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  75 (New Zealand) Squadron Royal Air Force

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Updated: 1 Oct 13

Formed: 1 Oct 1916

Disbanded: Jun 1919

Reformed: 15 Mar 1937 from B Flt, 215 Sqn

Disbanded : 4 Apr 1940 absorbed into 15 OTU


Disbanded: handed over to RNZAF

Squadron was based at:

RAF Mildenhall :: ?? - Nov 1942

RAF Newmarket :: Nov 1942 - Jun 1943

RAF Mepal :: Jun 1943 - ?Jul 1945

RAF Spilsby :: 21 Jul 1945 - 15 Oct 1945

Squadron code: AA, JN

Aircraft operated:

Stirling Mk I, Mk III :: Dec 1942 - Apr 1944

Lancaster Mk I, Mk III :: Mar 1944 -

75 Sqn was never disbanded at the end of the war. This was the only squadron that was actually handed over to the New Zealand Air Force at the end of WWII.

75 Sqn was known as 75 (New Zealand) Squadron because it had been set up and paid for by the government of New Zealand or by the people of NZ, just as there were the City of Hamilton or City of Vancouver Squadrons in the RCAF. Simply a way of giving credit to a place, a company, a group or a person who sponsored a squadron on behalf of the RAF. However, the NZ Squadron had a heavy NZ contingent and history so at the end of the war, it was turned over to the RNZAF to satisfy their request, rather than being shut down as all other Squadrons and many stations were at the war's end.

75 (HD) Sqn RFC was formed on 1st October 1916 as a home defence Unit at Goldington, Bedford, moving on to Yelling (St.Neots), Old Weston (Thrapston), Thorfield (Baldock), Elmswell, North Weald Bassett, Colchester, Newmarket.
In its early incarnation it flew BE2c/d/e; BE12, b; Camel, 504K, F2b, disbanding in Jun 1919. No Squadron badge issued or approved.

It reformed from B Flight of 215 Sqn at Driffield on 15th March 1937, as 75 (B) Sqn RAF.
Flew Harrow and Virginia.
Moved to Honington July 1938.
Assigned code letters FO and also used 75 as a code.
Became Group Pool training squadron 1st March 1939, with Ansons.
Moved to Stradishall 13 July 1939, re-equipping with Wellingtons.
Moved to Harwell September 1939, and Ansons transferred to 148 Sqn in October 1939.
75 (B) SQN RAF absorbed into No.15 OTU, 4th April 1940 at Harwell and ceased to exist.
No Squadron badge issued or approved.


In 1938 the New Zealand Government purchased 30 new Wellington bombers from Vickers, to be flown to NZ to a new base being built called Ohakea. A team of air and groundcrew were selected in NZ, and sent to RAF Marham in early 1939 to train on the new Wellingtons. The first six aircraft were due to leave England for NZ in early 1940. They became known as and referred to in RAF Marham's, Harwell's and Stradishall's base history as, The New Zealand Squadron. At the outbreak of war, the NZ government 'gave' the men and aircraft to the RAF in NZ's early contribution to the war effort. The NZ Squadron moved from Marham to Harwell late in 1939, and then Harwell to Stradishall on the 18th Jan 1940, and then to Feltwell by Feb 15th 1940. The New Zealand Squadron trained and began operations in March. No Squadron badge issued or approved.


Number plate of 75 RAF SQN assigned to The New Zealand Squadron on the 4 April 1940, and became the first of the commonwealth bracket squadrons ...
75 (NZ) SQN RAF. This appears to be just a random and coincidental choice of the number 75 squadron that had just ceased to 'exist' at Harwell.
Flew several NZ Wellingtons with NZ letter codes (ie. NZ302) for a short while but reverted to the RAF serials soon after. Squadron letter code AA given from April 1940. Aircraft code JN given for C Flight aircraft at Mepal (Lancasters).
Wellington 1, July 1939 to April 1940.
Wellington 1/1A, April 1940 to Sep 1940.
Wellington 1C, Apri 1940 to Jan 1942.
Wellington III, Jan 1942 to Oct 1942.
Stirling 1, Oct 1942 to Aug 1943.
Stirling III, Feb 1943 to April 1944.
Lancaster 1, III, Mar 1944 to Oct 1945. (VE).
Lincoln II, Sep 1945 to Oct 1945. (Tiger Force).

Moved from Feltwell to Mildenhall 15 August 1940.
Moved from Mildenhall to Newmarket, 1 November 1942.
Moved from Newmarket to Mepal, 28 June 1943.
Moved from Mepal to Spilsby, 21 July 1945.
Disbanded 15 October 1945. (VJ).

A new Squadron badge was designed by WGDR V. Mitchell, RAF, FLTLT J. Manson, RAF and FLTLT F. Chunn, RNZAF at Sefton Lodge, near RAF Newmarket in October 1942. Approved by H.M. the King in April 1943. Features a standard RAF badge with a Tiki over the two mining hammers of the NZ Coat of Arms. The maori motto "Ake Ake Kia Kaha" = "Forever Strong". The wording (NEW ZEALAND) SQUADRON is used in the upper part of the badge. ROYAL AIR FORCE in the lower.

VC 1
MC 1
Bar to DFC 5
DFC 153
DFM 64

MINES 2,344

RAF 82
RAF(VR) 518


11 October 1946
Due to the wartime achievements and records of 75 (NZ) SQN RAF, the British Air Ministry consented to the squadron number being given to the RNZAF to commemorate its remarkable work during the war. A 75 SQN would no longer be used or part of the RAF. This gesture has not been afforded to any other commonwealth country.
RNZAF No. 2 (Bomber Recon) Squadron based at Ohakea, ceased flying Venturas, and became No. 75 SQN RNZAF and prepared to receive new Mosquitos from Australia and England.

Official squadron badge remained in the RAF format, but with Fern leaves in place of Oak leaves about the circumference. The wording ROYAL AIR FORCE, was replaced with ROYAL NEW ZEALAND AIR FORCE, and (NEW ZEALAND) SQUADRON replaced with SQUADRON. The Tudor crown and maori motto in the scroll remained. This is a unique example in any air force to have an RAF formatted badge in a commonwealth countries air force.
On the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953, the badge crown was changed from the Tudor crown to the St Edwards crown. Therefore the Squadron has had three different styles of the badge.

Mosquito, Mk6/43, Jan 1947 to April 1952.
Vampire, FB5/T11, May1952 to Mar 1958; Apr1962 to Dec 1969.
Canberra, B2/T4, JUL 1958 from SINGAPORE to JAN1962.
Canberra, B(I)12/T13, APR 1962 to OCT 1963.
A4K Skyhawk, May1970 to 13DEC 2001.

75 SQN RNZAF, Disbanded 13Dec2001, by Prime Minister Clark of Labour Government citing too expensive and never used, therefore not required. A decision widely condemned by many that changed the whole direction and shape of the RNZAF.

The first Squadron Standard hangs in the Wellington Cathedral next to Parliament Buildings, and the second Squadron standard hangs in the St Marks Chapel on Base Ohakea.

I was one of the Standard SGTS at the disbandment day parade in 2001. We are still bitter about how/why we were closed down!
Refer "Forever Strong" by Norman Franks.
Hoping this helps with getting your website information up to date ...
Best reagards

Glen Turner
Secretary / Treasurer
75 Squadron Association NZ

3 Pain Street
Bulls 4818
Mob: 021 732835

75 (NZ) Sqn website

Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire

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