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No. 460 Squadron RAAF: Wikis


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No. 460 Squadron
Members of 460 Squadron and the Lancaster bomber G for George in August 1943.
The members of 460 Squadron and the Lancaster bomber "G for George" in August 1943.
Active 1 Nov 1941 - 10 Oct 1945
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Allegiance Australia Australia
Branch Ensign of the Royal Australian Air Force.svg Royal Australian Air Force
Role Bomber squadron
Part of RAF Bomber Command
Motto "Strike and Return"
Battle honours Fortress Europe, 1940-1944; France and Germany, 1944-1945; Ruhr, 1940-1945; Berlin, 1940-1945; German Ports, 1940-1945; Normandy, 1944; Italy, 1943-1945.
Squadron badge heraldry In front of a boomerang in base a kangaroo salient.[1]
The kangaroo is a fast and powerful animal indigenous to Australia, and the boomerang is a weapon peculiar to that country.[2]
Squadron codes UV (Nov 1941 - Nov 1943
AR (Nov 1943 - Oct 1945)
Aircraft flown
Bomber Vickers Wellington, Avro Lancaster

Number 460 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force (460 Sqn RAAF) was raised during World War II at RAF Molesworth, in England on November 15, 1941. It was a multinational unit, but most personnel were Australian.



No. 460 Squadron RAAF was formed from 'C' Flight of No. 458 Squadron RAAF at RAF Molesworth, Huntingdonshire on 15 November 1941[1], as a bomber squadron equipped with Wellington Mk.IV aircraft. Originally part of No. 8 Group RAF, the squadron moved to RAF Breighton, Yorkshire and joined RAF Bomber Command. The squadron made its first raid, against the German city of Emden, on 12 March 1942. In August 1942, the squadron began to convert to Halifax Mk.IIs[1], but in October the squadron was re-equipped with Lancaster Mks. I and III.[2]. The following May 460 Sqn relocated to RAF Binbrook, from where it participated in the strategic bombing of Germany.

In late 1943 early 1944 the squadron flew sorties in the Battle of Berlin.[3] During the spring and summer of 1944, the squadron flew many missions in support of the D-Day landings. Its final raid was an attack on Adolf Hitler's mountain retreat of Berchtesgaden on Anzac Day, 1945. In May, 460 Sqn joined Operation Manna, the transportation of relief supplies to starving Dutch civilians. The squadron moved to RAF East Kirkby, in preparation for re-location to the Pacific theatre, as part of a proposed Commonwealth strategic air force known as Tiger Force, for the invasion of Japan. The move became unnecessary following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and 460 Squadron disbanded on 10 October 1945.[1][2]

460 Squadron is remembered as part of the 2007 Anzac Day Parade in Brisbane.

The squadron flew the most sorties of any Australian bomber squadron and dropped more bomb tonnage than any squadron in the whole of Bomber Command — 24,856 tons. In doing that it lost 181 aircraft. And it lost more than aircraft: In a speech in 2003, the Chief of the RAAF, Air Marshal Angus Houston, pointed out that, with an aircrew establishment of about 200 and 1,018 combat deaths (589 of whom were Australian), 460 Sqn was effectively wiped out five times over during its existence. RAF Bomber Command represented only two percent of the RAAF personnel in WW2, but accounted for 23% of the RAAF personnel killed in action. Total Bomber Command losses were 55,573 for all nationalities.

460 Sqn is commemorated at the Australian War Memorial by a display featuring its only surviving aircraft, G for George. This aircraft made 90 operational sorties between 6/7th December 1942, when it "bombed believed Mannheim" (the primary target that night) and 20th/21st April 1944, when it bombed Cologne.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Halley 1988, p. 480.
  2. ^ a b c Moyes 1976, p. 254.
  3. ^ Daniel Oakman Wartime Magazine: The battle of Berlin on the Australian War Memorial website


  • Firkins, Peter C. Strike and Return: 460 RAAF Heavy Bomber Squadron, RAF Bomber Command in the World War. Loftus, New South Wales, Australia: Australian Military History Publications, 3rd edition, 2000 (previously published in 1964 by Paterson Brokensha Pty. Ltd. and in 1985 by Westward Ho Publishing Company). ISBN ISBN 1-876439-84-X.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF(Retd.). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 2nd edition 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
  • Nelmes, Michael V. and Ian Jenkins. G-for-George: A Memorial to RAAF Bomber Crews, 1939-45. Maryborough, Queensland, Australia: Banner Books, 2000. ISBN 1-875-59321-7.
  • Stooke, Gordon. Flak and Barbed Wire: In the Wake of Wuppertal. An Australian's Story of Escape and Betrayal. Loftus, New South Wales, Australia: Australian Military History Publications, 2005. ISBN 0-958-66932-5.
  • Taylor, Assheton F. One Way Flight to Munich: Memoirs of a 460 Squadron (RAAF) Navigator. Loftus, New South Wales, Australia: Australian Military History Publications, 2000. ISBN 1-876-43937-8.
  • Woods, Laurie DFC. Flying into the Mouth of Hell. Canberra, Australia: Boolarong Press, 2003. ISBN 0-646-33267-8.

External links

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