RAF No 322 (Dutch) Squadron

Motto: Niet praten maar doen (Actions not words)

As personnel escaped from the Netherlands following the German occupation, many of them were allocated to No 167 Squadron. It was decided in 1943 to create a Dutch fighter unit and on 12 June, No 167 was re-numbered as No 322. Based at Woodvale, it was equipped with Spitfire Vs and was engaged in defensive duties in the North-West.

In December 1943 it moved to Hawkinge and began offensive operations but in February 1944 it moved to Scotland to train for the tactical support role. When it returned to south in March it was to Acklington , where it joined No 147 Airfield (later No 147 Wing) of the 2nd Tactical Air Force and equipped with Griffon engined Spitfire XIVs.

Having taken part in the preparations for the invasion as well as Operation Overlord itself, the squadron found itself retained in Britain to combat the V-1 flying bombs being unleashed against southern England. However, in August, with the V-1 threat diminished, the squadron converted to Spitfire IXs and began training in the ground attack role. Operating from Biggin Hill it carried out this role against targets in the Low Countries and that of bomber escort for the day bombers of No 2 Group.

The squadron eventually returned to its home country on 3 January 1945 and continued to operate from there before moving into Germany itself at the end of the war. The squadron finally disbanded on 7 October 1945 at Wunstorf. However, the squadron number is still in use by the Royal Netherlands Air Force as a tribute and in recognition of its wartime service.

Squadron Codes used: -

ZQ Allocated Apr - Sep 1939
VL Jun 1943 - Oct 1944 (Codes taken over from No 167 Sqn)
3W Oct 1944 - Oct 1945

RAF No 322 (Dutch) Squadron

Active: 12 June 1943 – 7 October 1945
Country: UK
Allegiance: Dutch government in exile
Branch: Royal Air Force
Type: Inactive
Role: Fighter squadron
Motto Dutch: Niet praten maar doen ("Actions, not words" or "Don't prattle, act") Mascot Polly Grey,[1] the parrot
Equipment: Spitfire
Commanders: Notable commanders - Bram van der Stok
Insignia: Squadron badge Perched on a Branch, a Parrot
Squadron codes: VL Jun 1943 – Oct 1944 (Code taken over from No. 167 Squadron) 3W (Oct 1944 – Oct 1945)

History

No. 322 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed from the Dutch personnel[2] of No. 167 Squadron RAF on 12 June 1943 at RAF Woodvale. The squadron retained the code-letter combination VL which had been used previously by No. 167 Squadron until late 1944 or early 1945, when it was changed to 3W. It served at RAF West Malling and other stations during the Second World War.

From 20 June to 21 July 1944, and equipped with Spitfire Mk XIVs, the squadron was tasked with intercepting the V-1 Flying Bomb "doodlebug" missiles launched from the Dutch and French coasts towards London.[3] Flying Officer Brugwal was the most outstanding pilot on these 'anti-diver' patrols, claiming five of the missiles in one day (8 July).[4] The total for the squadron was 108.5 destroyed.

On 7 October 1945, the squadron disbanded at Wunstorf in Germany as part of the RAF. In recognition of the squadron's wartime record, the squadron continued its existence at Twente Airbase on 27 September 1946 as the 322e Jachtvliegtuig Afdeling (Fighter Division) of the Royal Netherlands Army.

Current No. 322 Squadron Royal Netherlands Air Force

In the Netherlands is the No. 322 Squadron RNLAF official considered as being the continuation of the No. 322 (Dutch) Squadron RAF, including its motto and mascot Polly Grey, the parrot. The current No. 322 Squadron RNLAF is equipped with the F-16 fighting Falcon, operating from Leeuwarden Air Base.

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Version
June 1943 March 1944 Vb, Vc
March 1944 August 1944 XIV
August 1944 November 1944 IXb
November 1944 October 1945 XVIe

Commanding officers

From To Name
June 1943 August 1943 S/Ldr. A.C. Stewart
September 1943 September 1944 Maj. K.C. Kuhlmann, DFC
September 1944 November 1944 S/Ldr. L.C.M. van Eendenburg
November 1944 March 1945 S/Ldr. H.F. O'Neill, DFC
March 1945 October 1945 S/Ldr. Bram "Bob" van der Stok

Squadron bases

From To Base
12 June 1943 15 November 1943 RAF Woodvale
15 November 1943 30 November 1943 RAF Llanbedr
30 November 1943 31 December 1943 RAF Woodvale
31 December 1943 25 February 1944 RAF Hawkinge
25 February 1944 1 March 1944 RAF Ayr
1 March 1944 9 March 1944 RAF Hawkinge
9 March 1944 23 April 1944 RAF Acklington
23 April 1944 20 June 1944 RAF Hartford Bridge
20 June 1944 21 July 1944 RAF West Malling
21 July 1944 10 October 1944 RAF Deanland
10 October 1944 1 November 1944 RAF Fairwood Common
1 November 1944 3 January 1945 RAF Biggin Hill
3 January 1945 21 February 1945 RAF Woensdrecht (B.79)
21 February 1945 18 April 1945 RAF Schijndel (B.85)
18 April 1945 30 April 1945 RAF Twente (B.106)
30 April 1945 2 July 1945 RAF Varrelbusch (B.113)
2 July 1945 7 October 1945 RAF Wunstorf (B.116)

 

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This webpage was updated 25th January 2019