No. 462 Squadron RAAF

From Our Contribution

462 Squadron.jpg
Halifax 462 Sqn - Cyrenaica, Libya - 24 October 1943 - AWM MED1720
462 Squadron 1.jpg
Bombing up a Halifax B.II at Fayid, Egypt, Aug 1942.

Brief History

No. 462 Squadron RAAF was formed on 6 September 1942 at RAF Fayid, Egypt as an RAAF Article XV squadron, with initially very few Australians. 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. Early Australian ground personnel had no experience on the aircraft and English crews were unhappy about serving in an "Australia" unit. During 1943 the squadron remained in North Africa. By August 1943 relations between Squadron members had improved and after participating in the Tunisia campaign the squadron moved to Libya to attack targets in Sicily and southern Italy.

In October the focus changed to German targets in Greece, but given the lack of Australian personnel the unit was re-designated as 614 Squadron RAF, leaving the RAAF to apply the 462 Squadron label to a new unit formed at RAF Driffield on 12 Aug 1944. This squadron's role was as a Heavy Bomber Squadron which flew its first operational mission on 25 Aug 1944. In late December the squadron relocated to RAF Foulsham, and its aircraft were modified with radar jamming equipment. It continued in this new role until the end of the war, experiencing a lower than normal casualty rate in part because of the protection offered by the radar equipment. The squadron continued to conduct training and ferry flights over Germany testing radio countermeasures until it was disbanded at Foulsham on 24 Sep 1945. Thirty Seven men died while posted to this unit, 33 in flying battles, 3 as a result of accidents, and one killed in ground action.

Squadron Personnel

Battle Honours

  • Fortress Europe, 1940–1944
  • France and Germany, 1944–1945
  • Ruhr, 1940–1945
  • Berlin, 1940–1945
  • German Ports, 1940–1945
  • South-East Europe, 1942–1945
  • Egypt and Libya, 1940–1943
  • North Africa, 1942–1943
  • Mediterranean, 1940–1943
  • Sicily, 1943
  • Italy, 1943–1945
  • El Alamein
  • El Hamma

Individual Honours - Australian personnel only

  • 1 x Distinguished Service Order
  • 18 x Distinguished Flying Cross
  • 1 x Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
  • 4 x Distinguished Flying Medal


External Links