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No. 321 (Dutch) Squadron RAF

No. 321 (Dutch) Squadron RAF
Avro Anson of No. 321 Squadron, carrying Dutch markings on its tail.
Active 1 June 1940 – 18 January 1941
15 August 1942 – 8 December 1945
Country United Kingdom
Allegiance Dutch government in exile
Branch Royal Air Force
Type Inactive
Part of RAF Coastal Command
Aircraft Consolidated Catalina, Consolidated Liberator

No. 321 (Dutch) Squadron RAF was a unit of the Royal Air Force during World War II formed from the personnel of the Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service.


  • History 1
    • Formation 1.1
    • Catalinas 1.2
  • Aircraft operated 2
  • Commanding officers 3
  • References 4
    • Notes 4.1
    • Bibliography 4.2
  • External links 5



Formed on 1 June 1940 at Pembroke Dock, the squadron moved to RAF Carew Cheriton on 28 July 1940 and became operational. The squadron flew coastal and anti-submarine patrols with Avro Anson's until the squadron was disbanded, due to lack of personnel, and merged with No. 320 Squadron on 18 January 1941.


The squadron was re-activated at RAF Trincomalee, Sri Lanka on 15 August 1942 with PBY Catalina's from personnel of the Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service who escaped to Ceylon. The squadrons headquarters was located at RAF China Bay with detachments based in Mombasa, Cocos Islands, Socotra, Masirah, Ceylon, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Aden and Cape Town. Supplemented with B-24 Liberator's in July 1945 the air echelon moved to Cocos Island in preparation for the proposed invasion of Malaya.

After the Japanese surrender, relief flights and supply drops to thousands of internees in the POW camps were flown to Java and Sumatra, and in October the squadron moved to its new base near Batavia, where the squadron passed to the control of the Dutch Naval Aviation Service on 8 December 1945, keeping the same squadron number No. 321 Squadron MLD. The 321 Squadron is to be disbanded in 2005, due to budget cuts.

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Version
Jun 1940 Jan 1941 Avro Anson Mk.I
Aug 1942 Dec 1944 Consolidated Catalina Mk.II
Dec 1943 Aug 1945 Consolidated Catalina Mk.III
Dec 1944 Dec 1945 Consolidated Liberator Mk.VI
Aug 1945 Dec 1945 Consolidated Catalina Mk.Va
Dec 1945 Dec 1945 Consolidated Catalina Mk.IVb

Commanding officers

From To Name
Jun 1940 Aug 1940 Lt/Cdr. H. Kolff
Aug 1940 Oct 1940 Lt/Cdr. M.G. Smalt
Oct 1940 Jan 1941 Lt/Cdr. W. van Lier
Jul 1942 1945 Lt/Cdr. W. van Prooijen



  1. ^ a b Rawlings 1982, p. 201.
  2. ^ Halley 1988, p. 368.
  3. ^ Jefford 2001, p. 88.


  • 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, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • 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.

External links

  • Scramble – The Aviation Magazine
  • Squadron bases at RAF Commands
  • RAF website
  • Nos 310–330 Squadron Aircraft & Markings on RAFweb
  • Nos. 310–347 Squadron Histories on RAFweb
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