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330 (Norwegian) Squadron RAF
Official badge of No. 330 Squadron RAF
Active 25 April 1941 – 21 November 1945
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Allegiance Norway exiled Norwegian government
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Atlantic patrols
Part of RAF Coastal Command
Motto(s) Norwegian language: Trygg havet
("Guarding the seas")[1]
Aircraft Northrop N-3PB
Squadron Badge heraldry In front of a sun in splendour, a Viking ship at full sail
Squadron Codes GS (May 1941 – Mar 1943)
WH (1944 – Nov 1945)
330 Squadron RNoAF
Active 25 April 1941
Full control passed to RNoAF on 21 November 1945. Still active
Role Search and rescue. Air ambulance. Special operations support.
Garrison/HQ Command based at Sola Air Station
Motto(s) Trygg havet
("Make the ocean safe")
Equipment Sea King
In front of a sun in splendour, a Viking ship at full sail

One of the Sea King helicopters of Squadron 330

One of the Northrop N-3PB torpedo bombers of 330 Squadron

No. 330 Squadron RNoAF is a helicopter squadron in the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) which at all times has a helicopter stationed on each of five Norwegian air stations. The squadron's current missions are search and rescue (SAR), air ambulance, disaster relief as well as special operations support.

No. 330 Squadron RAF (Norwegian)[2] was established during World War II as part of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the exiled and Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service, with a mission of convoy protection in the North Atlantic Ocean. After the war the name was kept and although now using helicopters instead of planes, and having a different mission, 330 Squadron still flies over the North Atlantic.

World War II

The squadron was established on 25 April 1941 from Norwegian naval personnel. It was the first Norwegian exile air unit and part of the Royal Air Force and the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service. Its mission was to guard the North Atlantic Ocean and protect convoys from the USA and Canada to Great Britain or Murmansk from attacks by submarines and surface ships from the German Kriegsmarine.

The squadron first operated Northrop N-3PB torpedo bomber sea planes from Reykjavík on Iceland. The squadron got its first Catalinas in June 1941 and a detachment was based at Akureyri from July 1941. On 28 January 1943 the entire squadron relocated to Oban, Scotland where it began to re-equip with Sunderlands.

The second maritime squadron in exile was 333 squadron established in 1943 in Woodhaven, Scotland equipped with Catalina sea planes and Mosquito fighter-bombers. Both aircraft and running costs were financed by the exiled Norwegian government.

At the end of World War II the squadron was disbanded as an RAF unit, and passed to the control of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

Aircraft operated during RAF service

Current operations

In honour of the achievements of the RNoAF Squadrons of World War II, The Royal Norwegian Air Force has maintained the RAF squadron names. Thus Norway still has the 330th and 333rd Squadrons, now flying Sea King and Orion.

Today the squadron has units based at Bodø Main Air Station, Ørland Main Air Station, Rygge Air Station, Sola Air Station, Banak Air Station and a detachment at Florø Airport. In addition to SAR and special operations support, the squadron is part of the Norwegian Air Ambulance system.

The 330 Squadron operates 12 Westland Sea King helicopters on behalf of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police and performed approximately 1,500 SAR and ambulance missions in 2008. At any given time 330 Squadron has one helicopter at each base on standby, on immediate readiness (15 minutes reaction time). For the primary SAR and ambulance missions, the helicopters are under command of the respective Joint Rescue Coordination Centres located at Sola for Southern Norway (Rygge, Sola, Florø and Ørland) and Bodø for Northern Norway (Bodø and Banak).


The 330 Squadron was featured in an eight-episode television documentary series of the same name, broadcast by Norwegian network NRK in 2009,[3] and made available by NRK for BitTorrent download[4] as part of a larger initiative.[5]

See also



  1. Halley 1988, p. 371.
  2. Jefford 2001, p. 89. (No. 330 Sqn)
  3. Kjølleberg, Even (11 March 2009). "330 skvadronen" (in Norsk). NRK Gull. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  4. Solheim, Erik (6 April 2009). "330 Skvadronen til gratis nedlasting i full kvalitet" (in Norsk). NRK beta. Retrieved 2012-11-09.  {discussion includes links to English subtitles}
  5. Anderson, Nate (9 March 2009). "Norway’s public broadcaster launches BitTorrent tracker". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 


  • 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.
  • 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

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