No. 311 Squadron RAF

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No. 311 Squadron RAF
Squadron crest
Active 29 July 1940 – 15 February 1946
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Allegiance Czech Republic Czechoslovak National Liberation Committee
Branch Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Air Force
Role Bomber, maritime patrol, transport
Motto (Czech): Na množství nehleďte
("Never regard their numbers", Hussite was motto)
Squadron badge A thresher and a morning star in saltire, the halves fracted.
Squadron codes KX (Jul 1940 - Apr 1942)[1]
PP (1945 - Feb 1946)[2]
Aircraft flown
Bomber Vickers Wellington
Consolidated Liberator

No 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF was a Czechoslovakia-manned bomber squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

At the end of the war, it disbanded as an RAF unit and became part of the reformed Czechoslovak Air Force.


311 Squadron flight crew with their Wellington bomber at RAF East Wretham

It was first formed at RAF Honington on 29 July 1940,[3] equipped with Wellington I bombers and crewed mostly by Czechoslovak aircrew who had escaped from Europe. It was transferred from Bomber Command to Coastal Command in April 1942 to carry out maritime patrol work. It re-equipped with Consolidated Liberator bombers in June 1943 and continued in anti-submarine work but now over the Bay of Biscay. The squadron was responsible for the sinking of the German blockade runner Alsterufer on 28 December 1943 prior to the Battle of the Bay of Biscay.

Following the end of the war, in June 1945 the squadron was transferred to RAF Transport Command and began flights between the UK and Czechoslovakia.[3] The squadron continued flying from UK bases until it was disbanded in the UK at RAF Milltown on 15 February 1946,[4] but since 21 August 1945 actually flew from Prague.[5]

Aircraft of this squadron used squadron code letters "KX" on their Wellingtons, and later "PP" on their Liberators.[6]

Commanding officers

From To Name
July 1940 November 1940 W/Cdr John Griffiths DFC[7]
July 1940 March 1941 W/Cdr. Karel Toman-Mareš
1941 1941 Sqn Ldr Percy Charles Pickard DFC.[8]
March 1941 July 1941 W/Cdr. Josef Schejbal
July 1941 April 1942 W/Cdr. Josef Ocelka, DFC
April 1942 January 1943 W/Cdr. Josef Šnajdr, DFC
January 1943 August 1943 W/Cdr. Jindřich Breitcetl, DFC
August 1943 January 1944 W/Cdr. Vladimír Nedvěd, MBE, DFC
January 1944 August 1944 W/Cdr. Josef Šejbl, DFC
August 1944 February 1946 W/Cdr. Jan Kostohryz, DSO

Squadron bases

Period Name
29 July 1940 – 16 September 1940 RAF Honington
16 September 1940 – 28 April 1942 RAF East Wretham
28 April 1942 - 12 June 1942 RAF Aldergrove
12 June 1942 - 26 May 1943 RAF Talbenny
26 May 1943 – 23 February 1944 RAF Beaulieu
23 February 1944 - 7 August 1944 RAF Predannack
7 August 1944 - 6 August 1945 RAF Tain
6 August 1945 - 21 August 1945 RAF Manston
21 August 1945 – 15 February 1946 Prague

Aircraft operated


Dates Aircraft Variant Notes
1940–1943 Vickers Wellington IC Twin-engined medium bomber
Consolidated Liberator IIIA
Four-engined heavy bomber


A cafe commemorating the No. 311 Squadron RAF was opened in Brno in 1999. It is called Air Cafe and exhibits a small but interesting collection of memorabilia connected with the Czech manned squadron.[10]

See also



  1. Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 64.
  2. Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 83.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Halley 1988, p. 362.
  4. Rawlings 1982, p. 199.
  5. Rijnhout & Rennison 1980, p. 92.
  6. Sqn Histories 310-347_P
  7. Zdeněk Hurt Czechs in the RAF In Focus
  8. K. R. M. Short, Pickard, Percy Charles (1915–1944), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2008 accessed 24 Feb 2013 subscription required
  9. Jefford 1988, page 85


  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and Rawlings, John D.R. Squadron Codes 1937-56. Bar Hill, Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988.ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Capka, Jo and MacDonald, Kendall. Red Sky at Night, the Story of Jo Capka, DFM. London: Anthony Blond, 1958.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1964, new edition 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.
  • Rijnhout, Bart M. Het mysterie van de L 7788. De lotgevallen van een Engelse bommenwerper en zijn Tsjechische bemanning 1940/1944 (in Dutch). Zutphen, the Netherlands: De Walburg Pers, 1979. ISBN 90-6011-185-0.
  • Rijnhout, Bart M. Het mysterie van de L 7788. Oud-bemanning even terug op plek des onheils... (in Dutch). Leidschendam, the Netherlands: House Printing Unit HTM, 1979. No ISBN.
  • Rijnhout, Bart M. and Rennison, John P. The Sky is our Ocean. De rol van het 311(Tsjechisch) R.A.F.-squadron tijdens de tweede wereldoorlog (in Dutch). Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Wyt Uitgeverij, 1980. ISBN 90-6007-141-7.

External links