No. 276 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.276 Squadron was an air-sea rescue unit that covered the western end of the English Channel and the Bristol Channel

The squadron was formed on 21 October 1941 from air-sea rescue detachments scattered around the south-west. It was one of four squadrons formed at this time, and was allocated to Fighter Command. It was originally equipped with Lysanders, which were used to spot downed airmen, and Walruses which could land to pick them up. Spitfires and Defiants joined the Lysanders during 1942, while Ansons were added to drop dinghies. A number of Vickers Warwicks were used for a period during 1944, and were used to drop larger lifeboats.

The squadron operated in the south-west until August 1944, when a detachment was moved to Cherbourg. The entire squadron crossed the channel in September, and it soon moved east to Belgium, from where it covered the eastern end of the Channel and the north-western corner of the North Sea.

After the end of the war the squadron moved to Norway, where scattered detachments provided air-sea rescue cover around Oslo, Kristiansand, Trondheim and Stavanger. The squadron returned to the UK in November 1945 and was disbanded.  

October 1941-May 1943: Westland Lysander IIIA
October 1941-November 1945: Supermarine Walrus I and II
February-April 1942: Supermarine Spitfire VB
May 1942-May 1943: Boulton Paul Defiant I and IA
April-May 1943: Supermarine Spitfire IIA and IIC
March 1943-May 1944: Avro Anson I
April 1943-June 1945: Supermarine Spitfire VB
April-October 1944: Vickers Warwick I

Location - Main
October 1941-April 1944: Harrowbeer
    October 1941-April 1944: Detachment to Warmwell
    October-November 1941: Detachment to Perranporth
    October 1941-April 1944: Detachment to Fairwood Common
    October 1941-April 1944: Detachment to Portreath
April-September 1944: Portreath
    August-September 1944: Detachment to A.23 Querqueville
September 1944: A.23 Querqueville
    September-October 1944: Detachment to Portreath
September-October 1944: B.48 Amiens-Glisy
    September-October 1944: Detachment to B.61 St. Denis-Westrem
October-December 1944: B.63 St. Croix
    November-December 1944: Detachment to B.67 Ursel
December 1944-June 1945: B.83 Knocke-le-Zoute
June-August 1945: Andrews Field
August-September 1945: Kjevik
    August-September 1945: Detachments at Sola and Vaernes
September-November 1945: Gardermoen
November 1945: Dunsfold

Squadron Codes: AQ (Lysander, Walrus, Defiant), TQ (Spitfire IIA & IIC)

1941-1945: Air sea rescue

Part of
6 June 1944: No.10 Group; Air Defence of Great Britain; Allied Expeditionary Air Force



How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 September 2011), No. 276 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

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