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No. 2 Squadron RAAF
A RAAF Boeing 737 AEW&C aircraft in 2009
A RAAF Boeing 737 AEW&C aircraft in 2009
Active 1916–1982
Country Australia
Branch Royal Australian Air Force
Role Airborne early warning and control
Part of Surveillance & Response Group, No. 42 Wing
Base RAAF Base Williamtown
Motto(s) "Consilio et manu"
Decorations Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (South Vietnam)
Oswald Watt (1916–18)
Alan Charlesworth (1939)
Peter Raw (1953–1955)
Aircraft flown
Boeing Wedgetail

No. 2 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force squadron. From its formation in 1916, it has operated a variety of aircraft types including fighters, bombers, and Airborne Early Warning & Control.


World War I

Serny, France, November 1918. A score board recording the claims for enemy aircraft destroyed by No. 80 Wing RAF from July–November 1918. The squadrons listed are: No. 4 Squadron AFC, No. 88 Squadron RAF, No. 2 Squadron AFC, No. 92 Squadron RAF, No. 103 Squadron RAF, No. 46 Squadron RAF, and No. 54 Squadron RAF. The other columns are headed "In Flames", "Crashed", "O.O.C." (Out of Control), "Driven Down" and "Balloons Destroyed"."

No. 2 Squadron was established as a unit of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) at Heliopolis, Egypt,[1] initially flying Airco DH.5 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.5a replaced the DH.5 in December 1917, and No.2 became a pure fighter unit, eventually producing 17 flying aces, including Francis Ryan Smith, Roy Cecil Phillipps, Roby Lewis Manuel, Henry Garnet Forrest, Adrian Cole, Eric Douglas Cummings, Richard Watson Howard, Frank Alberry, Ernest Edgar Davies, and James Wellwood.[1]

World War II

During World War II, No. 2 Squadron operated as a bomber unit in the Pacific theatre. Equipped with Lockheed Hudson bombers, the squadron supplied Sparrow Force positions in East Timor and attacked Japanese held positions on the island.

Post-World War II

No. 2 Squadron Canberra in Vietnam, 1970

The squadron flew Avro Lincolns and English Electric Canberras in the Malayan Emergency, and Canberras in the Vietnam War. During the war, Australian Canberras flew approximately 12,000 sorties and dropped approximately 76,389 bombs. Two Canberras were shot down, one to a surface-to-air missile in which the crewmen safely ejected, and one that was possibly shot down during a bombing run. The crew of the latter aircraft were missing in action; however, the wreckage of their Canberra was finally located in April 2009 and their remains returned to Australia.[2]

After Vietnam, No. 2 Squadron was based at RAAF Base Amberley, west of Brisbane, Queensland, until its disbandment in 1982.[3] 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 and RAAF Base Tindal.[3] 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.[4]



  • Bell, T.E. (2011). B-57 Canberra Units of the Vietnam War. Oxford: Osprey. ISBN 978-1-84603-971-3. 

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