No. 467 Squadron
|No. 467 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force was formed at Scampton in the United Kingdom on 7 November 1942. Although intended as an Australian squadron under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme, the majority of its personnel were originally British. The replacement of these men with Australians was a gradual process and it was only towards the end of the war that the squadron gained a dominant Australian character. |
The squadron relocated to Bottesford on 23 November 1942 and commenced operations on 2 January 1943. A year later it moved to Waddington, which remained the squadron's home until the end of the war. Equipped with Avro Lancaster heavy bombers, and forming part of 5 Group, RAF Bomber Command, the squadron's operational focus for much of the war was the strategic bombing offensive against Germany. Bombing almost entirely by night, it participated in all of the major campaigns of the offensive including the battles of the Ruhr, Berlin and Hamburg. In addition to Germany, the squadron also attacked targets in France, Italy, Norway and Czechoslovakia. On 20 June 1943, 467 was the first Bomber Command squadron to participate in the "shuttle service" where aircraft would leave the United Kingdom, bomb a European target, and then fly on to an airfield in North Africa. There they would refuel and rearm and then bomb another target on their return flight to Britain. The German port of Friederichshafen was the outbound target, and the Italian port of Spezia the inbound one.
In addition to the strategic bombing offensive, 467 Squadron was also employed in support of ground operations prior to, and during the D-Day landings, during the drive out of the Normandy beachhead in mid-1944, and during the crossing of the Rhine in March 1945. The squadron also participated in the offensive to remove the threat posed by Germany's terror weapons and participated in raids on the weapons research facility at Peenemende, and on V1 flying bomb and V2 rocket assembly and launch sites in France.
467 Squadron's last bombing raid of the war was an attack on the oil refinery and tankerage at Vallo in Norway. Even before the cessation of hostilities, the squadron was employed to ferry liberated Allied prisoners of war from Europe to Britain and it continued in this role after VE Day. The squadron was one of several identified to form "Tiger Force", Bomber Command's contribution to the strategic bombing campaign against Japan. It relocated to Metheringham to prepare for this role, but the war against Japan ended before "Tiger Force" was deployed. 467 Squadron disbanded on 30 September 1945.
Between January 1942 and April 1945, 467 Squadron flew 3,833 sorties and dropped 17,578 tons of bombs. It suffered heavily in the course of its operations - 760 personnel were killed, of whom 284 were Australian, and 118 aircraft were lost.
|References||AWM 64, RAAF formation and unit rolls ^*ORMF 0118, Roll 95 ^*1/426 December 1942-December 1943 ^*1/427 January-December 1944 ^*1/428 January-October 1945 ^*1/435A December 1942-March 1945; Units of the Royal Australian Air Force: a concise history. Volume 3, bomber units, (Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1995).; H.M. Blundell, They flew from Waddington! 463-467 Lancaster Squadrons, Royal Australian Air Force, (Sydney: W. Homer, 1975).|
|Related conflicts||Second World War, 1939-1945|
|Decorations||Australian personnel only: 2 DSO; 106 DFC & 3 bars; 11 DFM|