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Note:  All of the old airfield and its outlying sites are now on private land; and following numerous intrusions onto the land by vandals and thieves the landowners and farmers will not take kindly to individuals roaming across their land.


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HOME OF THE POLISH BOMBER SQUADRONS

RAF INGHAM HERITAGE CENTRE

No. 300 (Polish) Squadron was created through the Air Ministry signal 0/360 dated 28th June 1940 and formed at Bramcote in Warwickshire on 1st July 1940. It was the first Polish Air Force (Polskie Sily Powietrzne, ‘PSP’) bomber squadron to be part of the RAF flying the Fairey Battle Mk. I. The squadron was commanded from the start by Polish officers with an advisory role provided by British officers.


Originally part of No. 6 (Training) Group, but in August 1941 they transferred to No. 1 Bomber Group and relocated to RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire. The squadron began operations in September 1940 concentrating mainly on night missions after converting to the Vickers Wellington Mk. IC. The squadron became operational on the 12th September 1940 and 300's initial operation was flown  on the night of 14th September 1940, their targets being barges and shipping in Boulogne.


Of all the PSP units, 300 seemed to be the one which was assimilated best into the Lincolnshire countryside.  RAF lngham, a satellite of Hemswell, was not a typical RAF station in layout or style, the latter likened to that of a large pre-war Polish country house and its estate. Both Hemswell and Ingham were held in special affection, and on the move to Faldingworth the valedictory signal noted that ' We have come to look upon Hemswell and Ingham as our home in England, a sort of home from home'.


300 Squadron had the distinction of taking part in the last bombing operation by Wellingtons of Bomber Command over the 8th & 9th of October 1943 to Hannover, and flew the last Squadron sorties by Wellingtons of Bomber Command over 3rd & 4th March 1944, minelaying off Lorient.


The conversion to Lancasters conceals a complex story, which also involves 301 Squadron and 305 Squadron. The idea of equipping 300 Squadron with four-engined aircraft was raised in 1942, and in March 1943 an offer was made to re-equip it with Halifaxes (as part of 4 Group) during the following month. The PSP authorities expressed the preference to remain on Wellingtons until Lancasters, or perhaps Liberators, were available.


That Lancasters would not be available until 1944 seems to have drawn subsequent pressure from the Polish government in an effort to speed matters along, bringing the suggestion from the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOCinC) Bomber Command that either Halifaxes or Stirlings could be had as an interim measure.


300 Squadron did get Lancasters; three Halifaxes being attached to 1662 HCU at Blyton to convert crews, with further conversion carried out by 1 LFS.  Following a suggestion by the AOC 1 Group, A Flight continued to operate with Wellingtons, B Flight re-forming at Hemswell with Lancasters.  In this way the Squadron was not taken out of the line whilst the conversion took place.  The first four crews to convert were posted to make up numbers on 1586 (Polish) (Special Duties) Flight in Italy.


The re-equipping of 300 Squadron also touched on the possibility of the Mosquito, a suggestion in January 1943 being that two Squadrons of either 300 / 301 / 305 convert to that type.


By June 1944 a shortage of aircrew led to the re-formation of B Flight (under S/L T D Misselbrook from 1662 HCU) with RAF and Commonwealth crews from other units in 1 Group (101, 550, 576, 626, 1662 HCU, and 1 LFS). The 'British' Flight was to last until September 1944.


The Squadron's last war operation was part of a daylight attack on Berchtesgaden on 25th of April 1945, the fighter escort including Mustangs of 303, 315, and 316 Squadrons.  Its last operation before VE Day was a 'Manna' supplies drop to the Dutch people of Rotterdam on 7th May 1945.


The last recorded flying by aircraft of the Polish Air Force in Lincolnshire was carried out by 300 Squadron on 26th of November 1946, with two crews engaged in 'Wastage' (5 hrs 11 mins) and eight crews local flying map reading (11 hrs 13 mins).




           






Squadron

Code Letters:

BH

No. 300 (POLISH) SQUADRON “Land of Masovia” 300 Dywizjon Bombowy "Ziemi Mazowieckiej”

300 Squadron were stationed at:

Bramcote

01:07:1940



Fairey Battle Mk. I

Swinderby

22.08.1940 - 18.07.1941



Vickers Wellington Mk. IC

Hemswell

18.07.1941 - 18.05.1942



Vickers Wellington Mk. IC & Mk. IV

Ingham

18.05.1942 - 31.01.1943



Vickers Wellington Mk. IV

Hemswell

31.01.1943 - 22.06.1943



Vickers Wellington Mk. III


lngham

22.06.1943 - 01.03.1944



Vickers Wellington Mk. III

Faldingworth

01.03.1944 - 28.12.1946



Avro Lancaster B.I & B.III

Skipton-on-Swale

25:11:1946


DB

02:01:1947


(plus detachments at Blyton and Hemswell during Lancaster conversion)

Commanding Officers while in Lincolnshire:

ppkl pil. Inz.

Waclaw Makowski

01:07:1940

mjr pil.

Stanislaw Cwynar

17:07:1941

mjr pil.

Romuald Sulinski

27:01:1942

mjr nawig.

Wladyslaw Dukszto

01:08:1942

mjr pil.

Adam Kropinski

01:11:1942

mjr pil.

Mieczyslaw Kucharski

02:05:1943

mjr pil.

Kazimierz Kuzian

18:11:1943

mjr pil.

Adam Kowalczyk

18:01:1944

mjr pil.

Teofil Pozyczka

01:04:1944

mjr pil.

Boleslaw Jarkowski

02:02:1945

mjr pil.

Romuald Sulinski

17:09:1945

mjr pil.

Boleslaw Jarkowski

22:02:1946

300 Squadron 305 Squadron 301 Squadron 304 Squadron 199 Squadron Home

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