No. 575 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

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No.575 Squadron was an airborne forces squadron that took part in the D-Day landings, the battle of Arnhem and the crossing of the Rhine. The squadron was formed on 1 February 1944 around a core of personnel from No.512 Squadron.

Unlike many British airborne squadrons, which began life using a variety of obsolete or unwanted bomber designs, No.575 began with the Dakota. It became operational in April 1944 when it began to fly leaflet dropping sorties over the Cherbourg peninsula.

The squadron was heavily involved in the D-Day landings. On the night of 5-6 June it provided twenty-one aircraft to drop part of the 5th Parachute Brigade (Operation Tonga). Later on D-Day twenty-one aircraft took part in a glider drop (although one crashed at take-off).

After D-Day the squadron began to fly casualties out of the Normandy beachhead and RAF personnel and equipment into France. This shuttle run between the UK and the continent remained one of the squadron's main duties to the end of the war.

In September the squadron took part in the battle of Arnhem, transporting the Border Regiment into battle on 17 September and then taking part in the supply missions.

In March 1945 the squadron took part in the crossing of the Rhine, towing twenty-four gliders over the river. After the end of the war in Europe the squadron continued to fly transport missions in and to the continent until October, when it began to fly between the UK and India. This continued until January 1946. The squadron then moved to Italy and began to fly regular scheduled services around the Mediterranean. The squadron was disbanded on 15 August 1946.

Aircraft
February 1944-August 1946: Douglas Dakota III and Dakota IV
January 1944-May 1945: Avro Anson I

Location
February 1944: Hendon
February 1944-August 1945: Broadwell
August-November 1945: Melbourne
November 1945-January 1946: Blakehill Farm
January-February 1946: Bari
February-August 1946: Kabrit?

Squadron Codes: I9

Duty
1944-1946: Airborne forces and transport squadron

Part of
6 June 1944: No.46 Group; Allied Expeditionary Air Force

Books

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 March 2012), No. 575 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/575_wwII.html

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