No. 576 Squadron RAF

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No. 576 Squadron RAF
576 Squadron RAF Lancaster Fiskerton 1945 AWM P00811.019.jpg
576 Squadron Avro Lancaster at RAF Fiskerton, 1945
Active 25 Nov 1943 – 13 Sep 1945
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Role Bomber squadron
Part of No. 1 Group, RAF Bomber Command[1]
Motto Latin: Carpe Diem
(Translation: "Seize the opportunity" or "Pluck the day")[2][3]
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry A merlin, wings inverted and addorsed, preying on a serpent[3]
The squadron had its aircraft fitted with Merlin engines and the badge is symbolic of the unit seeking out and destroying its prey[2]
Squadron Codes UL (Nov 1943 – Sep 1945)[4][5]
Aircraft flown
Bomber Avro Lancaster
Four-engined heavy bomber

No. 576 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Second World War heavy bomber squadron.

History[edit]

No. 576 Squadron was formed on 25 November 1943 from 'C' Flight of 103 squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds in Lincolnshire. It started operations in the night of 2/3 December 1943, when seven Avro Lancasters were sent out to bomb Berlin.[6] Eleven months later 576 Squadron moved to RAF Fiskerton, a little way outside Lincoln. During its brief period of existence 576 Squadron operated only one type of aircraft, the Avro Lancaster four-engined heavy bomber. It carried out 2,788 operation sorties with the Lancaster, with the loss of 66 aircraft.[7] The last bombs of the squadron were dropped on 25 April 1945, when 23 of the squadrons aircraft bombed Berchtesgaden; its last operational mission was a food dropping to the starving Dutch people in Rotterdam on 7 May 1945.[6] 576 Squadron was disbanded at Fiskerton on 13 September 1945.

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft operated by no. 576 Squadron, data from[3][6][8]
From To Aircraft Version
November 1943 September 1945 Avro Lancaster Mks.I, III

Notable aircraft[edit]

Four of the Lancasters that flew with 576 squadron managed to survive one hundred operations or more:

No. 576 Squadron RAF aircraft with the most number of operations, data from[9]
Serial no. Name Operations Call-sign Fate Remarks
ED888 "Mike Squared" 140 UL-V2, UL-M2 Struck off charge, 8 January 1947 Flew 140 missions in total, initially with No. 103 Squadron RAF from April 1943, and then with 576 Squadron[10][11]
ME801 "Nan" 114 UL-C2, UL-N2 Struck off charge, 16 October 1945 [12]
LM594 "A Able" 104 UL-G2, UL-A2 Struck off charge, 13 February 1947 [13]
LM227 "Item" 100 UL-I2 Struck off charge, 16 October 1945 [14]

Squadron bases[edit]

Bases and airfields used by no. 576 Squadron, data from[3][8][15]
From To Base
25 November 1943 31 October 1944 RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire
31 October 1944 13 September 1945 RAF Fiskerton, Lincolnshire

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Delve 1994, pp. 68, 77.
  2. ^ a b Moyes 1976, p. 269.
  3. ^ a b c d Halley 1988, p. 413.
  4. ^ Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 101.
  5. ^ Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 109.
  6. ^ a b c Moyes 1976, p. 270.
  7. ^ Falconer 2003, p. 256.
  8. ^ a b Jefford 2001, p. 98.
  9. ^ Moyes 1976, p. 362.
  10. ^ "ED888 'Mother'/'Mike Squared'". Build the Lancaster (Hachette Partworks). 2011. 
  11. ^ Franks 1994, pp. 72–78.
  12. ^ Franks 1994, pp. 154–158.
  13. ^ Franks 1994, pp. 141–144.
  14. ^ Franks 1994, pp. 130–134.
  15. ^ Moyes 1976, pp. 269–270.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bowyer, Michael J.F.; John D.R. Rawlings (1979). Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 0-85059-364-6. 
  • Delve, Ken (1994). The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-451-5. 
  • Flintham, Vic; Andrew Thomas (2003). Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84037-281-8. 
  • Franks, Norman (1994). Claims to Fame: The Lancaster. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-220-0. 
  • Halley, James J. (1988). The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-164-9. 
  • Falconer, Jonathan (2003). Bomber Command Handbook 1939–1945. Stroud, England: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3171-X. 
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G. (2001). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85310-053-6. 
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. (1976). Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd. ISBN 0-354-01027-1. 

External links[edit]