No. 626 Squadron RAF


No. 626 Squadron RAF
Active7 November 1943 – 14 October 1945
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
BranchEnsign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
RoleBomber Squadron
BaseRAF Wickenby
Motto(s)To Strive and not to Yield[1]
Squadron Badge heraldryOn the waves of the sea, an ancient ship, sails furled, charged on the bow with an eye[1][2]
Squadron CodesUM (Nov 1943 – Oct 1945)[3][4]
Aircraft flown
BomberAvro Lancaster
four-engined heavy bomber

No. 626 Squadron RAF was a heavy bomber squadron of the Royal Air Force from 1943 to 1945.


Members of the 626 squadron

The squadron was formed on 7 November 1943 at RAF Wickenby from C Flight of No. 12 Squadron.[1][2] It operated in the strategic bombing role with the Avro Lancaster. It was disbanded on 14 October 1945, having spent the last months of the war on food droppings (Operation Manna) and transport duties (Operation Exodus), repatriating former prisoners of war and bringing British troops home from Italy.[1]

First operational mission

10/11 November 1943

Last operational mission

25 April 1945

Last mission before V.E. day

7 May 1945

RAF Wickenby Memorial.

The squadron flew 2,728 sorties during the Second World War for the loss of 49 aircraft.[5]

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by No. 626 Squadron RAF[1][2][6]
From To Aircraft Variant
November 1943 October 1945 Avro Lancaster Mks. I & III

Squadron bases

Base used by No. 626 Squadron RAF[1][2][6]
From To Name
November 1943 October 1945 RAF Wickenby, Lincolnshire

Notable personnel

  • Stewart Jacques - Flight Sergeant

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Moyes 1976, p. 288.
  2. ^ a b c d Halley 1988, p. 440.
  3. ^ Bowyer & Rawlings 1979, p. 101.
  4. ^ Flintham & Thomas 2003, p. 109.
  5. ^ Falconer 2003, p. 257
  6. ^ a b Jefford 2001, p. 102.
  7. ^ a b c "626 Squadron and RAF Wickenby". Retrieved 6 April 2015.


  • Bowyer, Michael J.F.; Rawlings, John D.R. (1979). Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Falconer, Jonathan (2003). Bomber Command Handbook, 1939–1945. Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3171-X.
  • Flintham, Vic; Thomas, Andrew (2003). Combat Codes: A Full Explanation and Listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied Air Force Unit Codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • Halley, James J. (1988). The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, C.G. (2001). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912 (2nd ed.). Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. (1976). Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.

Further reading

  • Currie, Jack. Lancaster Target: The Story of a Crew Who Flew from Wickenby. Goodall Publications Ltd., 1997. ISBN 0-907579-32-9.
  • Smith, Ron. Rear Gunner Pathfinder. Manchester, UK: Goodall Publications Ltd./Crécy, 1998. ISBN 0-907579-27-2.
  • Ward, Cris. Royal Air Force Bomber Command Squadron Profiles, Number 122: 626 Squadron, "To Strive and Not to Yield". Berkshire, UK: Ward Publishing, 1998.
  • West, Dennis. To Strive and Not to Yield: No. 626 Squadron and the Battle of Berlin . Woodfield Publishing, 2002. ISBN 1-873203-95-0.

External links

  • Tom Bint – 626 Squadron & RAF Wickenby
  • 626 Squadron on RAF website
  • History of No.'s 621–650 Squadrons at RAF Web