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No. 77 Squadron RAF
Active 1 October 1916 - 13 June 1919
14 June 1937 - 1 June 1949
1 September 1958 - 10 July 1963
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Motto(s) Latin: Esse potius quam videri
"To be, rather than seem"

No. 77 Squadron RAF was a squadron of the Royal Air Force which was active in various incarnations between 1916 and 1963.


No. 77 Squadron was formed on 1 October 1916 at Edinburgh, and was equipped with B.E.2 and B.E.12 aircraft. The squadron disbanded at RAF Turnhouse on June 13, 1919.

Hangars at RAF Driffield with Whitleys of 77 Squadron in front

The squadron was reformed on 14 June 1937, at RAF Finningley from 'B' Flight of No. 102 Squadron. It operated the Hawker Audax until November 1937, then re-equipped with the Vickers Wellesley. In 1938 the squadron moved to RAF Driffield, to form part of No. 4 Group, and re-equipped with Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys. The squadron joined Coastal Command in May 1942 and was engaged in anti-submarine patrols, based at Chivenor.

In October 1942, the squadron converted to Halifaxes at Elvington, moving to Full Sutton in May 1944. On 8 May 1945 the squadron joined Transport Command, and in July 1945 re-equipped with Douglas Dakotas. The squadron moved to Broadwell in August 1945 followed by a posting to India in October 1945. The squadron was disbanded by being renumbered as No. 31 Squadron on 1 November 1946.

It was reformed at Broadwell in December 1946 when No. 271 Squadron was re-numbered. The squadron operated Dakotas during the Berlin Airlift, and then disbanded on 1 June 1949 at Waterbeach.

Strategic missiles

The squadron was again reformed - as 77(SM) Sqn. - on 1 September 1958 as one of 20 Strategic Missile (SM) squadrons associated with Project Emily. The squadron was equipped with three Thor Intermediate range ballistic missiles. and based at RAF Feltwell.

In October 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis, the squadron was kept at full readiness, with the missiles aimed at strategic targets in the USSR. The squadron was disbanded on 10 July 1963 with the termination of the Thor Program in Britain.

Aircraft operated

See also




  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G. RAF Squadrons - A Comprehensive Record Of The Movement & Equipment Of All RAF Squadrons & Their Antecedents Since 1912 . Airlife Publishing, second edition 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Walker, Roy. Some of the Many: 77 Squadron 1939-45. West Wickham, Kent, UK: Hollies Publications, 1995. ISBN 0-9511655-6-9.

External links

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