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16th Annual Remembrance Ceremony at East Wretham

On 6th November 2019 the Thetford and District Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association held its 16th Annual Remembrance Ceremony at East Wretham, to commemorate the Czechoslovak and Polish personnel buried in St. Ethelbert´s Churchyard. The East Wretham airfield was home to the RAF No 311 (Czechoslovak) Bomber Squadron during the Second World War.

After the Church Mass celebrated by Reverend Tony Heywood, the Honourable guests, Deffence Attachés  of the Czech, Slovak and Polish Republic and representatives of the RAF, Ex Service Associations (RAFA, RBL, RNA, MAFCSV) and relatives of fallen soldiers laid wreaths to the War Memorial.

The RAF No 311 (Czechoslovak) Bomber Squadron was formed at RAF Honington, Suffolk, on 29th July 1940 under the command of Wing Commander Karel Mares DFC. The Squadron formed part of No 3 Group Bomber Command. It first went into action flying Wellington Mk 1 medium bomber aircraft on the night of 10/11 September 1940. This continued at RAF East Wretham, a satellite of RAF Honington, until late April 1942. It was then moved to RAF Aldergrove part of Coastal Command in the general reconnaissance role. By then it had completed 1,021 operational sorties and dropped more than 1,300 tons of bombs on enemy targets these included Berlin, Bonn, Boulogne, Brest, Cologne, Flushing, Essen, Kiel, Paris and Turin. Shortly after joining Coastal Command, No.311 Squadron took part with many other units of Coastal Command in the third 1,000 bomber raid, on Bremen; on this occasion it´s Wellingtons operated from RAF Bircham Newton. In June 1945, No. 311 Squadron transferred to Transport Command and began flights between the UK and Czechoslovakia. On 15th February 1946 the squadron was officially disbanded at RAF Milltown in Scotland. Most of the personnel transferred to the Czechoslovak Air Force in August 1945. A total of 273 airmen from Czechoslovakia died while serving with No.311 Squadron.

Please find more pictures of the event at:





Fotografie čs. letců Wretham 319 KB PDF (Adobe Acrobat document) Nov 8, 2019