No. 576 Squadron RAF

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No. 576 Squadron RAF
576 Squadron Avro Lancaster at RAF Fiskerton, 1945
Active 25 Nov 1943 – 13 Sep 1945
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Air Force
Role Bomber squadron
Part of No. 1 Group, RAF Bomber Command[1]
Motto Latin: Carpe Diem
(Translation: "Seize the opportunity" or "Pluck the day")[2][3]
Squadron Badge heraldry A merlin, wings inverted and addorsed, preying on a serpent[3]
The squadron had its aircraft fitted with Merlin engines and the badge is symbolic of the unit seeking out and destroying its prey[2]
Squadron Codes UL (Nov 1943 – Sep 1945)[4][5]
Aircraft flown
Bomber Avro Lancaster
Four-engined heavy bomber

No. 576 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Second World War heavy bomber squadron.


No. 576 Squadron was formed on 25 November 1943 from 'C' Flight of 103 squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds in Lincolnshire. It started operations in the night of 2/3 December 1943, when seven Avro Lancasters were sent out to bomb Berlin.[6] Eleven months later 576 Squadron moved to RAF Fiskerton, a little way outside Lincoln. During its brief period of existence 576 Squadron operated only one type of aircraft, the Avro Lancaster four-engined heavy bomber. It carried out 2,788 operation sorties with the Lancaster, with the loss of 66 aircraft.[7] The last bombs of the squadron were dropped on 25 April 1945, when 23 of the squadrons aircraft bombed Berchtesgaden; its last operational mission was a food dropping to the starving Dutch people in Rotterdam on 7 May 1945.[6] 576 Squadron was disbanded at Fiskerton on 13 September 1945.

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by no. 576 Squadron, data from[3][6][8]
From To Aircraft Version
November 1943 September 1945 Avro Lancaster Mks.I, III

Notable aircraft

Four of the Lancasters that flew with 576 squadron managed to survive one hundred operations or more:

No. 576 Squadron RAF aircraft with the most number of operations, data from[9]
Serial no. Name Operations Call-sign Fate Remarks
ED888 "Mike Squared" 140 UL-V2, UL-M2 Struck off charge, 8 January 1947 Flew 140 missions in total, initially with No. 103 Squadron RAF from April 1943, and then with 576 Squadron[10][11]
ME801 "Nan" 114 UL-C2, UL-N2 Struck off charge, 16 October 1945 [12]
LM594 "A Able" 104 UL-G2, UL-A2 Struck off charge, 13 February 1947 [13]
LM227 "Item" 100 UL-I2 Struck off charge, 16 October 1945 [14]

Squadron bases

Bases and airfields used by no. 576 Squadron, data from[3][8][15]
From To Base
25 November 1943 31 October 1944 RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire
31 October 1944 13 September 1945 RAF Fiskerton, Lincolnshire



  1. Delve 1994, pp. 68, 77.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Moyes 1976, p. 269.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Halley 1988, p. 413.
  4. Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 101.
  5. Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 109.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Moyes 1976, p. 270.
  7. Falconer 2003, p. 256.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Jefford 2001, p. 98.
  9. Moyes 1976, p. 362.
  10. "ED888 'Mother'/'Mike Squared'". Build the Lancaster. Hachette Partworks. 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Franks 1994, pp. 72–78.
  12. Franks 1994, pp. 154–158.
  13. Franks 1994, pp. 141–144.
  14. Franks 1994, pp. 130–134.
  15. Moyes 1976, pp. 269–270.


  • Bowyer, Michael J.F.; John D.R. Rawlings (1979). Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Delve, Ken (1994). The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Flintham, Vic; Andrew Thomas (2003). Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Franks, Norman (1994). Claims to Fame: The Lancaster. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-220-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Halley, James J. (1988). The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Falconer, Jonathan (2003). Bomber Command Handbook 1939–1945. Stroud, England: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3171-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G. (2001). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. (1976). Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links