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It was first formed at Duxford in July 1940, equipped with Hurricane I fighters and crewed mostly by escaped Czechoslovak pilots. Its first victory was a Junkers Ju 88 above Liverpool by Alois Vašátko, Denys Gillam and Josef Stehlík on 8 October 1940.During April and early May, 1941, the squadron was briefly stationed at RAF Jurby, Isle of Man. No. 312 Squadron transitioned to Hurricane IIs in May 1941, and to Spitfires in October. It operated the Spitfires from the west of England during 1942 mainly operating coastal patrols and shipping reconnaissance flights. In September 1943 it joined the 2nd Tactical Air Force as a fighter-bomber unit with the Spitfire IX. The squadron operated over France softening up targets in preparation for the invasion and then supporting the landings. In July 1944 the squadron moved to RAF Coltishall and operated daytime bomber escort flight over continental Europe. Following the end of the war the squadron moved to Prague in August 1945 before being disbanded on transfer to the Czechoslovak air force in February 1946.
Seven Spitfire FMk.IXs survive today that flew with the squadron in 1944-45. This is by far the largest number of surviving aircraft associated with a single squadron.