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462 Squadron

No 462 Squadron formed in Egypt in September 1942 from detachments of Nos 10 and 76 Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. The irregular manner in which this "RAAF" squadron came into existence ensured that very few Australians were to serve with the Unit.

Equipped with Halifax bombers, the Unit operated against Rommel's forces in North Africa throughout 1943 and 44. During this period the RAAF endeavoured to have more Australian servicemen posted to this nominal "RAAF" Squadron, but with little success. As late as August 1943, only a quarter of the Squadron's 600 personnel were RAAF members. Tiring of the RAF's stonewalling in respect to manning requirements for RAAF squadrons, Australia requested that No 462 Squadron revert to the RAF. Consequently, on 3 March 1944, RAAF No 462 Squadron, was redesignated No 614 Squadron, RAF.

Five months later No 462 Squadron reformed in England - and this time around the unit was allocated a much greater proportion of Australian personnel. Again equipped with Halifax's, the Squadron participated in day and night attacks against German industrial cities, while at the same time, supporting the Allied ground forces fighting their way across France.

By the end of 1944, No 462 Squadron had joined 100 (Bomber Support) Group, and following the fitment of specialised radio equipment, began operations to disrupt the highly organised German air defence system.

The Halifax's were modified to carry special radar jamming equipment designed to interfere with both the night fighter and ground based radar. In addition, the Halifax's also carried small loads of incendiaries, target markers and bombs, which were dropped to further confuse the enemy.

Despite their intensive operations the Australian Halifax's - protected by their own countermeasures - suffered relatively light losses during 1945. No 462 Squadron disbanded at Foulsham on 24 September 1945.

Today, No 462 Sqn has been reformed as the RAAF's Information Operations Squadron, operating from Canberra, with a detachment at RAAF Williams Laverton Base.

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