No. 460 Squadron RAAF


No. 460 Squadron RAAF
No. 460 Squadron
Some of No. 460 Squadron RAAF's ground crew posing in front of the bomber G for George in May 1944
Some of No. 460 Squadron RAAF's ground crew posing in front of the bomber G for George in May 1944
Active 15 November 1941–10 October 1945
2 July 2010–current
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Allegiance Australia Australia
Branch Ensign of the Royal Australian Air Force.svg Royal Australian Air Force
Role Bomber squadron (1941–1945)
Imagery and geographic intelligence (2010–current)
Part of No. 8 Group RAF, Bomber Command
(Nov 41-Dec 41)[1]
No. 1 Group RAF, Bomber Command
(Jan 42-Oct 45)[2]
Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (July 2010–current)
Motto "Strike and Return"[1][3]
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.
Insignia
Squadron badge heraldry In front of a boomerang in base a kangaroo salient.[3]
The kangaroo is a fast and powerful animal indigenous to Australia, and the boomerang is a weapon peculiar to that country.[1]
Squadron codes UV (Nov 1941 - Nov 1943}[4][5]
AR (Nov 1943 - Oct 1945)[6][7]
Aircraft flown
Bomber Vickers Wellington
Avro Lancaster

No. 460 Squadron is an Royal Australian Air Force intelligence unit active within the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO). It was first formed as a heavy bomber squadron during World War II on November 15, 1941 and disbanded on 10 October 1945 after seeing extensive combat over Europe. The squadron was a multinational unit, but most personnel were Australian. No. 460 Squadron was reformed on 2 July 2010 and is currently located in Canberra.

Contents

History

World War II

No. 460 Squadron RAAF was formed from 'C' Flight of No. 458 Squadron RAAF at RAF Molesworth, Huntingdonshire on 15 November 1941,[3] as a bomber squadron equipped with Wellington Mk.IV aircraft. Originally part of No. 8 Group RAF, Bomber Command, the squadron moved to RAF Breighton, Yorkshire and joined No. 1 Group RAF. 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,[3] but in October the squadron was re-equipped with Lancaster Mks. I and III.[1] The following May 460 Squadron relocated to RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire, from where it participated in the strategic bombing of Germany.

In late 1943 early 1944 the squadron flew sorties in the Battle of Berlin.[8] 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 Squadron joined Operation Manna, the transportation of relief supplies to starving Dutch civilians. The squadron moved to RAF East Kirkby, Lincolnshire, 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][3]

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 Squadron 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.

Members of 460 Squadron and the Lancaster bomber "G" for George in August 1943.

460 Squadron 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 6/7 December 1942, when it "bombed believed Mannheim" (the primary target that night) and 20/21 April 1944, when it bombed Cologne.

Current role

On 1 April 2010 Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin announced that No. 460 Squadron was to be reformed within the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO).[9] The squadron was subsequently reestablished on 2 July at a ceremony held in front of G for George at the Australian War Memorial.[10][11]

No. 460 Squadron is currently located in Canberra. Its roles include analysing photos and other imagery to help plan strike missions.[11]

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by no. 460 Squadron RAAF, data from[1][3][12]
From To Aircraft Version
November 1941 September 1942 Vickers Wellington Mk.IV
August 1942 October 1942 Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.II (not used operationally)
October 1942 October 1945 Avro Lancaster Mks.I, III

Squadron bases

Binbrook, United Kingdom, April 1944: Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia, getting out of the veteran Lancaster "G" for George, during his visit to 460 Squadron RAAF.
Bases and airfields used by no. 460 Squadron RAAF, data from[1][3][12]
From To Base
15 November 1941 4 January 1942 RAF Molesworth, Huntingdonshire
4 January 1942 14 May 1942 RAF Breighton, Yorkshire
14 May 1942 20 July 1945 RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
20 July 1945 10 October 1945 RAF East Kirkby, Lincolnshire

Commanding officers

460 Squadron is remembered as part of the 2007 Anzac Day Parade in Brisbane.
Officers commanding no. 460 Squadron RAAF, data from[13][14]
From To Name
November 1941 September 1942 Wing Commander A.L.G Hubbard, DSO, DFC
September 1942 December 1942 Wing Commander K.W. Kaufman, DFC
December 1942 February 1943 Wing Commander J.F. Dilworth, DFC
February 1943 September 1943 Wing Commander C.E. Martin, DSO, DFC
September 1943 8 October 1943 (POW) Wing Commander R.A. Norman, DSO, DFC
October 1943 January 1944 Wing Commander F.A. Arthur, DFC
January 1944 May 1944 Wing Commander H.D. Marsh, DFC
May 1944 October 1944 Wing Commander J.K. Douglas, DFC
October 1944 November 1944 Wing Commander K.R.J. Parsons, DSO, DFC
November 1944 13 December 1944 (KIA) Squadron Leader J. Clark, DFC
December 1944 January 1945 Wing Commander W.E. Roberts, DFC
January 1945 July 1945 Wing Commander M.G. Cowan, DSO
July 1945 October 1945 Wing Commander P.H. Swan, DSO, DFC
July 2010 Current Wing Commander P.D. Wooding, MNZM

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937-56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • 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.
  • Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • 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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