No. 329 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 329 Squadron (RAF): Second World War


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No. 329 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.329 (GC I/2 'Cigognes') was a Free French squadron that served with the 2nd Tactical Air Force during the invasion of Normandy and the campaign in northern Europe.

The squadron was a descendent of one of the most famous French units of the First World War, GC 12 'Cigognes'. GC I/2 inherited the traditions of two of the earlier unit's squadrons, and performed well during the Battle of France in 1940. It then moved to North Africa.

Late in 1944 the unit began to move to the UK, where on 5 January 1944 it became No.329 Squadron. The new squadron became operational on 1 March, before on 14 April joining No.145 Wing, 2nd Tactical Air Force. This wing was made up of Free French units.

No.329 helped support the D-Day landings, and the campaign in Normandy. It moved to the beachhead in August, and followed the advancing armies into the Low Countries. The squadron operated with its wing, attacking targets in Germany, until March 1945 when it returned to the UK. The squadron was disbanded on 17 November 1945.

Aircraft
February-March 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
February 1944-February 1945: Supermarine Spitfire IX
February-March 1945: Supermarine Spitfire XVI
March-November 1945: Supermarine Spitfire IX

Location
January 1944: Ayr
January-April 1944: Perranporth
April-May 1944: Merston
May 1944: Llanbedr
May-June 1944: Merston
June-July 1944: Funtington
July-August 1944: Selsey
August 1944: Tangmere
August-September 1944: B.8 Sommervieu
September 1944: B.29 Bernay
September 1944: B.51 Lille/ Vendeville
September-November 1944: B.55 Wevelghem
November 1944-February 1945: B.70 Deurne
February-March 1945: B.85 Schijndel
March-April 1945: Turnhouse
April-May 1945: Skeabrae
May-June 1945: Harrowbeer
June 1945: Dreux
June-July 1945: Harrowbeer
July-August 1945: Fairwood Common
August-November 1945: Exeter

Squadron Codes: 5A

Duty
1944-1945: Fighter Squadron, 2nd Tactical Air Force

Part of
6 June 1944: No.145 Wing; No.84 Group; Second Tactical Air Force; Allied Expeditionary Air Force

Books

Links

Fondation de la France Libre: French language site of the Foundation for the Free French.

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Traces of World War 2 RAF - No. 218 Squadron 10/05/1940 - 31/12/1940

Disbanded in 1919, the squadron was re-formed in 1936 and became one of the comparatively few bomber squadrons to serve continuously through the war against Nazi Germany.

No. 218 Squadron flew to France on 2nd September 1939, and made valuable reconnaissance flights and leaflet raids in Battle aircraft in the early days of the war. In June 1940, after having hindered the German advance into France by bombing the enemy's lines of communications and troop concentrations (and having suffered heavy casualties in the process) it was evacuated to England to be re-equipped with Bristol Blenheim Mk IV medium-range bombers.

Only a limited number of operations were flown during the summer of 1940. Most of the raids flown were against the masses of barge's concentrated in coastal waters along France and Holland.

Five months later, when it was equipped with Wellington long-range aircraft, it became a heavy-bomber squadron. Its targets were of the widest variety - from industrial centres, railways, Noball (V-weapon) sites and gun batteries, to the Channel ports, oil and petrol installations, and concentrations of troops and armour.


jimmiej, RAF 218 Sqd., BBc WW2 People's War: 'During the month of May 1940 the airfield and aircraft at Auberive were severely damaged by German bombs. I remember that a delayed action bomb landed on the east end of the airfield near the cross roads. 218 Squadron was evacuated to Nantes, on the West Coast of France. The roads were crowded with refugees and frequently fired on by German aircraft. Airmen were killed on one lorry.'

'June 7th 1940 in Nantes I and a few 218 colleagues were posted to 65 Wing Servicing Unit, which was formed sometime during 1940 and abandoned 24/06/1940. (Wings can be a sub-division of a Group acting independently or can be a sub-division of a station or establishment and these are usually sub-divided further into Squadrons.) . The remainder of 218 squadron were shipped to UK via Cherbourg. (Dunkirk evacuation 30.05.1940)'

Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 30/12/1940
Not all operations listed those with losses are.

10/05/1940: Luxembourg. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA
11/05/1940: St.-Vith, B. 4 Planes lost, 4 KIA, 8 POW
12/05/1940: Bouillon, B. 2 Planes lost, 4 KIA
14/05/1940: Sedan, F. 5 Planes lost, 4 KIA, 2 MIA, 4 POW
16/05/1940: transfer
-------------
22-23/08/1940, Bruges, B. 1 Plane lost. 2 KIA, 1 POW
08/09/1940: Reconnaissance. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA, 2 MIA

Losses 01/01/1940 - 09/05/1940 (incomplete)

Sergeant (Obs.) Frank Dewar, RAF 522984, 218 Sqdn., age 24, 01/03/1940, Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France
Aircraftman 1st Class (W. Op. Air) Robert F.J. Wiltshire, RAF 550694, 218 Sqdn., age unknown, 01/03/1940, Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France

Aircraftman 1st Class (W. Op.) Albert Bailey, RAF 552069, 218 Sqdn., age unknown, 20/04/1940, Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany
Sergeant (Obs.) Edward Davison, RAF 563790, 218 Sqdn., age 26, 20/04/1940, Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany

10/05/1940: Luxembourg

The overall British commander, Air Marshal Barratt, acting on his own initiative, orders 32 Battles from No. 12, 103, 105, 142, 150, 218 and 226 Squadrons to attack German troops advancing through Luxembourg at noon. In a chilling scene-setting series of events, 13 are shot down by mobile anti-aircraft and machine guns. The remainder all suffer damage of some kind. In a second attack during the afternoon, a further 10 Battles from 32 ordered into the air are lost to German fighters and flak.


Type: Fairey Battle 1
Serial number: L5402, HA-?
Operation: Luxembourg
Lost: 10/05/1940
Airborne 1430 from Auberive-sur-Suippes. Returned to base very badly damaged. left behind inthe fall-back to Moscou Ferme. Crew names not appended.

Leading Aircraftman (W.Op.) Herbert Baguley, RAF 529181, 218 Sqdn., age 22, 10/05/1940, Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, F

11/05/1940: St.-Vith, B

In the afternoon, 8 Battles of Nos 88 and 218 Squadrons are despatched to attack German troops in Luxembourg. None make it to the intended target area as German fighters account for 7 aircraft en-route and the eighth returns early.

Type: Fairy Battle 1
Serial number: P2326, HA-?
Operation: St.-Vith
Lost: 11/05/1940
F/O C.A.R. Crews PoW
Sgt T.S. Evans PoW
Sergeant (Obs.) Cedric M. Jennings, RAF 580427, 218 Sqdn., age 20, 11/05/1940, Heverlee War Cemetery, B
Airborne 0930 Auberieve-sur-Suippes. Hit by ground fire and abandoned in the target area. F/O Crews was repatriated Sep44. F/O C.A.R.Crews (also spelled Crewes) was interned in Camp L1, probably injured, no PoW No. Sgt T.S.evans in Camps 8B/344, PoW No.27365.

Type: Fairy Battle 1
Serial number: P2203, HA-?
Operation: St.-Vith
Lost: 11/05/1940
Sergeant (Pilot) Charles J.E. Dockrill, RAF 563473, 218 Sqdn., age 26, 11/05/1940, Bas Bellain Churchyard, Luxembourg
Sergeant (Obs.) Percival F. Dormer, RAF 563966, 218 Sqdn., age 27, 11/05/1940, Bas Bellain Churchyard, Luxembourg
Aircraftman 1st Class (W. Op./Air Gnr.) Kenneth G. Gregory, RAF 551303, 218 Sqdn., age 20, 11/05/1940, Bas Bellain Churchyard, Luxembourg Airborne 0930 from Auberive-sur-Suippes. Crashed at Troisvierges in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, 14 km E of the Belgian town of Houffalize.

Type: Fairy Battle 1
Serial number: P2249, HA-?
Operation: St.-Vith
Lost: 11/05/1940
P/O H.M. Murray PoW
Sgt Peter Stubbs PoW
AC2 I.G. Adams PoW
Airborne 0930 from Auberieve-sur-Suippes. AC2 Adams was interned in Camps 8B/L6/357. PoW No.13084. P/O H.M.Murray in Camps 9AH/L3, PoW No.1130. Reported as 'badly burned', but no record of Hospitalisation. Sgt P.Stubbs in Camps 8B/L1/L3/L6/357, PoW No.18818. Lost little finger and Hospitalised near Limburg. see 'Silk and barbed wire' for Peter Stubbs memoirs as a PoW.

Type: Fairy Battle 1
Serial number: K9325, HA-D
Operation: St.-Vith
Lost: 11/05/1940
F/O A.J. Hudson PoW
Sgt N.H. Thompson PoW
AC1 A. Ellis PoW
Airborne 0930 from Auberieve-sur-Suippes. Shot down over the target. AC1 A.Ellis was interned in Camps L1/L6/357, PoW No.742. F/O A.J.Hudson in Camps 9AH/L1/L3, PoW No.329. Sgt N.H.Thompson in Camps 8B/357, PoW No.13068.


back up 12/05/1940: Bouillon, B

The AASF's Battles carried out an operation during the afternoon when 15 aircraft (from 218 and ? Sqdn.) attacked German troops near Bouillon. Six aircraft failed to return. During the day, the Battles had suffered an amazing loss rate of 62%.

type: Fairey Battle 1
serial number:
P2183, HA-?
operation: Bouillon
lost: 12/05/1940
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Frederick S.Bazalgette, RAF 70790, 218 Sqdn., age 22, 12/05/1940, Nouvion-sur-Meuse Communal Cemetery, F
Sgt W.H.Harris Evd
LAC H.B.Jones Evd
Airborne from Auberive-sur-Suippes. shot down near Nouvion-sur- Meuse (Ardennes), 7 km WSW of Sedan, France. The pilot was killed, but his crew evaded and eventually returned to their Squadron, where both were recommended for the Military Medal for evading capture under hazardous circumstances.

type: Fairey Battle 1
serial number:
K9353, HA-J
operation: Bouillon
lost: 12/05/1940
Leading Aircraftman (W. Op./Air Gnr.) Leslie D. Davies, RAF 537015, 218 Sqdn., 12/05/1940, Sensenruth (Corfuz) Communal Cemetery, B
Sergeant (Obs.) Leonard C. Flisher, RAF 564186, 218 Sqdn., age 26, 12/05/1940, Sensenruth (Corfuz) Communal Cemetery, B
J.B. Horner, 218 Sqdn., 12/05/1940, Sensenruth (Corfuz) Communal Cemetery, B
Airborne from Auberive-sur-Suippes. Shot down at Sensenruth (Belgium), 3 km N of Bouillon, Belgium.

14/05/1940: Sedan, F

The events of 14th May determined both of the A.A.S.F. and of the campaign. The French High Command called for a supreme effort at Sedan, where the ground forces massing for counter-attack had been rudely scattered. Arrangements were accordingly made for the whole strength of the Allied bombers in France to be hurled against the Sedan bridgehead in a series of waves, and soon after noon the few French aircraft available went into action. Attacking bridges and columns of troops, they suffered losses so severe that their remaining operations for the day were cancelled.

Then came the turn of the A.A.S.F. Between 1500 and 1600 hours the entire force of available Battles and Blenheims was flung against the same objectives. But the Me.109's absent in the morning, were now on guard. No. 12 Squadron lost four aircraft out of five No. 105 Squadron, six out of eleven No. 142 Squadron lost four, No. 150 Squadron, four out of four No. 139 Squadron, four out of six No. 218 Squadron, ten out of eleven (?). In all, from the seventy-one bombers which took off, forty did not return. No higher rate of loss in an operation of comparable size has even been experienced by the Royal Air Force.

Type: Fairy Battle 1
Serial number: L5235, HA-?
Operation: Sedan
Lost: 14/05/1940
P/O A.M. Imrie PoW
Leading Aircraftman (W. Op. Air) Arthur J. Taylor, RAF 540413, 218 Sqdn., age 21, 14/05/1940, Thelonne Communal Cemetery, F
Airborne from Auberive-sur-Suippes to attack bridges and roads in the area around Sedan. Shot down at Thelonne (Ardenness), 8 km S of Sedan, France. P/O A.M. Imrie was interned in Camps 9A/L3, PoW No.505.

back up

Type: Fairy Battle 1
Serial number: L5232, HA-?
Operation: Sedan
Lost: 14/05/1940
P/O W.A.R. Harris Inj
Sergeant (Obs.) Norman B. Herriot, RAF 580956, 218 Sqdn., age 22, 14/05/1940, Sauville Communal Cemetery, F
Aircraftman 1st Class (W. Op.) William Robinson, RAF 633727, 218 Sqdn., age 20, 14/05/1940, Sauville Communal Cemetery, F
Airborne from Auberive-sur-Suippes to attack bridges and roads in the area around Sedan. shot down at Sauville (Ardennes), 19 km SSW of Sedan, France. P/O Harris, although wounded, made his way back to his unit.

Type: Fairy Battle 1
Serial number: P2360, HA-?
Operation: Sedan
Lost: 14/05/1940
Pilot Officer Robert T.L. Buttery, RAF 70894, 218 Sqdn., age unknown, 14/05/1940, missing
Aircraftman 2nd Class William C. Waterston, RAF 630224, 218 Sqdn., age unknown, 14/05/1940, missing
Airborne Auberive-sur-Suippes to attack bridges and roads in the area around Sedan. Lost without trace. Both crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Type: Fairy Battle 1
Serial number: P2324, HA-?
Operation: Sedan
Lost: 14/05/1940
F/O (Pilot) D.A.J. Foster PoW
Aircraftman 1st Class (W. Op.) T.J. Bryan PoW
Airborne from Auberive-sur-Suippes to attack bridges and roads in the area around Sedan. Shot down by intense small arms ground fire. AC1 T.J. Bryan was interned in Camps 21B/21D/8B/3D/21A/383. PoW No.2635. Ended up in Stalag 111A. F/O D.A.J. Foster in Camp L3, PoW No.576. Burnt in the crash.

Type: Fairy Battle 1
Serial number: L5422, HA-?
Operation: Sedan
Lost: 14/05/1940
Flying Officer (Pilot) John F.R. Crane, RAF 39858, 218 Sqdn., age unknown, 14/05/1940, Noyers-Pont-Maugis French National Cemetery, F
AC1 T.W. Holloway PoW
Airborne from Auberive-sur-Suippes to attack bridges and roads in the area around Sedan. Shot down at Thelonne (Ardennes), 6 km S of Sedan, France. AC1 T.W.Holloway was interned in Camps 8B/L3, PoW No.13060.

16/05/1940: transfer

Two of the Battle squadrons, Nos. 105 and 218, had only four aircraft left between them these and the surviving crews were transferred to the other Battle squadrons.

back up

22-23/08/1940, Bruges, B

Type: Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV
Serial number: T1990, HA-?
Operation: Bruges
Lost: 23/08/1940
Squadron Leader (Pilot) Charles C. House, RAF 32197, 218 Sqdn., age 29, 23/08/1940, Guines Communal Cemetery, F
Sergeant (Obs.) Percy T. Lefevre, RAF 516225, 218 Sqdn., age unknown, 23/08/1940, St. Tricat Churchyard, F
Sgt J.D. Howard PoW
Airborne from Oakington. Cause of loss not established. Crashed at Guines (Pas-de-Calais) 10 km S of Calais, France. Sgt J.D.Howard was interned in Camps L1/L6/357, PoW No.219.

back up

08/09/1940: Reconnaissance

Type: Bristol Type 142M/L, Blenheim Mk. I/IV
Serial number: L8848, HA-?
Operation: Reconnaissance
Lost: 08/09/1940
Sergeant Gerald L. Clayton, RAFVR 741533, 218 Sqdn., age 23, 08/09/1940, missing
Sergeant Frederick C. Coish, RAF 581203, 218 Sqdn., age 23, 08/09/1940, missing
Sergeant (W. Op.) Gordon Taylor, RAFVR 965631, 218 Sqdn., age 20, 08/09/1940, Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery, NL
Airborne 1555 from Oakington. Cause of loss not established. Crashed into the North Sea. The body of Sgt Taylor was eventually washed ashore. His comrades have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


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