No. 460 Squadron RAAF

From Our Contribution

460 Sqn.jpg
460's G for George (Currently on display at the AWM, Canberra)
460 Squadron badge.jpg

Brief History

No. 460 Squadron, RAAF, was formed at Molesworth in the United Kingdom on 15 Nov 1941. The squadron became part of the RAF's Bomber Command and joined the strategic bombing campaign against Germany. Equipped with Vickers Wellington bombers, it mounted its first raid, against the German city of Emden, on 12 March 1942. In the ensuing three years the squadron was heavily committed to operations over Germany, Italy and German-occupied Europe. It operated, in succession, from airfields at Molesworth (15 Nov 1941 - 3 Jan 1942), Breighton (4 Jan 1942 - 14 May 1943), and Binbrook (14 May 1943 - 27 Jul 1945).

It began operating Avro Lancasters in October 1942 and joined Bomber Command's 1 Group. The bulk of the squadron's operations formed part of the strategic bombing offensive against Germany, although prior to, and during, the D-Day landings in June 1944, it was employed in support of Allied ground operations. The squadron flew its last raid, against Berchtesgarden, on ANZAC Day 1945.

The squadron is regarded as having been the most efficient of the Australian bomber squadrons. It lost 181 aircraft on operations and suffered 1,018 fatal casualties (589 Australian) - the highest number of any of the Australian squadrons. Following the end of hostilities in Europe in April 1945, the squadron participated in Operation Manna, which involved the air-dropping of food to Dutch civilians during the first week of May 1945. The squadron relinquished its aircraft in early October 1945, and disbanded on the 25th of that month.

Flying Personnel

Ground Crew

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.

Individual Honours (Australian personnel)

  • 5 x Distinguished Service Orders
  • 205 x Distinguished Flying Cross & 12 bars
  • 1 x CGM
  • 72 x Distinguished Flying Medals
  • 1 x Distinguished Conduct Medal


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