Ηead of a tiger
Call Sign: TIGER
116 Combat Wing – Araxos Air Base
- Hurricane IIB – IIC
- Spitfire VB – VC – IX – XVI
- F-104G Starfighter
- Α-7Ε Corsair ΙΙ
- F-16C/D Block 52+ Advance
The mission of the 335 Squadron is to maintain a high level of readiness and effectiveness, in order to conduct successful air operations, whenever needed in accordance with current plans. It is achieved by the appropriate organization, training of personnel and maintenance of the available means and systems.
The 335 Squadron with call sign “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 Squadron along with 336 Squadron and 13 Light bomber Squadron, 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 Squadron is renamed to 335 Fighter Bomber Squadron 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 111 Combat Wing and stayed there until September 1957.
Thereafter it redeploys to 110 Combat Wing at Larissa and was based there until May 1960, while being equipped with the F-84F since autumn 1957.
In November 1960 the 335 Fighter Bomber Squadron 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 Combat Wing 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 were 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.
The Squadron replaced the A-7E aircraft with F-16 Block 52+ Advanced. The new aircraft is equipped with sophisticated weapon systems like JSOW-JDAM, and other systems like Link-16 and the newest RECCE POD.