History of Bomber Command
From March 1941 there was a gradual build up of Australians in Bomber Command in Britain. Australian medium bomber squadrons began flying regular operations from September. No.460 squadron, the first Australian heavy bomber squadron, commenced operations with Lancasters in late 1942. Australians also served in RAF squadrons, and there were mixed nationality crews in all units.
The expansion of the RAAF numbers within Bomber Command coincided with the development of the bombing offensive of 1943 and the emergence of the Lancaster as the outstanding British bomber. Australians played a significant role in the main attacks on enemy cities and installations. Casualties were very high. At the height of the bomber offensive crews could hold little expectation of survival.
The number of RAAF aircrew reached a peak after the allies’ invasion of Europe in June 1944. It is estimated that 10,000 Australians eventually served with Bomber Command.
In October 1944 one of the Lancaster bombers, G for George was flown to Australia to promote the war effort.