Wing Commander Charles ''Jock'' Calder, who participated in more than 70 wartime bombing sorties over enemy-held territory, and was the last wartime commander of the famous 617 ''Dambusters'' squadron has died, aged 76, at a sheltered home in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, after a long battle with cancer.

The farmer's son, from Dunphail, Morayshire, became the youngest squadron commander in RAF Bomber Command at the age of 23.

A highly distinguished wartime career in Whitley, Halifax, and Lancaster bombers saw him win the Distinguished Service Order, the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, and the American Distinguished Flying Cross.

During the fifties he played a key role in introducing the jet-powered delta-winged Vulcan into the country's ''V-bomber'' force and trained many of the early pilots.

W/Cdr Calder spent his latter years at Balloch, near Inverness, until an eight-year battle with cancer took its toll and he was forced to move with his wife Amy to sheltered housing in Huntly late last year.

After retirement, ''Jock's'' links with the Royal Air Force continued and he was an active chairman of the Highland branch of the Aircrew Association.

Until recently he was active in promoting the proposed aircrew memorial in Strathpeffer, Ross-shire, which will shortly become a reality in the form of a bandstand.

The much-decorated officer was also able to maintain his links with his old 617 Squadron, which is usually based at nearby RAF Lossiemouth, Morayshire.

The squadron is presently on detachment in Saudi Arabia, but two officers, Fl Lt Colin Hastings and Fl Lt Richard Cook, were present at the funeral service and commitment at the Kilvean Crematorium, Inverness.

The service was conducted by Squadron Leader, the Rev Paul Barrett, the chaplain at the big Morayshire airbase, who himself was a former RAF navigator.

Mourners included the current Officer Commanding RAF Lossiemouth, Group Captain ''Dusty'' Miller, and retired Air Vice-Marshal, George Chesworth.

After the committal, the RAF paid its last tribute to hero of the war in the skies when two Tornado fighter bombers flew in close formation in salute over the crematorium as mourners watched.