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No. 455 Squadron RAAF
455 Sqn (AWM UK1548).jpg
A No. 455 Squadron Beaufighter in 1944
Active 23 May 1941 – 26 May 1945
Country Australia Australia
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Air Force Ensign of Australia.svg Royal Australian Air Force
Role Bomber
Torpedo bomber
Part of No. 5 Group RAF, Bomber Command (Jun 41 – Apr 42)
Motto(s) Strike and strike again[1][2][3]
Battle honours

  • English Channel and North Sea, 1939–1945
  • Baltic, 1939–1945
  • Fortress Europe, 1940–1944
  • France and Germany, 1944–1945
  • Ruhr, 1940–1945
  • Berlin, 1940–1945
  • German Ports, 1940–1945
  • Normandy, 1944
  • Arctic, 1940–1945
  • Russia, 1941–1945
Squadron Badge heraldry In front of two battle axes in saltire a winged helmet[1][2][3]
Squadron Codes UB (Jun 1941 – Aug 1943, Jul 1944 – May 1945)[4][5]
2 (Aug 1943 – Jul 1944)[6]
Aircraft flown
Attack Bristol Beaufighter
Bomber Handley Page Hampden

No. 455 Squadron was a Royal Australian Air Force torpedo bomber squadron during World War II and became famous as part of the so-called ANZAC Strike Wing.


No. 455 Squadron was formed at Williamtown, New South Wales on 23 May 1941. Formed in accordance with Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme, the squadron was destined for service in Europe with the Royal Air Force. While the Williamtown party waited to be shipped to the UK, other personnel—these being predominantly members of the RAF—began assembling at RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire in the United Kingdom. 455 Squadron came into existence there on 6 June 1941 and was equipped with Hampden bombers. The bulk of the Australian personnel came to join them on 1 September 1941, having been en route to the UK since 15 June. Initially assigned to No. 5 Group RAF, Bomber Command, the Squadron transferred to RAF Coastal Command on 26 April 1942 and made a deployment to Vaenga in the Soviet Union in September. No. 455 Squadron was re-equipped with Beaufighters in October 1943 and operated against German shipping off Norway and in the Baltic Sea until the end of the war. No. 455 Squadron was disbanded on 25 May 1945.

Aircraft operated

Aircraft operated by No. 455 Squadron RAAF, data from[3][7][8]
From To Aircraft Version
July 1941 April 1942 Handley Page Hampden B.Mk.I
April 1942 December 1943 Handley Page Hampden TB.Mk.I
December 1943 May 1945 Bristol Beaufighter Mk.X

Squadron bases

Bases and airfields used by No. 455 Squadron RAAF, data from[3][7][8]
From To Base Remark
23 May 1941 15 June 1941 Williamtown, New South Wales Australian formation
15 June 1941 1 September 1941 en route to the UK
6 June 1941 8 February 1942 RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire UK formation
8 February 1942 28 April 1942 RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire
28 April 1942 14 April 1944 RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland Dets. at RAF Sumburgh, Shetland Islands, Scotland;
Vaenga, USSR;
RAF Benbecula, Outer Hebrides, Scotland;
RAF Tain, Moray, Scotland
and RAF Wick, Caithness, Scotland
14 April 1944 20 October 1944 RAF Langham, Norfolk Dets. at RAF Thorney Island, West Sussex
and RAF Manston, Kent
20 October 1944 25 May 1945 RAF Dallachy, Moray, Scotland

Commanding officers

Wing Commander R. Holmes (far right) with Norwegian and RAF officers.

Officers commanding No. 455 Squadron RAAF, data from[8][9]
From To Name
23 May 1941 Squadron Leader J.H.W. Lawson (acting)
1 July 1941 Wing Commander D.J. French
1 July 1941 12 December 1941 Wing Commander J.E.C.G.F Gyll-Murray
12 December 1941 6 February 1943 Wing Commander G.M. Lindeman
6 February 1943 29 November 1943 Wing Commander R. Holmes
29 November 1943 23 October 1944 Wing Commander J.N. Davenport, DSO, DFC & Bar
23 October 1944 25 May 1945 Wing Commander C.G. Milson, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar




  • Gordon, Ian. Strike and strike again: 455 Squadron RAAF. Belconnen, ACT: Banner Books, 1995. ISBN 1-875593-09-8.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF(Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1964 (new edition 1976). ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
  • Raebel, Geoffrey W. The RAAF in Russia: 455 Squadron, 1942. Loftus, New South Wales, Australia: Australian Military History Publications, 1997. ISBN 0-9586693-5-X.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5.

External links

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