No. 455 Squadron Bomber Command – 23 May 1941
Formed in Williamtown, New South Wales on 23 May 1941, No. 455 Squadron was an Article XV squadron under the EATS – fated for service overseas. 445 Squadron joined RAF Bomber Command, the first Australian squadron to do so, and began operations out of Swinderby on 6 June 1941.[i] The squadron was equipped with Handley Page Hampden medium bombers, which they used to mount their maiden bomb raid over Frankfurt on the night of 29 August 1941. In doing so, 455 Squadron became the first Australian squadron to bomb Germany.[ii]
A group photo of all the members of No. 455 Squadron, taken in Dallachy, Scotland in October 1944. The squadron is assembled in front of a Bristol Beaufighter
A tractor trolleys bombs through the snow at Skellingthrope Airfield to load into a Handley Page Hampden aircraft
Along with No. 455 Squadron, No. 458, 460, 462, 463, 464, 466 and 467 RAAF served as part of Bomber Command at some point during World War II. Bomber Command was significant in that the casualty rate for personnel was the highest of any unit across all services in the Second World War. Over 10,000 of the 125,000 men who served with Bomber Command were Australian.[iii] Of these 10,000 Australians, 3,486 were killed in action, and a further 650 killed in training accidents.[iv]
455 Squadron, RAAF Beaufighters combat films 1944-1945 | Australian War Memorial (awm.gov.au) Embed this video here
[i] Australian War Memorial 2021, No. 455 Squadron, [online] Available at: <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/U59440>.
[iii] Australian Government Department of Veterans Affairs 2021, Bomber Command, [online] Available at: <https://www.dva.gov.au/newsroom/media-centre/media-backgrounders/bomber-command#:~:text=Bomber%20Command%201%20Australian%20squadrons.%20Bomber%20Command%20was,was%20invaded%20in%201940.%20...%203%201942%E2%80%931945>.