- No. 304 (Silesia) Polish Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -
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No. 304 (Silesia) Polish Squadron Royal Air Force
No 304 (Silesian) Squadron was formed at Bramcote, in July 1940, as a Polish light bomber squadron converting to Wellingtons in November before becoming operational. No 304 spend a year with Bomber Command, transferring to Coastal Command in May 1942. Based first in Tiree, then Pembrokeshire, it operated over the Bay of Biscay. Specialised patrol Wellingtons arrived in July of 1943. No 304 moved to East Anglia in April 1943, flying anti-E-boat patrols over the North Sea, then returned to Bay of Biscay patrols after moving to Cornwall. In September 1944 No 304 moved to Benbecula for North Atlantic patrols, returning to Cornwall in March 1945.
In July 1945, No 304 transferred to Transport Command, with Warwicks, flying to Italy and Greece until converting to Halifaxes in April 1946. The squadron was disbanded in December 1946.
Airfields No. 304 Squadron flew from:
- RAF Bramcote, Warwickshire, formed 22nd July 1940 (Battle I, Wellington IC))
- RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire from the 2nd of December 1940
- RAF Lindholme, Yorkshire from the 19th July 1941 (to Coastal Command)
- RAF Tiree, Inner Hebrides from the 10th July 1942 (ex-Bomber Command. Wellington I)
- RAF Dale from July 1942
- RAF Talbenny, Pembrokeshire from November 1942 (Wellington XII, Wellington XIV. to Fighter Command)
- RAF Hutton Cranswick, Yorkshire from the 17th April 1943 (ex-Coastal Command. Spitfire Vb)
- RAF Docking, Norfolk (ex-Fighter Command, the 1st June 1943))
- RAF Davidstow Moor, Cornwall from the end of June 1943 (Wellington XIII, Wellington XIV)
- RAF Chivenor, Devon from February 1944
- RAF Benbecula, Outer Hebrides from September 1944 (Warwick C3)
- RAF St Eval, Cornwall from the 5th March 1945 (to Transport Command)
- RAF North Weald, Essex from 14th June 1945 (Warwicks I, III, Halifax)
- disbanded December 1946
6th May 1941 Aircraft Lost
8th May 1941 Aircraft Lost
27th May 1941 Aircraft Lost
24th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost
20th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost
26th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost
7th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost
30th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost
16th Dec 1941 Aircraft Lost
10th Jan 1942 Aircraft Lost
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Those known to have served with
No. 304 (Silesia) Polish Squadron Royal Air Force
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List
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Flt.Sgt. John Albert Holroyd MID. 304 SuadronMy father Flt.Sgt.John Albert Holroyd served with Polish 304 Squadron as one of many units over his 26 years career with the RAF, helping to form the unit in 1940-1941John Holroyd
Sgt. Zygmunt Stefan Galazka 304 (Silesia) SquadronPrior to WW2, Zygmunt Galazka's civilian profession was a locksmith mechanic working for the Polish Home Office servicing office machinery. He was in this role for 18 months. With the possibility of war, he joined the Polish Army and from 22nd March 1939 to 30th September 1939 was with the 36th infantry regiment with the Polish rank Plutonowy. Germany invaded Poland on 1st September 1939.
Zygmunt was caught crossing the border into Russia and sent to a Siberian concentration camp. He was released by Stalin in September 1941 along with thousands of other Poles, following the German attack on Russia. He had been incarcerated for one year. Released Poles including women and children were told to travel to Persia (Iran) via the Caspian Sea.
On 18th September 1941 he joined the 19th infantry regiment training in Iraq, known as Anders army, who were later sent to fight at Monte Casino, Italy. The Polish flag was the first to be planted on the top of the monastery. However, Zygmunt did not go to Italy as he had been classified as future personnel for the Polish Air Force and was shipped via South Africa to Greenock in Scotland for training. On 17th January 1943, was transferred to Royal Air Force. Service Number 704885. On 11th April 1943, was transferred to Polish Air Force Depot in Blackpool with the British war rank Corporal. On 21st April 1943, started training as pilot in 25 Polish Elementary Flying Training School. In February 1944, he restarted training in 25 EFTS. Then on 18th May 1944 was transferred to 16 SFTS. On 18th September 1944, he obtained a trade and insignia of pilot. Promoted to Flight Sergeant. On 3rd January 1945, he started training in 6 Operational Training Unit which was a training unit for Coastal Command. On the 12th April 1945, was attached to 304 Polish Squadron which at that period was under Coastal Command. Wellingtons were equipped with radar and a searchlight looking for U-Boats recharging their batteries on the surface at night. VE day was 8th May 1945. In December 1945, was transferred to Polish Resettlement Unit on RAF Station Hucknall.Steve
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