No. 2 Squadron RAAF
No. 2 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

 squadron. From its formation in 1916, it has operated a variety of aircraft types including fighters
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

, bomber
A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground and sea targets, by dropping bombs on them, or – in recent years – by launching cruise missiles at them.-Classifications of bombers:...

s, and Airborne Early Warning & Control.

World War I

No. 2 Squadron was established as a unit of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) at Heliopolis, Egypt
Heliopolis (Cairo Suburb)
Modern Heliopolis is a district in Cairo, Egypt. The city was established in 1905 by the Heliopolis Oasis Company, headed by the Belgian industrialist Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, as well as Boghos Nubar, son of the Egyptian Prime Minister Nubar Pasha.-History:The Baron Empain, a well known...

, initially flying Airco DH.5
Airco DH.5
-Bibliography:* Bruce, J.M. Warplanes of the First World War, Vol. 1. London: MacDonald, 1965, pp. 128–132.* Jackson, A.J. De Havilland Aircraft since 1915. London: Putnam, 1962....

 fighters, and with this equipment the squadron was heavily involved as a ground attack unit during the Battle of Cambrai. The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5
Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5
The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 was a British biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War. Although the first examples reached the Western Front before the Sopwith Camel and it had a much better overall performance, problems with its Hispano-Suiza engine, particularly the geared-output H-S...

a replaced the DH.5 in December 1917, and No.2 became a pure fighter unit, eventually producing 17 flying ace
Flying ace
A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down several enemy aircraft during aerial combat. The actual number of aerial victories required to officially qualify as an "ace" has varied, but is usually considered to be five or more...

s, including Francis Ryan Smith
Francis Smith (aviator)
Francis Ryan Smith MC, DFC was an Australian flying ace of the First World War, credited with 16 aerial victories.Francis Ryan Smith worked as a clerk before joining the Australian Imperial Force on 20 July 1915. He served with distinction in the 31st Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment and...

, Roy Cecil Phillipps, Roby Lewis Manuel
Roby Lewis Manuel
Captain Roby Lewis Manuel was an Australian flying ace credited with 12 official aerial victories.-World War I:Manuel enlisted in the 43rd Battalion, AIF on 5 April 1916. He swore that he was a natural born British citizen, that he worked as a farmer, and that his uncle, Frederick George Jones, was...

, Henry Garnet Forrest
Henry Garnet Forrest
Captain Henry Garnet Forrest was an Australian-born aviator who served in both the Royal Flying Corps and the Australian Flying Corps. While serving with the latter air service, he was credited with 11 aerial victories....

, Adrian Cole
Adrian Cole (RAAF officer)
Air Vice Marshal Adrian Lindley Trevor Cole, CBE, DSO, MC, DFC was a senior commander in the Royal Australian Air Force . Joining the army at the outbreak of World War I, he transferred to the Australian Flying Corps in 1916 and flew with No. 1 Squadron in the Middle East and No. 2...

, Eric Douglas Cummings
Eric Douglas Cummings
Captain Eric Douglas Cummings was an Australian World War I flying ace credited with nine aerial victories while flying for the Australian Flying Corps. Postwar, he was an integral part of fund-raising campaigns to care for his fellow Australian military veterans...

, Richard Watson Howard, Frank Alberry, Ernest Edgar Davies, and James Wellwood
James Wellwood
Lieutenant James Joseph Wellwood was an Australian World War I flying ace credited with seven aerial victories. After the war, he went on to a long career as an agriculturalist and husbandman at his Australian home.-Early life:...


World War II

During World War II, No. 2 Squadron operated as a bomber unit in the Pacific theatre
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...


Post-World War II

The squadron flew Avro Lincoln
Avro Lincoln
The Avro Type 694, better known as the Avro Lincoln, was a British four-engined heavy bomber, which first flew on 9 June 1944. Developed from the Avro Lancaster, the first Lincoln variants were known initially as the Lancaster IV and V, but were renamed Lincoln I and II...

s and English Electric Canberra
English Electric Canberra
The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

s in the Malayan Emergency
Malayan Emergency
The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army , the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party, from 1948 to 1960....

, and Canberras in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...


After Vietnam, No. 2 Squadron was based at RAAF Base Amberley
RAAF Base Amberley
RAAF Base Amberley is a Royal Australian Air Force base located southwest of Ipswich, Queensland and southwest of Brisbane. It is currently home to No. 1 Squadron and No. 6 Squadron , No. 33 Squadron and No. 36 Squadron...

, west of Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

, Queensland, until its disbandment in 1982. In the later years of the Canberra bomber's RAAF operations, it was predominately used for target towing and aerial mapping using call sign Magpie in recognition of the squadron's emblem.

The squadron was re-formed in 2000 to operate Boeing 737 AEW&C aircraft procurred as part of Project Wedgetail, out of RAAF Base Williamtown
RAAF Base Williamtown
RAAF Base Williamtown is a Royal Australian Air Force base and headquarters to Australia's Tactical Fighter group. The base is located north of the coastal city of Newcastle, New South Wales in the Local Government Area of Port Stephens. The military base shares its runway facilities with...

 and RAAF Base Tindal
RAAF Base Tindal
RAAF Base Tindal is a Royal Australian Air Force air base located near the town of Katherine in the Northern Territory. The base is currently home to No...

. On 26 November 2009, the RAAF accepted the first two 737 AEW&C aircraft. By the end of 2010, three additional Wedgetail aircraft are to be delivered.
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