No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No. 75 Squadron reformed in 1937 as a bomber squadron, equipped with a variety of aircraft. From March 1939 until April 1940, the squadron acted as a training squadron, before becoming part of No. 15 OTU.

On the same day, 4 April 1940, the New Zealand Flight was redesignated No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron. It was the only Commonwealth Squadron to include its country name in its official title, and the only one to operate as a standard RAF squadron - the others served on attachment to the RAF, with numbers in the 400 series.

For the rest of the war it operated with Bomber Command, first with the Wellington, then the Stirling and then finally the Avro Lancaster. During the war against Germany it served with No.3 Group. The squadron carried out 584 bombing, 149 minelaying and 1 leaflet dropping raid, the fourth highest number of raids of any Bomber Command heavy squadron, and 8,017 sorties, the highest in Bomber Command. It also suffered the second highest casualty rate, with 193 aircraft lost and 1,139 casualties. It dropped around 21,600 tons of bombs, probably the third highest in Bomber COmmand, and 2,344 mines, the second highest.

Sergeant J. A. Ward was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on a raid to Munster on 7/8 July 1941. Sadly he was killed on 15/16 September during a raid on Hamburg.

After the end of the war in Europe the squadron helped fly POWs back to Germany. In July 1945 it moved to Spilsby and to No.5 Group, where it began to train to join Tiger Force, the RAF's contribution to the upcoming invasion of Japan. After the Japanese surrender this force was no longer needed, and the squadron was disbanded on 15 October 1945. Its personnel were then shipped home over the course of the next year.

Aircraft
March-October 1939: Avro Anson I
September 1937-July 1939: Handley Page Harrow I and II
July 1939-April 1940:  Vickers Wellington I
April-September 1940: Vickers Wellington I and IA
April 1940-January 1942: Vickers Wellington IC
January-October 1942: Vickers Wellington III
October 1942-August 1943: Short Stirling I
February 1943-April 1944: Short Stirling III
March 1944-October 1945: Avro Lancaster I and Lancaster III

Location
15 March 1937-11 July 1938: Driffield
11 July 1938-13 July 1939: Honington
13 July-4 September 1939: Stradishall
4 September 1939-4 April 1940: Harwell
4 April-15 August 1940: Feltwell
15 August-1 November 1942: Mildenhall
1 November 1942-28 June 1943: Newmarket
28 June 1943-21 July 1945: Mepal (Cambridgeshire)
21 July-15 October 1945: Spilsby

Squadron Codes: AA (A and B Flight), JN (C Flight)

Group and Duty
26 September 1939: Pool bomber squadron with No. 6 Group

Books

Bomber Offensive, Sir Arthur Harris. The autobiography of Bomber Harris, giving his view of the strategic bombing campaign in its immediate aftermath. Invaluable for the insights it provides into Harris’s approach to the war, what he was trying to achieve and the problems he faced. Harris perhaps overstates his case, not entirely surprisingly given how soon after the end of the war this book was written (Read Full Review)
cover cover cover
Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45, Jon Lake. A well balanced look at the career of the Avro Lancaster in 1944-45, the period most famous for the systematic night bombardment of German cities. This was also the period that saw the Lancaster used to support the invasion of France, and the period that saw 617 Squadron drop Barnes Wallis's huge streamlined bombs with great precision. [see more]
cover cover cover
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 March 2007), No. 75 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/75_wwII.html

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us -  Subscribe in a reader - Join our Google Group - Cookies