Squadron 342 “Lorraine”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1943 personnel of the French Escadrilles 'Metz' and 'Nancy' in the Mediterranean where transferred to the UK. On 7 April 1943 these units were combined and redesignated No 342 Squadron, the two flights retaining the previous identities. As part of No 2 Group, the squadron was equipped with the Douglas Boston, which it took into action for the first on 12 June.

In early 1944 their main targets became the V-1 launching sites in the Pas de Calais as well as carrying out interdiction missions in an attempt to seal off the proposed invasion area.

The squadron moved its home country in October 1944 from where it continued to support the Allied armies as they pushed towards Germany. In March 1945 Mitchells began to replace the Bostons, a process completed by April, by which time the squadron based in Holland. The squadron was transferred to the Armée de l'Air on 2 December 1945, thereby ceasing to be a RAF unit.

Motto: Nous Y Sommes (Here we are)

 

History

No. 342 Squadron was formed on 7 April 1943 at RAF West Raynham with personnel from the Free French Air Forces (Forces aériennes françaises libres) transferred from the Middle East, in particular the personnel of the French Escadrilles "Metz" and "Nancy". The squadron was part of No. 2 Group RAF of RAF Bomber Command and equipped with Douglas Mk IIIA Bostons (aka Douglas A-20C Havocs). They later moved with their sister squadron No. 88 Squadron to RAF Hartford Bridge.

The squadron flew low-level bombing and strafing missions over France and the Netherlands, in particular against V-1 bases in Northern France and selected sites connected with the preparation for D-Day.

In October 1944 the squadron relocated to France from where it continued to support the Allied advance. In March/April 1945 the Bostons were replaced by Mitchells and the squadron relocated to Holland. The squadron was transferred from RAF control to the French Air Force ( Armée de l'Air ) on 2 December 1945.

 

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