Belgian Tribute Spitfire

Squadron Leader  Lucien Adolphe Boussa

Boussa was born at Glain, near Li├Ęge on 13 January 1905. Pupil pilot with 67th promotion on 12 December 1931, he reached the rank of  Captain when War broke out in March 1940. He commanded 3/III/2 Sqn at Nivelles, equipped with Fairey Fox VI. He Escaped from occupied Belgium and reached the UK on 1 June 1941. Being commissioned P/O and after a refresh course at the OTU of Heston starting on 27 July 1941 he was consecutively posted first to 131 Sqn on 30 August, than to 79 Sqn on 22 October, to 118 Sqn on 4 January 1942,to 615 Sqn on 7 January, to 234 Sqn on 18 February, 2 Delivery Flight on 22 February, 130 Sqn on 28 February, 124 Sqn on 4 March and finally to 350 (BE) Sqn on 28 March 1942 where he became flight commander. In December 1942 he took command over the Squadron. After being transferred to the SAS in early 1944, he was dropped in France, where he formed evacuation camps for escaped Allied air crew. He also executed intelligence missions. In August 1944, he organised a break through the enemy lines near Le Mans with 157 airmen. Posted to Staff duties, he led the recruiting bureau for the Belgian Section of the RAF. Promoted W/Cdr, the Section was transferred to Belgium in November 1944. W/Cdr Boussa was awarded a DFC, a MC (28 November 1945) and the French Legion d'Honneur for his war activities. He died on 13 March 1967 at Clayes (France). 

DFC Citiation of 11 November 1946: 

" Squadron Leader Boussa has served with distinction as a regular officer of the Belgian Air Force. He escaped from enemy-occupied territory in 1941 and joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Belgian Section) as a fighter pilot. He served with a number of Squadrons and completed numerous operational sorties in the course of which he destroyed several enemy aircraft. Squadron Leader Boussa was also engaged upon special missions of most dangerous nature. His resourceful and audacious leadership and high courage in all circumstances have won the admiration of all whom he has come in contact."

No.350 (Belgian) Squadron was the first Belgian-manned fighter squadron in the RAF, and spent most of the war flying offensive sweeps over occupied Europe.

The squadron was formed at RAF Valley on Anglesey on 12 November 1941. It became operational on 22 December, still based at Valley, and provided defensive cover for north Wales and the north of England.

The squadron moved to the south of England in April 1942, and began its first period of offensive sweeps. This lasted for almost an entire year, before the squadron moved back to the north in March 1943.

The squadron then joined Second Tactical Air Force, returned to the south, and in October resumed offensive sweeps. It was used to cover the D-Day landings, but was then withdrawn to take part in the battle against the V-1 flying bombs.

In August the squadron resumed offensive sweeps, this time over the Netherlands. In December the squadron finally moved onto the continent, satisfyingly to a base in Belgium. For the rest of the war the squadron was used for low-level attacks on German communications. After the end of the war in Europe the squadron joined the occupation forces, before being transferred to the Belgian Air Force on 15 October 1946.

Aircraft
November 1941-April 1942: Supermarine Spitfire IIA
February-December 1942: Supermarine Spitfire VB
December 1943-March 1944: Supermarine Spitfire IX 
March-July 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB and VC
July-August 1944: Supermarine Spitfire IX
August 1944-October 1945: Supermarine Spitfire XIV

Location
November 1941-February 1942: Valley
February-April 1942: Atcham
April 1942: Warmwell
April-June 1942: Debden
June-July 1942: Gravesend
July 1942: Martlesham Heath
July 1942: Kenley
July-September 1942: Redhill
September 1942: Martlesham Heath
September 1942: Redhill
September-December 1942: Southend
December 1942-March 1943: Hornchurch
March 1943: Heston
March 1943: Debden
March 1943: Hornchurch
March 1943: Fairlop
March-June 1943: Acklington
June-July 1943: Ouston
July-August 1943: Acklington
August-September 1943: Digby
September 1943: West Malling
September-October 1943: Digby
October 1943: Hawkinge
October 1943: Southend
October-December 1943: Hawkinge
December 1943-March 1944: Hornchurch
March 1944: Hawkinge
March-April 1944: Peterhead
April-July 1944: Friston
July-August 1944: Westhampnett
August-September 1944: Hawkinge
September-December 1944: Lympne
December 1944: B.56 Evere
December 1944-January 1945: Y.32 As/ Ophoven
January-March 1945: B.78 Eindhoven
March-April 1945: Warmwell
April 1945: B.78 Eindhoven
April 1945: B.106 Twente
April-May 1945: B.118 Celle
May-June 1945: B.152 Fassberg
June-July 1945: B.172 Husum
July-November 1945: B.116 Wunstorf
November 1945-October 1946: B.152 Fassberg
October 1946: Beauvechain

Squadron Codes: MN

Duty
1941-1945: Fighter Squadron

Part of
6 June 1944: No.11 Group; Air Defence of Great Britain; Allied Expeditionary Air Force


 Rickard, J (5 December 2011), No. 350 Squadron (RAF): Second World War