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No. 320 (Netherlands) Squadron RAF
A Fokker T.VIII of No. 320 Squadron begins a patrol after taking off from Pembroke Dock, Wales
Active 1 June 1940 – 2 August 1945
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Allegiance Netherlands Dutch government in exile
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Type Inactive
Part of RAF Coastal Command
RAF Bomber Command
RAF Second Tactical Air Force
Motto(s) Latin: Animo libre dirigimur
("We are guided by the mind of liberty")
Dutch: ("Wij worden geleid door een vrije geest")
Squadron Badge In front of a fountain an orange tree fracted and eradicated[1]The orange tree refers to the squadron's connection with the Netherlands and the fountain to its operations over the sea[2]
Squadron Codes SP (allocated June 1939 – Sep 1939)
TD (Jun 1940 – Oct 1940)
NO (Oct 1940 – Aug 1945)

No. 320 (Netherlands) 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.



Formed on 1 June 1940 at Pembroke Dock, after flying from the Netherlands in eight Fokker T.VIIIW twin-engined patrol seaplanes, as part of Coastal Command. The squadron flew coastal and anti-submarine patrols in the Fokkers until they became unserviceable due to lack of spares and were re-equipped with Ansons in August 1940 and supplemented in October with Hudsons. Due to insufficient personnel, the squadron absorbed No. 321 (Netherlands) Squadron on 18 January 1941.

To Bomber Command

The squadron moved to RAF Leuchars on 1 October 1941, re-equipped with Hudson IIIs, flying patrols and anti-shipping attacks in the North Sea. Detachments were located at RAF Silloth and RAF Carew Cheriton until 24 April 1942 when the squadron moved to RAF Bircham Newton. The squadron was reassigned to Bomber Command and loaned to No.2 Group on 15 March 1943. The squadron was also re-equipped with Mitchells and moved to RAF Methwold.

In the 2nd Tactical Air Force

Belgian aircrew of a 320 Squadron Mitchell bomber at B58/Melsbroek, Belgium

On 30 March 1943, the squadron moved to RAF Attlebridge, then was reassigned to Second Tactical Air Force on 1 June with the squadron attacking enemy communications targets and airfields. The squadron relocated to RAF Lasham on 30 August and to RAF Dunsfold on 18 February 1944. After the liberation of Belgium, the squadron was moved to Melsbroek (B.58), Belgium on 18 October and then on 30 April 1945 to Achmer (B.110), Germany.

Back Home

The squadron was passed to the control of the Dutch Naval Aviation Service (Marine Luchtvaart Dienst) on 2 August 1945, keeping the same squadron number No. 320 Squadron MLD. The squadron was disbanded in 2005, due to budget cuts.

Aircraft operated

From To Aircraft Version
Jun 1940 Oct 1940 Fokker T.VIII TVIIIW/G (Floatplane version of TVIII)
Aug 1940 Jul 1941 Avro Anson Mk.I
Oct 1940 Oct 1942 Lockheed Hudson Mk.I
Mar 1941 Sep 1941 Lockheed Hudson Mk.II
Jul 1941 Sep 1942 Lockheed Hudson Mk.III
Jan 1942 May 1942 Lockheed Hudson Mk.V
Aug 1942 Mar 1943 Lockheed Hudson Mk.VI
Mar 1943 Aug 1945 North American Mitchell Mk.II
Feb 1945 Aug 1945 North American Mitchell Mk.III


Commanding officers

From To Name
Jun 1940 Oct 1940 Lt/Cdr. J.M van Olm
Oct 1940 Mar 1943 Lt/Cdr. W. van Lier





  1. Rawlings 1982, p. 200.
  2. Moyes 1976, p. 228.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rawlings 1982, p. 201.
  4. Halley 1988, p. 367.
  5. Jefford 2001, p. 88.


  • Geldof, Nico. De Vliegtuigen van 320 Squadron, 1940 – 1946 (in Dutch). Maarssen, the Netherlands: Geromy Uitgeverij BV, 2006. ISBN 90-6720-397-1.
  • Geldof, Nico. De Operaties van 320 Squadron, 1940 – 1946 (in Dutch). Maarssen, the Netherlands: Geromy Uitgeverij BV, 2006. ISBN 90-6720-396-3.
  • Geldof, Nico. "'Alle Hens' van 320 Squadron: 'Regina et patria'" (in Dutch). Maarssen, the Netherlands: Geromy Uitgeverij BV, 2007. ISBN
  • 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.
  • Kloos, J.P. 320 Squadron R.A.F., Memorial 1940–1945 (in Dutch). J.P. Kloos Publisher, 1987 (republished in 1992).
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's, 1964 (2nd 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.
  • Van der Kop, Hans. The Flying Dutchman: An Exciting True Story of War in the Air. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens Ltd, 1985. ISBN 0-85059-755-2.

External links

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