No. 176 Squadron RAF


No. 176 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron that was a night defence unit based in India in World War II.

No. 176 Squadron RAF
Active15 Jan 1943 – 1 Jun 1946
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
BranchAir Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Air Force
Motto(s)Latin: Nocte custodimus (We keep the night watch)
Squadron BadgeA dagger in front of a crescent moon


Formation in World War IIEdit

The squadron was formed at Dum Dum, India on 15 January 1943 from a detachment of No. 89 Squadron RAF, flying radar-equipped Bristol Beaufighter night fighters in defence of Calcutta.[1] That night, it flew its first operational sorties, with Flight Sergeant Arthur Pring shooting down three Japanese Mitsubishi Ki-21 bombers in four minutes, becoming an air ace.[2][a] On the night of 19/20 January, another of 176's aircraft intercepted three more Ki-21s, claiming two destroyed and one damaged, but itself being shot down by return fire from the bombers. In fact, only one of the Ki-21s was shot down. The losses of four bombers in a few days caused Japanese night attacks on Calcutta to be suspended.[4] Detachments of the squadron were then based at Chittagong Burma, Ratmalana Ceylon, Baigachi and Mingaladon where the Beaufighters were replaced with Mosquitos in June 1945. The squadron disbanded on 1 June 1946.

Aircraft operatedEdit

Aircraft operated by no. 176 Squadron RAF[5]
From To Aircraft Variant
Jan 1943 Aug 1943 Bristol Beaufighter IF
Jan 1943 Aug 1945 Bristol Beaufighter VIF
May 1943 Jan 1944 Hawker Hurricane IIC
Jun 1945 Jul 1945 de Havilland Mosquito XVI
Jul 1945 Jun 1946 de Havilland Mosquito XIX


  1. ^ Pring and his radar operator had previously claimed three aircraft shot down over Egypt and Malta.[3]


  1. ^ Shores 2005, pp. 49, 409
  2. ^ Shores 2005, pp. 50–51
  3. ^ Shores 2005, p. 50
  4. ^ Shores 2005, pp. 52–53
  5. ^ C.G.Jefford (1988). RAF Squadrons. UK Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Shores, Christopher (2005). Air War for Burma: The Allied Air Forces Fight Back in South-East Asia 1942–1945. London: Grub Street. ISBN 1-904010-95-4.

External linksEdit

  • History of No.'s 176–180 Squadrons at RAF Web
  • 176 Squadron history on the official RAF website