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No. 454 Squadron RAAF

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454 Squadron.jpg
Nov 1943 Cambut, Cyrenaica, Libya - AWM MEB0057
454 Squadron 2.jpg
Lunch for airmen of 454 Squadron at Cyrenaica, Libya 1943


Brief History

No. 454 Squadron was a unit under the Empire Air training Scheme and was raised at Williamstown, NSW on 23 May 1941, destined for the European theatre. However it was disbanded on 11 July with personnel posted to other units. On 2 Apr 1942 the Squadron was re-raised, but this time in Blackpool, England and given a reconnaissance/light bomber role. Two months later the Squadron ground crew was sent to Egypt, with aircrew to follow. With the arrival of aircrew the Squadron relocated to Iraq and was equipped with Bristol Blenheim aircraft.


In early 1943 the squadron moved to Gianaclis near Alexandria in Egypt and was re-equipped with Martin Baltimore aircraft. In February they were based at RAF El Amiriya and were given a maritime patrol role. It then operated in the Mediterranean theatre for almost 18 months, attacking shipping and submarine targets in Greek and Cretan waters.


In July 1944 the squadron was committed to the Italian campaign and moved to Pescara, re-purposed as a daylight bomber squadron supporting the British Eighth Army. In early 1945 it again changed roles, this time to a night intruder role, attacking German forces as they retreated northwards. Its final sorties were flown by Supermarine Spitfires on 1 May 1945. With the German forces in Italy surrendering the next day, they no longer had a role. The unit disbanded at Villorba while still in Italy on 14 Aug 1945. Sixty Australian personnel had lost their lives.

Battle Honours

  • South-East Europe, 1942–1945
  • Mediterranean, 1940–1943
  • Italy, 1943–1945
  • Gustav Line
  • Gothic Line

Individual Honours

  • 9 x Distinguished Flying Crosses

Ground Crew

Notes


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