Army
- List of Royal Air Force aircraft squadrons
- Polish Air Forces
- Polish Air Forces in Great Britain
- Polish contribution to World War II
References[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Rawlings 1978, p. 401.
- Halley 1988, p. 365.
- Jefford 2001, p. 88.
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- 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.
- Matusiak, Wojtek with Robert Gretzyngier and Piotr Wiśniewski. 315 Squadron. Sandomierz, Poland/Redbourn, UK: Mushroom Model publications, 2004. ISBN 83-89450-00-3.
- 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.
[edit | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to No. 315 (Polish) Squadron RAF.|
External links last verified on 14 January 2006
- Brief history of No. 315 Squadron (Official RAF site)
- A history of No. 315 Squadron by Wilhelm Ratuszynski
- Movement of No. 315 Squadron
- No. 315 Squadron Operations Record Books
- Photo Gallery of 315 Squadron
- Nos. 300–318 Squadron Histories on RAFweb
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