RAF Banner with Crest.

76 Squadron

76 QUADRON

Motto:

"Resolute."

Badge:

In front of a rose, a lion passant, guardant. The white rose is introduced in the badge to commemorate the squadron's association with Yorkshire where it was formed. The lion in its guard ant attitude is indicative of readiness to attack or defend at all times.

Authority:

HM King George VI, March 1938.

History of 76 Squadron:

No.76 Squadron, RFC, was formed at Ripon, Yorkshire, on 15th September 1916, as a Home Defence unit. Headquarters were at Ripon and flights were stationed at Copmanthorpe, Helperby and Catterick from its formation until March 1919. In June 1919, the squadron was disbanded at Tadcaster. The squadron was re-formed in April 1937, at Finningley, Yorkshire, as a bomber unit equipped with Wellesleys, but by the outbreak of the Second World War it had been re-equipped with Hampdens and Ansons and had assumed the role of a Group (No. 5) training unit. In late September 1939, it moved and transferred to Upper Heyford and No. 6 (Training) Group, and in April 1940, was absorbed into No. 16 OTU. After a false start it re-formed in May 1941 - again in Yorkshire - as a Halifax heavy bomber squadron in No. 4 Group. The second squadron to fly the Halifax, it began operations on the night of 12/13th June 1941, and maintained its offensive until the end of the European war was in sight.

The squadron bombed targets of the widest variety-from industrial centres, railways, gun batteries, oil and petrol installations, to the Channel Ports, Noball sites and concentrations of troops and armour-and on the night of 10/11th April 1942, it made history by dropping the first 8,000lb High Capacity bomb on the enemy in a raid on Essen1. Two further highlights of its war record were its participation in a series of three attacks on the Tirpitz in the Trondheim area in March and April 1942, and in the heavy raid on Peenemunde in August 1943. In addition to operating in Europe No. 76, or more accurately, a detachment from it, operated in the Middle East for a while (in 1942) and then merged with a detachment from No. 10 Squadron to become No. 462 Squadron, RAAF.

From August 1942 to April 1943, No 76 Squadron was commanded by Wing Commander GL Cheshire. When he left the squadron on being posted to Marston Moor as station commander, No. 76's diarist wrote: "What the squadron has lost Marston Moor will gain. It was under the character and personal supervision of Group Captain Cheshire that the squadron became what it is today-one of the best in Bomber Command".

On 7th May 1945, No.76 Squadron was transferred to Transport Command and began to convert to Dakotas. In September it moved to India for general transport duties and was renumbered No. 62 on 1 September 1946.

On 9 December 1953, No. 76 reformed at Wittering as a light bomber unit flying Canberras until it was disbanded again on 31 December 1960.

1 The aircraft that dropped the 8,000-pounder was Halifax B.II R9487 "A-Apple", captained by Pilot Officer MW Renaut.

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