|No. 456 Squadron RAAF|
Members of No. 456 Squadron RAAF in front of a de Havilland Mosquito night fighter in 1943
|Active||30 June 1941 – 15 June 1945|
|Branch||Royal Australian Air Force|
RAF Fighter Command: No. 9 Group RAF,|
No. 10 Group RAF,
No. 11 Group RAF,
PZ (Jun 1941 – Sep 1941)|
SA (Sep 1941 – Dec 1941)
RX (Dec 1941 – Jun 1945)
No. 456 Squadron RAAF was a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) night fighter squadron, operational over Europe during World War II. Amongst other achievements, the squadron was the first RAAF unit to use a roundel featuring a red kangaroo in a blue circle, on some parts of its aircraft. While this insignia was unofficial and the squadron's main markings conformed to the RAF roundels used by British and other Commonwealth units, it inspired the post-war roundel used by the RAAF.
History[edit | edit source]
No. 456 Squadron was formed on 30 June 1941 at RAF Valley, Isle of Anglesey, Wales in the United Kingdom under the Empire Air Training Scheme as a night fighter squadron, equipped with Defiant turret-fighters. The Squadron was soon re-equipped with Beaufighters and scored its first kill in January 1942. In December 1942 the Squadron was re-equipped with Mosquito fighters and began offensive (Ranger) missions over Europe. No. 456 Squadron continued in the fighter and ground attack roles until the end of the European war when it was disbanded on 15 June 1945 at RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex.
Aircraft operated[edit | edit source]
|June 1941||November 1941||Boulton Paul Defiant||Mk.I|
|September 1941||July 1942||Bristol Beaufighter||Mk.IIf|
|July 1942||January 1943||Bristol Beaufighter||Mk.VIf|
|December 1942||April 1944||de Havilland Mosquito||Mk.II|
|June 1943||October 1943||de Havilland Mosquito||Mk.VI|
|January 1944||February 1945||de Havilland Mosquito||Mk.XVII|
|December 1944||June 1945||de Havilland Mosquito||Mk.XXX|
Squadron bases[edit | edit source]
|30 June 1941||30 March 1943||RAF Valley, Isle of Anglesey, Wales||Det. at RAF Colerne, 15–30 Mar 43|
|30 March 1943||17 August 1943||RAF Middle Wallop, Hampshire||Dets. at RAF Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire|
and RAF Predannack, Cornwall
|17 August 1943||17 November 1943||RAF Colerne, Wiltshire|
|17 November 1943||29 February 1944||RAF Fairwood Common, Glamorgan, Wales|
|29 February 1944||30 December 1944||RAF Ford, West Sussex|
|30 December 1944||16 March 1945||RAF Church Fenton, Yorkshire|
|16 March 1945||15 June 1945||RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex|
Commanding officers[edit | edit source]
|30 June 1941||27 March 1942||Wing Commander C. G. C. Olive, DFC|
|27 March 1942||1 February 1943||Wing Commander E. C. Wolfe|
|1 February 1943||1 June 1943||Wing Commander M. H. Dwyer|
|1 June 1943||14 December 1943||Wing Commander G. Howden|
|14 December 1943||1 July 1944||Wing Commander K. M. Hampshire, DSO & Bar, DFC|
|1 July 1944||29 May 1945||Wing Commander B. Howard, DFC|
|29 May 1945||15 June 1945||Squadron Leader R. B. Cowper|
References[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Delve 1994, p. 57.
- Rawlings 1978, p. 526.
- Rawlings 1978, p. 529.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 84.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 98.
- Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 105.
- Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 91.
- Bob Cowper, 2007, The Aussie Mossie (December, No. 50), p5 (6 June 2012).
- Rawlings 1978, p. 447.
- Halley 1988, p. 478.
- Jefford 2001, p. 94.
- Australian War Memorial: 456 squadron
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- Bennet, John. Fighter Nights: 456 Squadron RAAF. Belconnen, Australia: Banner Books, 1995. ISBN 1-875593-10-1.
- Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
- Delve, Ken. The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
- Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
- Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
- Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF(Retd.). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
- Lewis, Stephen with Bob Cowper. Chasing Shadows -Wartime biography of Squadron Leader Bob Cowper. Adelaide, SA: DPA Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1-921207-15-9.
- RAAF History section. Units of the Royal Australian Air Force: a concise history. Volume 2 fighter units. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1995.
- Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald & Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (2nd edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
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