A Red Squadron was stationed aboard the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Independence during the build up to the Battle of Yavin. Pilots who flew with the squadron included Lieutenant Hamo Blastwell, Keyan Farlander, Samuel Raider and Naeco. Many members were transferred to Yavin Base and reassigned to different squadrons for the Death Star assault.
Red Squadron was cobbled together from pilots from the Dantooine Squadron, the Ecliptic Evaders, and the Tierfon Yellow Aces for the assault on the Death Star. During the battle, Red Squadron gained the distinction of being the unit that brought down the Death Star's defenses as well as ultimately destroying the station itself. But the victory came at a price. Almost the entire squadron was destroyed, except for two X-wings.
After the Battle of Yavin, the squadron operated as two groups. The first was Renegade Flight under Narra, the squadron leader, and the second was Rogue Flight under Luke Skywalker. Immediately after the battle they escorted Chipr, a pair of Lambda-class T-4a shuttles owned by the Alliance, and Goat, a pair of Delta-class DX-9 stormtrooper transports, to carry troops and workers away from Yavin 4. As the Rogues became more autonomous, they became a group with no standing orders, ready any time or place for urgent missions that would arise. Renegade Flight was eventually destroyed before the Battle of Hoth, while escorting a convoy carrying supplies for the Echo Base.
For the Battle of Endor, Wedge Antilles changed the name of Rogue Squadron to Red Squadron, with himself as Red Leader, to honor the heroes of Yavin.
In the novelization of A New Hope, Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles flew for Blue Squadron. Their squadron was changed to Red Squadron when it was realized that blue markings on the ships would be replaced by moving starfield during bluescreen shots. Consequently, the name of the fighter group the novelization called Red Squadron was changed to Gold Squadron for the film. The comic adaptation indicated that Red Squadron ("Blue Group") contained only six pilots, but subsequent literature changed the number to twelve. The comic adaptation also established that Luke was the youngest member of the squadron at the Battle of Yavin. The comic also differs in showing one of Red Leader's wingmen during the trench run as piloting a Y-wing.
Red Squadron was also a recurring starfighter squadron in Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance, however, as all Alliance starfighter squadrons in the game are merely named by colors, it is possible that this designation was an in-mission callsign system, rather than actual squadron names. This explanation makes far more sense and is in-line with most military procedures of assigning short callsigns for operational use.