About This Unit
For the purpose of the RSL Virtual War Memorial, No. 15 Squadron (RAF) is included as one of the RAF Squadrons in which Australians served fought and died during WW II.
During WW2 the Empire Air Training Scheme supplied tens of thousands of aircrew for the Royal Air Force (RAF) air war in Europe, and later in other theatres of war. While a number of so-called Article XV national squadrons were created in Fighter, Bomber and Coastal Commands of the RAF, the majority of Australian aircrew were posted, along with their Commonwealth colleagues, to RAF Squadrons (and also to RCAF and RNZAF units) as individual crew members,where they would 'crew up' often with a very multi-national aircrew comprised of men from all over the Commownwealth. Ground staff were similarly assigned.
As an RAF Bomber Command Squadron, initially equipped with the Fairey Battle Light Bomber, 15 Squadron went to France in 1940 and like all of the squadrons thus equipped, sustained heavy losses.
Returning to England it was briefly equipped with Bristol Blenheim light bombers before re-equipping with the first of the Short Stirling four engined heavy bombers. One famous Stirling was donated by Lady MacRobert in memory of her three sons killed in RAF service and named MacRobert's Reply. In 1943, the squadron converted to Avro Lancasters which it flew until war's end. It still exists in RAF service today (2016) - see article link in sidebar.
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