Yugoslav Partisan Air Force in 1943
During 1943, Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force) used former Yugoslav Royal Air Force airfields for attacks against NOVJ units. In Divulje near Split Italian 183rd Seaplane Squadron was based and was used, mostly, for reconnaissance duties. After Italian capitulation, 9 September 1943, Italians abandoned based with 14 seaplanes leaving behind only one broken aircraft. Military and Party leadership of Dalmatia immediately decided to form Seaplane station in Divulje, which as independent unit was under command of HQ of 4th Operative Zone of Croatia, as part of Split Coastal Command. From 11 September to October 1943, seaplane 'Fleet' (?) carried out 30 combat missions. Considering weak armament aircraft was flying only in dawn and dusk and most often at night. Because of activities of Luftwaffe, personnel of seaplane base had to be transferred first to Brač island and later to Hvar.
After flying over to Hvar island, personnel become part of 4th Naval Coastal sector and in the beginning of 1944 entered 1st Air Force Base which over Hvar and Vis island on 5 January 1945 moved to Italy.
During liberation of Rijeka in September 1943 on Grobnik field two aircraft were found Fiesler Storch and Caproni and on 14 October one aircraft Büecker Bü 131 Jungmann landed on liberated area. General Staff of NOV i PO Croatia has taken several steps to use abandoned airfield and captured and defected aircraft in best possible way. In liberated area General Staff Croatia repaired and formed airfields Grobničko polje, then Crkovnicu, Laudonov Gaj near Bunića and temporary runways at Krbava field near Udbina, Bijelom polju near Korenica and runway on Gacko polje. On airfield Laudonov Gaj, General Staff Croatia formed air force base designated "GŠH-1 Air Force Base". Base had two aircraft, six pilots and 16 aircraft mechanics. Base remained there for a month until General Staff Croatia ordered movement to Livno and joining 1st Air Base NOVJ.
After capitulation of Italy, NOV Slovenia had Partisan Air Force for some time. On 9 September 1943 units of Primorje zone captured Gorica on which occasion at the near by airfield larger number of aircraft were captured. But in units of Primorje zone there wasn't any pilots and only one aircraft was used, this was training aircraft S.A.I.M.A.N. piloted by one Italian pilot who joined partisans. From 9 to 25 September from runways Vogersko, Ajdovščina and Otlice aircraft carried out several tasks: reconnaissance of enemy column, maintaining communications with General Staff Slovenia and VIP transport until it was destroyed in German offensive on liberated territory. During advance of German Forces in Gorica on 12 September 1943 partisans were forced to burn dozens of aircraft and destroy all storage's (which had large number of aircraft engines inside).
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