Demo Team T-6 HAF Videos Wallpapers

116 Combat Wing

Mission

The mission of the 116 CW, is to maintain a high level of readiness and effectiveness. It is achieved by the appropriate organization, training of personnel and maintenance of the available means and systems.  Furthermore, the undertaking and carrying out of air operations, at any given time, in total success.

Organization

The unit is organized according to the typical Combat Wing organization.

It has the following Squadrons :

335 Bomber Squadron
336 Bomber Squadron

History

1936

First use of Araxos airport

1941

At the beginning of April 1941, the runway was ready to receive aircraft flights. In the same period the first RADAR base in Greece was set up in Araxos.

1958

In 1958, it was decided that the airport be modernized, and it would serve jets ever since.

1962

On April 1962, the 116 Combat Group was formed at Araxos airport with F-84F aircraft of the 336 Fighter Bomber Squadron. Lt.Colonel (pilot) Laitmer was the first commander of 116 Combat Group.

1964

The F-84F of 336 FB Sqn were replaced by F-104G aircraft.

1969

On May 1969, the 116 Combat Group was renamed to 116 Combat Wing.

1977

In June 1977 the 355 FB Sqn from 114 CW redeployed to 116 CW with F-104G aircraft.

1992

In 1992 the replacement of F-104Gs with the A-7Es aircraft started.

1993-1995

On March 1993, the retirement of F-104G was completed, while the delivery of A-7E aircraft had been completed by September 1994.

The operational development for 335 Sqn with A-7E aircraft was accomplished on September 1993, and on June 1995 for the 336 Sqn.

1996

In November 1996 the A-7E aircraft Re-training Flight was established and started to operate in March 1997.

335 Bomber Squadron

The 335 Squadron with callsign "Tiger", is the oldest squadron of the Hellenic Air Force, as it was established when Greece was under German occupation, in October 1941 at the Palestinian airport of Akir, i.e. a few months after Greece’s total occupation by the Germans.

The first squadron pilots were officers of the Hellenic Royal Air Force, who had been sent to Iraq since 1940 to be trained by British officers, as well as many pilots who abandoned Greece after the occupation, for carrying on the liberation fight.

The squadron was initially equipped with the fighter aircraft Hurricane-IIB and thereafter with the Hurricane-IIC and was subordinated to the RAF 339 Combat Wing. With these aircraft, it operates until December 1943, when the modern Spitfire VB and VC replaced them.

The Squadron had as its main role the offensive reconnaissance and interception. It carries out missions in North Africa, Italy, Yugoslavia, Albania and in occupied Greece, especially in Crete, the Cyclades and the Dodecanese islands.

During the stay in the Middle East, the Squadron operated from landing strips and participated in navel convoy escort and patrol missions.

This routine mission was broken by a strafing operation against the H.Q. of the Italian XX Corps which was based in Libya, behind the Axis lines. The attack was accomplished in full success in October 28th. As it was the second anniversary of the Italian attack against Greece, the Squadron Leader asked permission from the British Command to "celebrate" the occasion, by carrying out this mission.

In September 1944, the Squadron redeployed to Italy and thereafter to Greece in the end of October, at the Hassani airport, today’s Hellenikon airport. There, the 335 Sqn along with 336 Sqn and 13 Light bomber Sqn, which were established in the Middle East, were handed over by the British to the Hellenic Government.

During WW II the squadron lost 18 pilots and had conducted 5555 sorties in 8500 combat flight hours, and additional 12000 flight hours for training purposes.

In August 1945 it re-deployed to Sedes airport. In June 1947 the new Spitfire IX and XVI were delivered to the Squadron in order to contribute to the civil war operations during 1947 – 1949.

In October 1953 the 335 Sqn is renamed to 335 Fighter Bomber Sqn and became the first Squadron that replaced the propeller aircraft with jets, the F-84G and RT-33A type, in Elefsis airport.

It redeployed to 111CW and stayed there until September 1957. Thereafter it redeploys to 110 CW at Larissa and was based there until May 1960, while being equiped with the F-84F since autumn 1957.

In November 1960 the 335FB Sqn assumes strike role and redeploys at Tanagra. The reception of F-104G Starfighter aircraft starts in May 1965, and in June 30 1977, the squadron redeploys to 116 CW at Araxos. From May 1965 until May 1992 it flew with the F-104Gs.

On April 3 1993, it is renamed to 335 Bomber Squadron and receives the 2nd generation aircraft A-7E and TA-7C Corsair, which where part of a set of 62 aircraft delivered by the USA.

The HAF bombing ability was increased with the A-7 aircraft, because of their great capability to carry a heavy weapon load to long distances and deliver it to the target with satisfactory accuracy.

336 Bomber Squadron

The 336 Squadron with callsign "Olympos", was established for the 1st time, on February 25, 1943 at the "Landing Ground 219" airport near Cairo, Egypt. Its first name was 336 "Hellenic Royal Fighter Bomber Squadron". The 336 Sqn was subordinated to the RAF 219 Combat Wing, and it was the second FB Squadron of the Hellenic Royal Air Force.

The squadron was initially equipped with 21 Hurricane-IIC aircraft, and had a total of 309 men, with 26 pilots.

On April 4 1943, it is transferred to the desert, at the LG121 airport, which was located near Sidi Barrani, Egypt, and it stayed there until January 1944. From April 11, 1943 the Squadron was full operational.

The missions were naval convoy protection, interception of hostile aircraft, offensive patrols and ground attack sweeps over Crete.

The Squadron’s main characteristic was the keenness and the willingness of all the pilots to participate in the missions. This led to having draws in order to determine which pilots would take part in the missions, because there were few aircraft and many volunteers. The missions carried out by the Greek pilots too often caused admiration to the allies.

In January 1944, the squadron redeploys to the Libyan airport of El Adem, where it stays until March 1944. Thereafter it redeploys to the Bu Amoud airport for a few days, and since April 1944 to the Marsa Matruh airport of Egypt.

In June 1944 the personnelstarted training to receive the new aircraft type, the Spitfire V. In July once again it redeploys to El Adem airport, where the reception of the new aircraft starts on September.

After a few days, the 336 Sqn is transferred to Italy at Nuova airport and from this base it carries out ground attack missions over Albania, Yugoslavia and occupied Greece.

Next station is the Biferno airport only for a few days and after that the squadron operates all November from Grottaglie airport, until its return to Greece.

It continues operating from Hassani airport against the German forces in Crete, Milos and the Dodecanese.
The 336 Squadron during WW II accomplished 3250 missions (day/night), conducting 12427 flight hours, 5116 of which in combat missions and the rest in training. The losses were 12 pilots killed and 3 captives.

In May 1945 it redeploys to Sedes airport in Thessaloniki and takes part in the civil war operations during 1946 – 1949.  In February 1949 the 336 Sqn redeploys to Larissa and is integrated to the of 110CW force.

In August 24 it is equipped with the Helldiver vertical attack fighter-bomber, changing its role to Light Bomber Squadron. Following this, it is equipped with the F-84G at Elefsis airport, while at the same time it is renamed to 336 Fighter Bomber Squadron.

On December 28 1953, it redeploys to Nea Anchialos. In 1958 it replaces the F-84G with the new F-84F and in March 1959 it redeploys firstly to 110 CW and then to 116 CW on December 4 1962. On September 25 1963 it is renamed to 336 Strike Squadron.

On January 15 1965, the 336 Strike Sqn with F-104G aircraft is moved to 114CW and at the same time the part of 336 Sqn with the F-84F stays to 116CW. On December 23 1966, the 336 Strike Sqn with the F-104G is moved back from 114 CW to 116 CW.

From December 1966 until March 31st 1993, the 336 Sqn maintained the F-104G aircraft. From this date on, it is renamed to 336 Bomber Squadron and starts receiving the A-7E and TA-7C. With those aircraft types it operates at first as Re-training Flight for the F-104Gs pilots to the new aircraft type A-7E.

The HAF bombing ability was increased with the A-7 aircraft, because of their great capability to carry a heavy weapon load to long distances and deliver it to the target with satisfactory accuracy.