|F-16AM J-063 “60 years 322 Squadron”|
|The first steps to form a Dutch fighter squadron were taken on july 24.1941 when prince Bernhard spoke with kapitein J.P. Berdenis about the possibilities to form such a squadron. It would be hard to find at least 25 Dutch fighter pilots in England, which were needed. In april 1942 the 167 ‘Gold Coast’ squadron was formed.This squadron had the markings “VL”. The 167 squadron flew mainly partols to protect the allied ships and dusk partols to intercept enemy aircraft taking advantage of the falling night.On June 12. 167 was reformed to the 322 Dutch squadron. On june 20.1944 322 moved on to West Malling to fight the V-1 bombs with their new Spitfire XIV’s. During the period from june 18th to august 11. 322 had some success in operation Crossbow downing 110 1/2 V-1’s in 1932 flying hours and 1761 flights. On august 11. 322 got a new task: together with 91 squadron it supplied close air support to the troops fighting in Europe. To fulfill his task 322 was equipped with the Spitfire IX. Beside the CAP actions 322 also escorted bombers on attacks behind the frontlines involving fighter sweeps. During the 17 moths of active operations, 18 pilots were killed, 10 of them in 1945, and some others got wounded and/or prisoner. A few managed to return to the squadron and rejoined. Others were found in hospitals after the liberation. 322 flew 6382 hours in 4896 operational flights.
On September 27.1946 322 was activated again with Spitfire IX’s and saw action in Indonesia from november 1947 to October 1949 and in New Guinea from november 1960 to october 1962. Since the NATO is flying over Yugoslavia 322 has been stationed at Villafranca a few times. It saw action again at the first night of attacks over Kosovo. It escorted USAF bombers (what they are trained for) and shot a serbian MIG 29. After that, the squadron has been reassigned to ground attacks. The week after easter 1990, 322 returned home and 315 took over the actions.
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