355 Tactical Transport Squadron

355 Μοίρα Τακτικών Μεταφορών (355 ΜΤΜ)

Emblem

Display: Eagle transfering an old-styled canon.

Call Sign: ATLAS

Location

112 Combat Wing – Elefsina Air Base

Established

1947

Aircraft served

  • C-47 Dakota
  • Dornier Do.28D-2 Skyservant

Aircraft serving

  • Canadair CL-215

Mission

The 355 Tactical Transport Squadron is tasked with conducting Air Fire Operations in the Greek territory, as well as carrying out Search and Rescue missions.

History

The 355 Tactical Transport Squadron was established in 1947 at Hellenic Airport with C-47 Dakota aircrafts, as a development of the 13th Light Bomber Squadron. After eight (8) months, the Squadron was moved to Eleusis Air Base.

In 1950, a Flight of seven (7) aircrafts and an equal number of crew, was transferred to South Korea under the name of «13th Flock» and took part in the Korean War, assisting the UN forces in carrying missions, personnel and materials.

From July 17, 1960 to August 5, 1960, a squadron with two (2) C-47 Dakota aircrafts took part in the rescue of the Greek element from the Congo. The mission was repeated in 1961 but UN’s aircraft were used.

From 1968 to 1973, the Squadron participated with five (5) C-47 aircrafts in aerial spraying, to the benefit of the Ministry of Agriculture.

In December 1975, the first five (5) CL-215 aircrafts were added to Squadron, and on December 22, 1975 it was renamed from 355 Squadron to 355MTM. Squadron began to participate in firefighting to save the country’s forest wealth for the benefit of the Ministry of Agriculture.

On July 1, 1982, the operation of the 354 Tactical Transport Squadron was suspended, and the few remaining Noratlas moved to the 355MTM as the «Noratlas Flock».

In December 1983, Do-28 Skyservand aircrafts joined the Squadron, allowing the withdrawal of the Noratlas, of which only one remained in operation until March 28, 1987, in an air-control role on the ground.

In 1984, the C-47 Dakota permanently relocated as an independent Flight 355.1 to Sedes Airport.

In 1996, Squadron received four (4) CL-215 aircraft from Yugoslavia, boosting its fleet.

On January 30, 1999, the first CL-415 aircraft was received as a precursor to a fleet of ten (10) aircrafts, and in August of the same year, the newly acquired aircraft participated in extinguishing the major fire of the Turpas refineries.

In the summer of 2000, the Squadron participated in extinguishing the great fire in Cyprus with two (2) CL-415 aircrafts. A similar task was repeated in 2001.

In May 2003, due to the large number of personnel and resources available to the Squadron, it was decided, by the General Staff, to be divided into three (3) new Squadrons (355 Tactical Transport Squadron, 383 Squadron and Special Fire Protection and Squadron), by the time where the CL-415 aircrafts departed.

On September 28, 2010, after twenty-seven (27) years of service to the Air Force and the community at large, the last Do-28 aircraft was withdrawn from service, having performed numerous and varied auxiliary missions, such as light transport, parachute throws, patient air transfer, Survey – Rescue, VIP and surveillance flights. It is worth mentioning that during their service, Do-is the only type of aircraft in the history of Air Force with zero accident rates.