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Remembrance at RAF Honington and East Wretham - 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF

Remembrance at RAF Honington and East Wretham - 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF

RAF Honington hosted Defence Staffs from the Czech and Slovakian Embassies to pay tribute to 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron that formed at RAF Honington in 1940.

L to R Colonel David Rodr, Czech Police Attaché, Brigadier General Vratislav Beran, Czech Defence Attache, and Warrant Officer Ales Feistinger, Czech Embassy.

Colonel Peter Sliacky, Slovak Defence Attache laying wreath at East Wretham 8 Nov 23


311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron formed at RAF Honington on the 29th of July 1940 and moved to East Wretham in September 1940. As a Bomber and latterly a Coastal Command Squadron, 311 Squadron flew over three thousand sorties in World War 2 and sank several enemy vessels in the fight against the German U-Boat and surface fleet. One of the most noteworthy actions being the sinking of the German blockade runner Alsterufer in the Bay of Biscay.

Station Commander Max Hayward was honoured to lay a Station Wreath alongside Czech Defence Attaché Brigadier General Vratislav Beran and Slovak Defence Attaché, Colonel Peter Sliacky. The Police Attaché of the Czech Embassy in London, Colonel David Rodr and Warrant Officer Ales Feistinger also joined the Service led by Reverend (Squadron Leader) Josephine Critchley.

Stn Cdr Wg Cdr Hayward laying wreath at East Wretham 8 Nov 23

The 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron Memorial was officially commemorated at RAF Honington in July 2020 to recognise the 80th anniversary of its founding with Officers and Airmen of Czech 22 Helicopter Airbase Náměšť nad Oslavou representing the historical home of No 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron. The Squadron is officially known as ‘Biscay Squadron due to its activities against the German Navy and the Memorial is alongside a Linden Tree to reflect the national tree of the Czech Republic.

The Station Commander and the Defence Attachés had earlier joined the annual RAFA Thetford Remembrance at St Ethelbert’s Church and War Memorial, East Wretham joined by Lieutenant Colonel Loyd USAF from RAF Lakenheath. Deputy Lieutenant Melinda Raker, local MP the RH Liz Truss and Civic Representatives from Thetford and Breckland District Council and Polish Representatives also laid wreaths before crosses were laid to remember the War Graves at St Ethelberts and later the War Graves at Honington All Saints Church.

Guests and Dignitaries ready to lay wreaths at East Wretham 8 Nov 23.

Royal Air Forces Association Standards on parade at East Wretham 8 Nov 23.

A total of 273 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron personnel lost their lives; one of the highest loss rates across the RAF Squadrons in WW2.

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