Saturday 11th September sees the annual reunion of veterans and members of the 77 Squadron Association. This was RAF Elvington’s first ‘home’ Squadron, who arrived here in October 1942. Flying Halifax bombers, the squadron was soon involved in what was known as the Battle of the Ruhr and other battles aimed at destroying German industry.
Winston Churchill’s famous speech praising the Few, actually directed at all British and allied aircrews, also contained the words “…on no part of the Royal Air Force will the burden fall more heavily than on the shoulders of Bomber Command”. This could have been directed at 77 Squadron itself as, during 1943, the squadron suffered some of the heaviest losses of Bomber Command, particularly on missions against heavily defended Berlin. By the end of the war, the Squadron had lost eighty Halifaxes, with over 500 aircrew killed, missing or taken as POW’s
In May 1945 the Squadron converted to Transport Command, flying Douglas C 47 Dakota aircraft. Therefore, it is highly fitting that the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be saluting the squadron with a flypast by the Dakota during the afternoon of the reunion.
This will be the last flypast at Elvington this year, as the display season comes to a close, so it provides a great opportunity to see this magnificent legend of the skies in action. The Dakota always creates a wonderful spectacle of sight and sound with its low swoops over the Museum, so don’t miss it!