No. 460 Squadron RAAF
Overview
 
No. 460 Squadron is an 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...

 intelligence unit active within the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation
Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation
The Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation is an Australian government intelligence agency responsible for the tasking , exploitation , and dissemination of geospatial intelligence...

 (DIGO). It was first formed as a heavy bomber
Heavy bomber
A heavy bomber is a bomber aircraft of the largest size and load carrying capacity, and usually the longest range.In New START, the term "heavy bomber" is used for two types of bombers:*one with a range greater than 8,000 kilometers...

 squadron during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 on November 15, 1941 and disbanded on 10 October 1945 after seeing extensive combat over Europe. The squadron was a multinational unit, but most personnel were Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n. No. 460 Squadron was reformed on 2 July 2010 and is currently located in Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

.
No. 460 Squadron RAAF was formed from 'C' Flight of No. 458 Squadron RAAF
No. 458 Squadron RAAF
No. 458 Squadron RAAF was a Royal Australian Air Force squadron during World War II. It was formed in Australia, under the Empire Air Training Scheme. The Squadron flew various versions of Vickers Wellington bombers, first in Europe and later in the Middle East.-Over Europe:No. 458 was formed at...

 at RAF Molesworth
RAF Molesworth
RAF Molesworth is a Royal Air Force station located near Molesworth, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom with a history dating back to 1917.Its runway and flight line facilities were closed in 1973 and demolished to support ground-launched cruise missile operations in the early 1980s...

, Huntingdonshire
Huntingdonshire
Huntingdonshire is a local government district of Cambridgeshire, covering the area around Huntingdon. Traditionally it is a county in its own right...

 on 15 November 1941, as a bomber squadron equipped with Wellington Mk.IV
Vickers Wellington
The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engine, long range medium bomber designed in the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, by Vickers-Armstrongs' Chief Designer, R. K. Pierson. It was widely used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, before being displaced as a...

 aircraft.
Encyclopedia
No. 460 Squadron is an 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...

 intelligence unit active within the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation
Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation
The Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation is an Australian government intelligence agency responsible for the tasking , exploitation , and dissemination of geospatial intelligence...

 (DIGO). It was first formed as a heavy bomber
Heavy bomber
A heavy bomber is a bomber aircraft of the largest size and load carrying capacity, and usually the longest range.In New START, the term "heavy bomber" is used for two types of bombers:*one with a range greater than 8,000 kilometers...

 squadron during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 on November 15, 1941 and disbanded on 10 October 1945 after seeing extensive combat over Europe. The squadron was a multinational unit, but most personnel were Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n. No. 460 Squadron was reformed on 2 July 2010 and is currently located in Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

.

World War II

No. 460 Squadron RAAF was formed from 'C' Flight of No. 458 Squadron RAAF
No. 458 Squadron RAAF
No. 458 Squadron RAAF was a Royal Australian Air Force squadron during World War II. It was formed in Australia, under the Empire Air Training Scheme. The Squadron flew various versions of Vickers Wellington bombers, first in Europe and later in the Middle East.-Over Europe:No. 458 was formed at...

 at RAF Molesworth
RAF Molesworth
RAF Molesworth is a Royal Air Force station located near Molesworth, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom with a history dating back to 1917.Its runway and flight line facilities were closed in 1973 and demolished to support ground-launched cruise missile operations in the early 1980s...

, Huntingdonshire
Huntingdonshire
Huntingdonshire is a local government district of Cambridgeshire, covering the area around Huntingdon. Traditionally it is a county in its own right...

 on 15 November 1941, as a bomber squadron equipped with Wellington Mk.IV
Vickers Wellington
The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engine, long range medium bomber designed in the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, by Vickers-Armstrongs' Chief Designer, R. K. Pierson. It was widely used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, before being displaced as a...

 aircraft. Originally part of No. 8 Group RAF
No. 8 Group RAF
No. 8 Group RAF was a Royal Air Force group which existed during the final year of World War I and during World War II.-Formation in World War II:...

, Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. During World War II the command destroyed a significant proportion of Nazi Germany's industries and many German cities, and in the 1960s stood at the peak of its postwar military power with the V bombers and a supplemental...

, the squadron moved to RAF Breighton
Breighton
Breighton is a village in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is situated on the east bank of the River Derwent, approximately north west of Howden.It forms part of the civil parish of Bubwith....

, Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

 and joined No. 1 Group RAF
No. 1 Group RAF
Number 1 Group of the Royal Air Force is one of the two operations groups in Air Command.The group is today referred to as the Air Combat Group, as it controls the RAF's combat fast-jet aircraft and has airfields in the UK plus RAF Unit Goose Bay in Canada, which is used extensively as an...

. The squadron made its first raid, against the German city of Emden
Emden
Emden is a city and seaport in the northwest of Germany, on the river Ems. It is the main city of the region of East Frisia; in 2006, the city had a total population of 51,692.-History:...

, on 12 March 1942. In August 1942, the squadron began to convert to Halifax Mk.IIs
Handley Page Halifax
The Handley Page Halifax was one of the British front-line, four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. A contemporary of the famous Avro Lancaster, the Halifax remained in service until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing...

, but in October the squadron was re-equipped with Lancaster Mks. I and III
Avro Lancaster
The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber made initially by Avro for the Royal Air Force . It first saw active service in 1942, and together with the Handley Page Halifax it was one of the main heavy bombers of the RAF, the RCAF, and squadrons from other...

. The following May 460 Squadron relocated to RAF Binbrook
RAF Binbrook
RAF Binbrook was a Bomber Command station during World War II. After the war it was amongst others the home of the Central Fighter Establishment...

, Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders...

, from where it participated in the strategic bombing of Germany
Strategic bombing during World War II
Strategic bombing during World War II is a term which refers to all aerial bombardment of a strategic nature between 1939 and 1945 involving any nations engaged in World War II...

.

In late 1943 early 1944 the squadron flew sorties in the Battle of Berlin
Battle of Berlin (air)
The Battle of Berlin was a British bombing campaign on Berlin from November 1943 – March 1944. The campaign was not limited solely to Berlin. Other German cities were attacked to prevent concentration of defences in Berlin, and Bomber Command had other responsibilities and operations to conduct...

. During the spring and summer of 1944, the squadron flew many missions in support of the D-Day landings. Its final raid was an attack on Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

's mountain retreat of Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden is a municipality in the German Bavarian Alps. It is located in the south district of Berchtesgadener Land in Bavaria, near the border with Austria, some 30 km south of Salzburg and 180 km southeast of Munich...

 on Anzac Day
ANZAC Day
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all...

, 1945. In May, 460 Squadron joined Operation Manna, the transportation of relief supplies to starving Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 civilians. The squadron moved to RAF East Kirkby
RAF East Kirkby
RAF East Kirkby is a former Royal Air Force base near the village of East Kirkby, south of Horncastle in Lincolnshire, just off the A155. The Greenwich meridian through the base.-History:...

, Lincolnshire, in preparation for re-location to 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...

, as part of a proposed Commonwealth strategic air force
Airstrike
An air strike is an attack on a specific objective by military aircraft during an offensive mission. Air strikes are commonly delivered from aircraft such as fighters, bombers, ground attack aircraft, attack helicopters, and others...

 known as Tiger Force
Tiger Force (air)
Tiger Force, also known as the Very Long Range Bomber Force, was the name given to a World War II British Commonwealth long-range heavy bomber force, formed in 1945, from squadrons serving with RAF Bomber Command in Europe, for proposed use against targets in Japan...

, for the invasion of Japan
Operation Downfall
Operation Downfall was the Allied plan for the invasion of Japan near the end of World War II. The operation was cancelled when Japan surrendered after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet Union's declaration of war against Japan. The operation had two parts: Operation...

. The move became unnecessary following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.For six months...

 and 460 Squadron disbanded on 10 October 1945.

The squadron flew the most sortie
Sortie
Sortie is a term for deployment or dispatch of one military unit, be it an aircraft, ship, or troops from a strongpoint. The sortie, whether by one or more aircraft or vessels, usually has a specific mission....

s of any Australian bomber squadron and dropped more bomb tonnage than any squadron in the whole of Bomber Command — 24,856 tons. In doing that it lost 181 aircraft. And it lost more than aircraft: In a speech in 2003, the Chief of the RAAF, Air Marshal
Air Marshal
Air marshal is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

 Angus Houston
Angus Houston
Air Chief Marshal Allan Grant "Angus" Houston AC, AFC is a retired senior commander of the Royal Australian Air Force and was the Chief of the Defence Force from 4 July 2005 until his retirement on 3 July 2011...

, pointed out that, with an aircrew establishment of about 200 and 1,018 combat deaths (589 of whom were Australian), 460 Squadron was effectively wiped out five times over during its existence. RAF Bomber Command represented only two percent of the RAAF personnel in WW2, but accounted for 23% of the RAAF personnel killed in action. Total Bomber Command losses were 55,573 for all nationalities.

460 Squadron is commemorated at the Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is Australia's national memorial to the members of all its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in the wars of the Commonwealth of Australia...

 by a display featuring its only surviving aircraft, G for George
G for George
G for George is an Avro Lancaster Mk.I bomber, squadron code AR-G and serial number W4783, operated by No. 460 Squadron RAAF during World War II...

. This aircraft made 90 operational sorties between 6/7 December 1942, when it "bombed believed Mannheim
Mannheim
Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. With about 315,000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the second-largest city in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, following the capital city of Stuttgart....

" (the primary target that night) and 20/21 April 1944, when it bombed Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

.

Current role

On 1 April 2010 Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin
Mark Binskin
Air Marshal Mark Donald Binskin AO is a senior officer in the Royal Australian Air Force, currently serving as Vice Chief of the Defence Force. He previously served as Chief of Air Force from 2008 until 2011.-Early life:...

 announced that No. 460 Squadron was to be reformed within the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO). The squadron was subsequently reestablished on 2 July at a ceremony held in front of G for George at the Australian War Memorial.

No. 460 Squadron is currently located in Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

. Its roles include analysing photos and other imagery to help plan strike missions.

Aircraft operated

{|class="wikitable"
|+Aircraft operated by no. 460 Squadron RAAF, data from
! From !! To !! Aircraft !! Version
|-
| November 1941 || September 1942 || Vickers Wellington
Vickers Wellington
The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engine, long range medium bomber designed in the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, by Vickers-Armstrongs' Chief Designer, R. K. Pierson. It was widely used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, before being displaced as a...

 || Mk.IV
|-
| August 1942 || October 1942 || Handley Page Halifax
Handley Page Halifax
The Handley Page Halifax was one of the British front-line, four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. A contemporary of the famous Avro Lancaster, the Halifax remained in service until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing...

 || B.Mk.II (not used operationally)
|-
| October 1942 || October 1945 || Avro Lancaster
Avro Lancaster
The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber made initially by Avro for the Royal Air Force . It first saw active service in 1942, and together with the Handley Page Halifax it was one of the main heavy bombers of the RAF, the RCAF, and squadrons from other...

 || Mks.I, III

Squadron bases

{|class="wikitable"
|+Bases and airfields used by no. 460 Squadron RAAF, data from
! From !! To !! Base
|-
| 15 November 1941 || 4 January 1942 || RAF Molesworth
RAF Molesworth
RAF Molesworth is a Royal Air Force station located near Molesworth, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom with a history dating back to 1917.Its runway and flight line facilities were closed in 1973 and demolished to support ground-launched cruise missile operations in the early 1980s...

, Huntingdonshire
Huntingdonshire
Huntingdonshire is a local government district of Cambridgeshire, covering the area around Huntingdon. Traditionally it is a county in its own right...


|-
| 4 January 1942 || 14 May 1942 || RAF Breighton
Breighton
Breighton is a village in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is situated on the east bank of the River Derwent, approximately north west of Howden.It forms part of the civil parish of Bubwith....

, Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...


|-
| 14 May 1942 || 20 July 1945 || RAF Binbrook
RAF Binbrook
RAF Binbrook was a Bomber Command station during World War II. After the war it was amongst others the home of the Central Fighter Establishment...

, Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders...


|-
| 20 July 1945 || 10 October 1945 || RAF East Kirkby
RAF East Kirkby
RAF East Kirkby is a former Royal Air Force base near the village of East Kirkby, south of Horncastle in Lincolnshire, just off the A155. The Greenwich meridian through the base.-History:...

, Lincolnshire

Commanding officers

{|class="wikitable"
|+Officers commanding no. 460 Squadron RAAF, data from
! From !! To !! Name
|-
| November 1941 || September 1942 || Wing Commander
Wing Commander (rank)
Wing commander is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries...

 A.L.G Hubbard, DSO
Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

, DFC
Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom)
The Distinguished Flying Cross is a military decoration awarded to personnel of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and other services, and formerly to officers of other Commonwealth countries, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against...


|-
| September 1942 || December 1942 || Wing Commander K.W. Kaufman, DFC
|-
| December 1942 || February 1943 || Wing Commander J.F. Dilworth, DFC
|-
| February 1943 || September 1943 || Wing Commander C.E. Martin, DSO, DFC
|-
| September 1943 || 8 October 1943 (POW
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

) || Wing Commander R.A. Norman, DSO, DFC
|-
| October 1943 || January 1944 || Wing Commander F.A. Arthur, DFC
|-
| January 1944 || May 1944 || Wing Commander H.D. Marsh, DFC
|-
| May 1944 || October 1944 || Wing Commander J.K. Douglas, DFC
|-
| October 1944 || November 1944 || Wing Commander K.R.J. Parsons, DSO, DFC
|-
| November 1944 || 13 December 1944 (KIA
Killed in action
Killed in action is a casualty classification generally used by militaries to describe the deaths of their own forces at the hands of hostile forces. The United States Department of Defense, for example, says that those declared KIA need not have fired their weapons but have been killed due to...

) || Squadron Leader
Squadron Leader
Squadron Leader is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence. It is also sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. In these...

J. Clark, DFC
|-
| December 1944 || January 1945 || Wing Commander W.E. Roberts, DFC
|-
| January 1945 || July 1945 || Wing Commander M.G. Cowan, DSO
|-
| July 1945 || October 1945 || Wing Commander P.H. Swan, DSO, DFC
|-
| July 2010 || Current || Wing Commander P.D. Wooding, MNZM

External links

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