Bomber Command

Bomber Command No.300 (Polish) Squadron

No. 300 (Polish) Squadron

Badge: None authorised

No. 300 Squadron was formed at Bramcote, Warwickshire, on 1st July 1940, as a bomber squadron. It was the first Polish-manned bomber squadron to form in the RAF and, oddly enough, most of its original crews had previously served in Polish fighter units. British advisers were attached to the squadron and it also had a British adjutant co-operating with his Polish opposite number; a few British technical specialists and a clerical staff for English correspondence were also attached.

The squadron was originally in No.6 (Training) Group, but in August 1941, transferred to No.1 (Bomber) Group and simultaneously made the first of what proved to be several moves during its career to RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Beginning operations in mid-September 1940, with Battle aircraft, No. 300 later converted to Wellington ICs, IVs, IIIs and Xs in turn, and finally to Lancaster Is and Ills. Over a span of 21/2 years it logged 3,684 operational sorties and dropped nearly 10,000 tons of bombs on enemy objectives. It attacked 133 cities and major targets, invasion landing craft concentrations, ports and harbours, shipyards and U-boat building yards, airfields, industrial objectives, flying-bomb dumps and launching sites, fortifications, concentrations of troops and Panzer divisions; and it also laid more than 1,400 mines in enemy waters. The squadron won 107 decorations, comprising 1 OBE, 1 BEM, 1 DSO, 1 MC, 63 DFCs, 1 DCM, 1 CGM, 1 MM and 37 DFMs.

When it had finished its offensive against the enemy No. 300 took part in Operation Manna - the dropping of food supplies to the Dutch (152 tons); Exodus - repatriation of British ex-POWs to Great Britain; Dodge - the transport of British troops from Italy to Great Britain; and the carrying of Red Cross supplies for liberated Poles in German concentration camps.

Bomber Command WWII Bases:

  • Bramcote : Jul 1940-Aug 1940
  • Swinderby : Aug 1940--Jul 1941
  • Hemswell : Jul 1941-May 1942
  • Ingham : May 1942-Jan 1943
  • Hemswell : Jan 1943-Jun 1943
  • Ingham : Jun 1943-Mar 1944
  • Faldingworth : Mar 1944 onwards

Bomber Command WWII Aircraft:

  • Fairey Battle : Jul 1940-Oct 1940
  • Vickers Wellington IC, IV, III, X : Oct 1940-Mar 1944
  • Avro Lancaster B.I and B.III : Apr 1944 onwards

Code Letters:

  • "BH"

First Bombing Mission in WWII:

  • 14/15th September 1940 : 3 Battles bombed barges & shipping in Boulogne
  • harbour.

Last Operational Mission in WWII:

  • 25th April 1945 : 14 Lancasters bombed Berchtesgaden

Last Mission before VE Day:

  • 7th May 1945 : 14 Lancasters dropped supplies to Dutch at Rotterdam.
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