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New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vol. II)

No. 75 Squadron

No. 75 Squadron

Squadron Motto: Ake Ake Kia Kaha (For ever and ever be strong).

Date and Place of Formation: 1 April 1940 – Feltwell, Norfolk.

(A New Zealand Flight had been established at Marham, Norfolk, in June 1939 to ferry Wellingtons to New Zealand.)

Squadron Commanders:

Wg Cdr M. W. Buckley April 1940 to November 1940
Wg Cdr C. E. Kay November 1940 to September 1941
Wg Cdr R. Sawrey-Cookson September 1941 to April 1942
Wg Cdr E. H. Olson April 1942 to July 1942
Wg Cdr V. Mitchell July 1942 to December 1942
Wg Cdr G. A. Lane January 1943 to May 1943
Wg Cdr M. Wyatt May 1943 to August 1943
Wg Cdr R. D. Max August 1943 to May 1944
Wg Cdr R. J. A. Leslie May 1944 to December 1944
Wg Cdr R. J. Newton December 1944 to January 1945
Wg Cdr C. H. Baigent January 1945 to September 1945


Feltwell, Norfolk April 1940 to August 1942
Mildenhall, Suffolk August 1942 to November 1942
Newmarket, Suffolk November 1942 to June 1943
Mepal, Cambridgeshire June 1943 to July 1945
Spilsby, Lincolnshire July 1945 to October 1945


From formation until the end of hostilities in Europe, No. 75 Squadron operated as a heavy bomber unit of RAF Bomber Command. Equipped with Wellingtons, it took part in the early bombing offensive against Germany, Italy, and enemy-occupied territory. It also flew in the first thousand-bomber raids. Towards the end of 1942 the New Zealand Squadron converted to Stirlings and thereafter made a significant contribution to the Battle of the Ruhr, the devastation of Hamburg, and the famous raid against the German V-weapon experimental station at Peenemunde. In March 1944 No. 75 began to exchange its Stirlings for Lancasters and was ready in time to participate in preparation and support of the Allied invasion, the bombing of flying-bomb sites, and close support of the armies. In the later stages of the war the squadron took a leading part in the offensive against German oil production and transport. No. 75 was also one of the foremost units in Bomber Command's successful minelaying campaign.

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First Operation:

27 March 1940 Three Wellingtons dropped leaflets on Brunswick, Ulzen, and Luneburg.

Last Operations:

Last bombing raid: 24 April 1945 Nineteen Lancasters bombed marshalling yards at Bad Oldesloe.
Last war mission: 26 May 1945 Seven Lancasters flew to Brussels with 71 Belgian repatriates. 120 ex-PWs were brought back on the return flight.

Disbanded: 15 October 1945

Effort and Achievements:

No. 75 Squadron flew 8150 sorties, totalling 41,247 hours, during which 21,630 tons of bombs and 2344 mines were dropped. A total of 45 enemy fighters was almost certainly destroyed.

Decorations won by New Zealand members of the squadron included:

Victoria Cross 1 Distinguished Flying Cross 88
Distinguished Service Order 6 Distinguished Flying Medal 17
Bar to DFC 4 Conspicuous Gallantry Medal 2