Our long-awaited and keenly anticipated film about 77 squadron, featuring unique footage of veterans’ stories and the history of the squadron, is now available on DVD.
Tracing the history of the squadron through both world wars and afterwards, the film includes scenes of the association’s reunions and ceremonies, family memories and moving interviews with veterans describing their time with the squadron.
The cost of making the film was financed by family members of our association and the narration is by radio announcer, narrator and presenter, Richard Clegg who gave his services free of charge. He says: “It was such a pleasure to be able in some small way to contribute to the memory of the brave and selfless Second World War veterans to whom we all owe so much.”
Most of the former aircrew interviewed for the film over the past decade have now passed away, but we were determined that their voices and memories were captured for posterity. A Heritage Lottery funded extract of the interviews will be used at the Yorkshire Air Museum to help tell the story of the airfield, the aircraft and the people who flew and serviced them.
Chairman of the air museum, Martin Withers DFC, said: “At the museum, situated on the site of Elvington Airfield, you will see examples of both the Halifax and the Dakota aircraft as flown by 77 Squadron. Watching this film one realises how valuable are recordings such as this and must recognise the forethought of 77 Squadron Association for organising and funding the filming.”
The film was compiled and untiringly edited by Van Wilson, whose father was a pilot with the squadron, with filming by Rachel Semlyen and York company, Parashoots. It was produced with great dedication by Ollie Bostock of Hewitt and Walker of York.
To obtain your copy of this special, 45 minute DVD, The History of 77 Squadron, at £10 plus £2 postage and packing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org Orders can be made by PayPal, using the email address.
New on the website
The collection of Operational Record Books (ORBs) of 77 Squadron from Sep 1939 until Dec 1945. Included in these records are the monthly RAF Form 540 – Summary of Events (a daily diary of events at the Sqn), RAF Form 541 – Detail of Work Carried Out ( a record of what aircraft and personnel took part in Operations) as well as various appendices with supplementary information including Ops Orders, bomb camera pictures etc. Each year has its own named folder with individual monthly documents of the types listed above.. The ORB copies are of various levels of quality based on the available content from National Archives. (Some of the original typing is very faint!). Feel free to download and use the information for non-commercial uses as you see fit in order to research family members or those connected to 77 Squadron.
Our thanks to Canadian member Mike Anglin for this tremendous work. Mike also compiled the Canadian Roll of Honour. His father was F/O William Anglin, J28695 RCAF who completed 35 Ops with the Tarling crew and made it safely home to Canada.
He writes: It is my hope that the information is helpful as a resource for all researchers of 77 Sqn, whether they be families, or historian alike. The information in this drive is also provided in Remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of freedom.”
Every year in September the members and families of 77 Squadron Association meet at the Yorkshire Air Museum to remember the sacrifice that so many young men made on the outskirts of York during the second World War. 77 Squadron was the first resident squadron of RAF Elvington and flew from the base during the many darker days of Bomber Command, battling to the Ruhr Valley and other places deep into Germany. This year, due to Covid-19, the Association could not meet, but in order to remember the fallen the Association marked the day with a reading and were able to “Turn the Page” of the Roll of Honour kept in the chapel as they do annually every September.
Here is a short film of the occasion.