No. 352 Squadron RAF

No. 352 Squadron RAF
No. 352 Squadron RAF
Active 22 April 1944 - 15 June 1945
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Allegiance Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Fighter Squadron
Part of Balkan Air Force
Aircraft insignia Roundel of SFR Yugoslavia Air Force.svg
Engagements Yugoslav Front of World War II
Spitfires of No. 352 Squdron RAF before first mission on 18 August 1944, from Canne airfield, Italy.

No. 352 Squadron RAF was a Yugoslav-manned fighter-bomber squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. The squadron was also known as First NOVJ Squadron.



Formed at Benina, Libya on 22 April 1944, this squadron was the first Yugoslav-manned fighter unit to be formed in the Mediterranean. Equipped with Hurricanes initially, it received Supermarine Spitfires in June and in August moved to Italy to join the No.281 Wing. The squadron provided escort for fighter-bomber squadrons and engaged in ground attack missions for the rest of the war, using the island of Vis as an advanced base until 1 January 1945, when the squadron's air echelon became permanently based there.

The squadron was organized by the war formation prescribed for RAF mobile fighter squadrons, having two flights with 8 Supermarine Spitfires per flight. Flying and technical staff composed of personnel from the Royal Yugoslav Air Force moved to NOVJ, and staff from the First Air Base NOVJ.

The first combat operation of the squadron was on 18 August 1944.

The first squadron commander was Captain Mileta Protić, Political commissar was Franjo Kluz, commander of "A" flight was Captain Ratko Jovanović, and commander of "B" flight was Captain Arkadije Popov. During the war the squadron lost 27 pilots, of which 10 were killed, among them squadron and flight commanders, and Franjo Kluz, first partisan pilot and national hero of Yugoslavia.

Through the nine months of the war, No. 352 Squadron RAF carried out 367 combat operations with 1210 take offs. These tasks include supporting troops in Yugoslavia, fighter protection and reconnaissance. Canne, Vis and Zemunik airports were used.

Headquarters remained in Italy until it was moved to the Yugoslav mainland to join its air echelon in April 1945 and the squadron disbanded from the RAF on 16 May 1945. On 18 May 1945, together with No. 351 Squadron it formed 1st Fighter Regiment of SFR Yugoslav Air Force.

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Variant Notes
April 1944 June 1944 Hawker Hurricane IIC
June 1944 August 1944 Supermarine Spitfire VB
June 1944 June 1945 Supermarine Spitfire VC
 ? 1944 June 1945 Supermarine Spitfire IX

See also

352 Squadron is now part of the Air Training Corps and is home to Burnley Air Cadets which is part of Cumbria and North Lancashire wing. . The 352 Burnley Squadron of the Air Training Corps, based in Colne Road, marked the occasion, there 70th anniversary, with a service and parade at St Cuthbert’s Church. The Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley were at the celebration along with Burnley and Padiham MP Gordon Birtwistle. Staff and OC: Flight lieutenant Chris Ashworth (Officer Commanding), Flying Officer Alan Stewart, Adult SGT Carol Paton, C.I Ashworth, C.I Mangham, C.I Balderson, C.I Makin, C.I Brigden, C.I Bethwaite, Lance corporal Lee Hargreves (R.A.F Regiment).

SNCO: FLSGT Brigden, FLSGT Gregson, SGT Walsh, SGT Spencer, SGT Catlow.

JNCO: CPL Yates, CPL Wolfenden, CPL Waring, CPL Collinge, CPL Saltou, CPL Stanworth. If you would like to fly, shoot and go on camps this squadron is just for you. If you live in the Burnley or Padiham area and you want to join call 01282 432360!!! Join and have the experience of a life time!!! it is just off Colne road heading to Thompson park just before the bridge and after Bank Hall Care Home.

External links

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