No. 582 Squadron RAF
|No. 582 Squadron RAF|
|Active||1 April 1944 – 10 September 1945|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Role||Pathfinder Bomber squadron|
|Part of||No. 8 Group RAF, Bomber Command|
|Motto(s)||Latin: Praevolamus designates|
(Translation: "We fly before marking")
|Squadron Badge heraldry||On a hurt three mullets in a bend fimbriated|
A hurt represents the night sky while the three mullets, in the colours of flares used, symbolise the squadron's target-marking role
|Squadron Codes||6O (Apr 1944 - Sep 1945)|
Four-engined heavy bomber
The squadron was formed with Avro Lancasters on 1 April 1944 at RAF Little Staughton, Huntingdonshire, England, from 'C' Flight of 7 Squadron and 'C' Flight 156 Squadron. It was part of No. 8 Group RAF, also referred to as the Pathfinder Force, and began operation nine days later with a night raid on Lille on the 9/10 April 1944. The squadron's last operational raid against enemy forces was a raid on gun batteries on the island of Wangerooge on 25 April 1945. The squadron spent the remainder of the war dropping food to the Dutch, during Operation Manna, and repatriating prisoners of war in Operation Exodus. It was disbanded at RAF Little Staughton on 10 September 1945.
The squadron had operated 2,157 sorties and lost 28 aircraft during the war.
During a raid on 23 February 1945, Captain Edwin Swales, a South African, won a posthumous Victoria Cross over Pforzheim. In addition, a further posthumous VC was awarded to a pilot of a 582 Squadron aircraft. Sqn Ldr Robert "Bob" Palmer, a Mosquito pilot of 109 Squadron led a daylight attack on 23 December 1944, using OBOE, on the Gremberg marshalling yards in Cologne with his regular navigator Flt Lt George Russell. They were flying on the Lancaster (PB371) of Flt Lt Owen Milne alongside other 582 Squadron aircrew. Of those on board the aircraft, only the rear gunner survived the attack.
|April 1944||September 1945||Avro Lancaster||Mks.I & III|
|1 April 1944||10 September 1945||RAF Little Staughton, Huntingdonshire|
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