No. 356 Squadron RAF was a short-lived long-range bomber squadron of the Royal Air Force between 1944 and 1945.
The squadron was formed on 15 January 1944 at Salbani, Bengal, British India, as a long-range bomber unit equipped with the Consolidated Liberator. No.356 Squadron had many Canadian members from the Royal Canadian Air Force because the only British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Liberator Conversion Unit was in Canada at Boundary Bay, British Columbia. Wing Commander Hugo Beall, DSO, a Canadian in the RAF, was the first CO of 356 Squadron when it started operations in 1943. Under his leadership in the early raids this squadron developed techniques for low-level bombing of the dispersed and relatively small targets in Burma and Siam. After one intermediary, Beall was succeeded by another Canadian, Wing Commander G.N.B. Sparks, DSO, RCAF, who led the Squadron until almost the end of the war with comparable skill and professionalism.-The squadron attacked Japanese bases in South East Asia and planted mines outside enemy harbours. In July 1945 the squadron moved to the Cocos Islands to prepare for the invasion of Malaya. The end of the war came before the invasion was carried out and the squadron performed supply-dropping and transport duties until it was disbanded on 15 November 1945.
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