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No. 467 Squadron RAAF

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No. 467 Squadron RAAF

No. 467 Squadron RAAF
Aircrew and ground staff from No. 467 Squadron RAAF with one of the squadron's Lancaster bombers in August 1944
Aircrew and ground staff from No. 467 Squadron RAAF with one of the squadron's Lancaster bombers in August 1944. The Lancaster is K-Kitty. Standing second from the right is navigator, Robert Sillett from Australia.
Active 7 November 1942 – 30 September 1945
Country  Australia
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch Royal Australian Air Force
Role Bomber squadron
Part of No. 5 Group RAF, Bomber Command[1]
Motto Latin: Recidite Adversarius Atque Ferociter[2]
(Loosely translated as: "Your opponents will retreat because of your couragious attack")
Battle honours


  • Fortress Europe, 1940–1944
  • France and Germany, 1944–1945
  • Ruhr, 1940–1945
  • Berlin, 1940–1945
  • German Ports, 1940–1945
  • Normandy, 1944
  • Walcheren
  • Rhine
Commanders
Notable
commanders
John Balmer (1943–44)[3]
William Brill (1944)[3]
Insignia
Squadron badge A Kookaburra with a snake in its beak (unofficial)[2]
Squadron code PO (November 1942 – September 1945)[4][5]
Aircraft flown
Bomber Avro Lancaster

No. 467 Squadron RAAF was a Royal Australian Air Force bomber squadron during World War II, active in the European Theatre of Operations. Formed in November 1942 as an Article XV Squadron in Britain, the squadron was notionally an Australian squadron under the command of the Royal Air Force, and consisted of a mixture of personnel from various Commonwealth nations. After becoming operational in early 1943, the squadron flew operations in Occupied Europe until the end of the war flying Avro Lancaster heavy bombers. It was scheduled to deploy to the Far East to take part in further operations against Japan, but the war ended before it could complete its training and the squadron was disbanded in September 1945.

History

No. 467 Squadron was formed at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, in the United Kingdom, under the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) on 7 November 1942 and was equipped with Avro Lancaster heavy bombers. Under the terms of the EATS, the squadron was nominally a Royal Australian Air Force unit, but it was manned by a mixture of Commonwealth personnel, with the majority being British originally, although as the war progressed more Australians were posted in. Soon after becoming operational the squadron moved to RAF Bottesford, Leicestershire; it remained for a year before moving back to Lincolnshire, at RAF Waddington.[6]

The squadron formed part of No. 5 Group, RAF Bomber Command, and flew its first operation on 2 January 1943, laying mines off the French coast near Furze. Five days later, it undertook a bombing raid on Essen in Germany.[6] It suffered its first combat loss in April 1943 during a bombing raid on Thieuloy L'Abbaye,[7] and after this it conducted raids on Germany, France, Norway, Czechoslovakia, and Italy from until 1945.[8] According to the RAAF Museum, during these raids the squadron gained a reputation for accurate bombing and was selected to attack the Dortmund-Ems Canal, an important and heavily defended German transport artery, on a number of occasions.[7]

Avro Lancaster R5868 in the Bomber Hall of the RAF Museum London

The squadron was initially formed with three flights – designated 'A', 'B' and 'C' – although it was usual practice for Lancaster squadrons to consist of only two. In November 1943, No. 467 Squadron lost its third flight when it was used to raise No. 463 Squadron RAAF, another heavy bomber unit flying Lancasters.[9][10]

The squadron took part in several notable actions including the bombings of the Ruhr, Berlin, and Hamburg. The squadron was also employed to attack targets around Peenemunde and other targets associated with the V1 and V2 rockets. It also supported the Normandy landings and the subsequent Allied breakout in 1944, and Operation Plunder, as the Allies crossed the Rhine and advanced into Germany the following year.[8] In order to facilitate attacks deeper into Axis territory, in mid-1943 Bomber Commander aircraft undertook several "shuttle service" raids, which involved aircraft departing England, attacking a target in Europe and then landing in North Africa where they would replenish before turning around and attacking another target and then return to England. No. 467 Squadron aircraft were the first to undertake such a raid, doing so on 20 June 1943, striking targets in Friederichshafen on the first leg and then Spezia on the return.[8]

The squadron's final operation before Germany capitulated came against an oil refinery in oil refinery at Vallo, in Norway, on the night of 25/26 April 1945. Following the end of the war in Europe, No. 467 Squadron's aircraft were used transport liberated Allied prisoners of war to the United Kingdom.[11] Later, in June, it moved to RAF Metheringham and was selected to form part of Tiger Force,[8] which was being formed to operate against Japan from bases in Okinawa.[12] At this time, the squadron began training to convert its aircrew from Lancasters to B-24 Liberators.[11] However, the war ended before the squadron deployed to Asia and it was disbanded in the United Kingdom at Metheringham on 30 September 1945. During the war, the squadron flew a total of 3,833 sorties, during which it lost 118 aircraft. A total of 760 aircrew from 467 Squadron were killed, of which 284 were Australians.[8]

No. 467 Squadron operated several famous Lancasters, amongst them LL843, survivor of 118 missions, and R5868, "S" for Sugar, which flew 137 operational sorties, more than any other RAF Bomber, except ED888.[13] After the war this aircraft was selected to be preserved and could be seen for a number of years at the entrance of the squadron's first base, RAF Scampton. It now resides at the Royal Air Force Museum at the site of the former Royal Air Force station RAF Hendon, Colindale, London.[14] The front section of the fuselage of another of the squadron's Lancasters, PO-F (DV372), is on display at the Imperial War Museum in London. PO-F (DV372) flew 45 missions.[15]

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by No. 467 Squadron RAAF, data from[13][16][17]
From To Aircraft Version
November 1942 June 1945 Avro Lancaster Mks.I, III
June 1945 September 1945 B-24 Liberator

Squadron bases

Bases and airfields used by No. 467 Squadron RAAF, data from[13][16][18]
From To Base
7 November 1942 24 November 1942 RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire
24 November 1942 12 November 1943 RAF Bottesford, Leicestershire
12 November 1943 16 June 1945 RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
16 June 1945 30 September 1945 RAF Metheringham, Lincolnshire

Commanding officers

Officers commanding No. 467 Squadron RAAF, data from[8]
From To Name
7 November 1942 15 August 1943 (KIA) Wing Commander C.L. Gomm, DSO, DFC
18 August 1943 11 May 1944 (KIA) Wing Commander J.R. Balmer, OBE, DFC
12 May 1944 8 February 1945 Wing Commander W.L. Brill, DSO, DFC & Bar
8 February 1945 8 February 1945 (KIA) Wing Commander J.K. Douglas, DFC, AFC
9 February 1945 4 March 1945 (KIA) Wing Commander E. Le Page Langlois, DFC
4 March 1945 30 September 1945 Wing Commander I.A.H. Hay

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Delve 1994, pp. 62, 69, 77.
  2. ^ a b "Heraldry". 467 and 463 RAAF Squadrons History. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b RAAF Historical Section 1995, p. 147.
  4. ^ Bowyer & Rawlings 1979, p. 83.
  5. ^ Flintham & Thomas 2003, p. 97.
  6. ^ a b Barnes 2000, p. 318.
  7. ^ a b "467 Squadron". RAAF Museum. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f "467 Squadron RAAF". Second World War, 1939–1945 units. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Woods 2012, p. 52.
  10. ^ Barnes 2000, p. 319.
  11. ^ a b Barnes 2000, p. 321.
  12. ^ Fowler 2008, p. 94.
  13. ^ a b c Moyes 1976, p. 260.
  14. ^ Franks 1994, p. 29.
  15. ^ "RAAF A66 Avro Lancaster Mk.I/III". Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History. ADF Serials. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Halley 1988, p. 484.
  17. ^ Jefford 2001, p. 95.
  18. ^ Jefford 2001, pp. 95, 208–209.
Bibliography

External links

  • 467 Squadron RAAF Museum
  • Website of 467 Sqn RAAF Association
  • The crew of ME575
  • 467 squadron history on RAF website
  • colour sideviewS-SugarR5868
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