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A No. 462 Squadron Halifax in 1945

No. 462 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force squadron which forms part of the Information Warfare Wing in the RAAF's Aerospace Operational Support Group. The Squadron saw action during World War II as a bomber and electronic warfare squadron.

Contents

Squadron history

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1942–44

No. 462 Squadron was formed on 7 September 1942 at Fayid, Egypt from detachments of No. 10 Squadron RAF and No. 76 Squadron RAF. Due to the manner of its formation the Squadron contained very few Australians upon formation. The Squadron was equipped with Handley Page Halifax B Mk II heavy bombers and flew its first operation on the night of 8/9 September 1942 against ground targets at Tobruk. No. 462 Squadron was the only heavy bomber squadron in North Africa in 1942 and suffered from shortages of aircrew and maintenance problems as a result.

During 1943 and early 1944 No. 462 Squadron conducted raids against Axis targets throughout the Mediterranean area, including Italy, (what was then) Yugoslavia and the Greek Islands. Despite the efforts of Australian authorities the Squadron contained mostly British aircrew and ground staff. Frustrated with the British dominance of the squadron the RAAF Overseas Headquarters requested that the squadron be disbanded and reformed in Britain as an Australian squadron. This request was finally acted upon, and after relocating to Crotone in Italy, No. 462 Squadron was re-designated No. 614 Squadron RAF on 3 March 1944.

1944–45

No. 462 Squadron was reformed at Driffield in Britain on 12 August 1944 as an Australian heavy bomber squadron within RAF Bomber Command, now equipped with Halifax B Mk III bombers. Many of the Squadron's initial personnel had been transferred from No. 466 Squadron RAAF then also at Driffield. No. 462 Squadron flew its first operational missions within days of being reformed and over the next five months it participated in the bombing of German industrial targets and cities and supported the operations of Allied land forces post D-Day.

On 29 December 1944 No. 462 Squadron was relocated to RAF Foulsham and became part of No. 100 Group RAF. This group specialised in electronic warfare and No. 462 Squadron's aircraft were modified to carry radar and wireless broadcasting and jamming equipment. Until the end of the war the Squadron used its special equipment to attempt to deceive the enemy as to the location of the raids conducted by Bomber Command. German speaking additional crew members, known as Special Operators, using the secret wireless jamming equipment codenamed Airborne Cigar (ABC) would locate and jam German flight control frequencies, occasionally broadcasting misleading information.[1][2] Following the end of the war No. 462 Squadron was initially slotted to join 'Tiger Force', Bomber Command's proposed contribution to war against Japan. But the atomic bombs ended the war before 'Tiger Force' could deploy to the Far East so No. 462 conducted transport and training flights until being disbanded on 24 September 1945.

During its short but eventful life, No 462 Squadron lost 131 airmen killed on operations and another 37 made POW. Members were awarded four DSOs, 40 DFCs, 15 DFMs, 2 CGMs, one MBE, two BEMs and three Croix de Geurre.

Since 2005

No. 462 Squadron was reformed in April 2005 as a non-flying squadron within the Information Warfare Wing of the RAAF's Aerospace Operational Support Group. The Squadron's role is to "protect the Air Force's capability through the conduct of information operations".[1] The Squadron is based in Canberra.

Commanding officers

  • Wing Commander David Oswald Young DSO, DFC, AFC, RAF from 7 September 1942 to 8 October 1942
  • Wing Commander George Philip Seymour-Price DFC, RAF from 9 October 1942 to 13 January 1943
  • Wing Commander Peter George Batty Warner DSO, RAFVR from 14 January 1943 to 14 July 1943 (killed in action)
  • Squadron Leader Reginal Owen Buskell DFC, RAF from 17 July 1943 to 19 August 1943 (temporarily commanding)
  • Wing Commander William Taylor Russell, RAF from 29 August 1943 to 15 February 1944

Squadron disbanded 3 March 1944 at Crotone, Italy. Squadron reformed 12 August 1944 at RAF Driffield, UK

  • Wing Commander David Eliot Strachan Shannon DFC, MID, RAAF
  • Wing Commander Peter McCallum Paull DFC, US, RAAF

Squadron disbanded 24 September 1945 at RAF Foulsham, UK. Squadron reformed 11 April 2005 in Canberra, Australia

  • Wing Commander Brett 'Frosty' Newell, RAAF from 11 April 2005 to 21 January 2007
  • Wing Commander Nicholas Allan Cram, RAAF from 21 January 2007 to January 2009
  • Wing Commander Darren Reyce May, RAAF from 21 January 2009

References

  1. ^ Crews insisted on carrying bombs as well as conduct the clandestine electronic jamming and spoofing war. Lake, Jon (30 July 1999). Halifax Squadrons of World War II. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1855328921. http://www.ospreypublishing.com/title_detail.php/title=P8925~ser=COM~per=2.  
  2. ^ "John Hereford". Obituaries (The Daily Telegraph). 13 December 2007. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/news/2007/12/13/db1301.xml.  
  • Mark Lax and Leon Kane-Maguire (2008). To See the Dawn Again: A History of 462 Squadron, RAAF 1942-2008. ISBN 9780977534036.
  • Steve Eather (1995). Flying Squadrons of the Australian Defence Force. Aerospace Publications.
  • RAAF Museum 462 Squadron
  • Australian War Memorial 462 Squadron RAAF

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