A Hawker Hurricane Mk 1 in 310 Squadron markings
Len Deighton in his book “Fighter” wrote: ”Poles and Czechs were not permitted to participate in the air fighting until they had mastered the rudiments of the English language and flying procedures. When they did start operations, these homeless men, motivated often by a hatred bordering upon despair, fought with a terrible and merciless dedication”.
No. 310 Squadron RAF was a Czechoslovakian-manned fighter squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War (1940).
It was first formed on 10 July 1940 at RAF Duxford, equipped with Hawker Hurricane I fighters and was the first RAF squadron to be raised crewed by foreign nationals, in this case escaped Czechoslovakian pilots. Led by Squadron Leader Douglas Blackwood and using experienced pilots the squadron was operational in only a month and as part of 12 Group became involved in the Battle of Britain as part of the Duxford 'Big Wing'. 37.5 victories were claimed during the battle.
The four Czechoslovak Squadrons and the four Norwegian Squadrons were RAF squadrons with RAF style squadron badges, but the Polish squadrons flew with the RAF as Polish Squadrons and retained their Polish badges.