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No 452 Squadron

Equipped with Spitfires, No 452 Squadron formed in England in April 1941, and began convoy patrols, bomber escort missions and fighter sweeps over occupied France. The Squadron found itself in regular action against German aircraft and by the end of the year, No 452 Squadron was acknowledged as the leading fighter squadron in RAF Fighter Command. In one month alone, the Squadron destroyed twenty-two Bf109s.

In March 1942, Squadron Leader Truscott - who was to go on to become the RAAF's second highest scoring ace - claimed No 452 Squadron's last victory in the European theatre. During its 13 months in England, No 452 Squadron had - for the loss of twenty-two pilots - been credited with destroying nearly seventy German aircraft, and damaging a further seventeen.

After reforming in Australia in September, the Squadron had to wait a further four months for its aircraft to arrive from England. Deploying to the Northern Territory at the beginning of 1943, constant enemy raids on Darwin saw No 452 Squadron Spitfires in conjunction with other RAAF and RAF units, inflict heavy losses on the Japanese. No 452 Squadron's own losses during this period were due mainly to the early Spitfires' unsuitability to operations in a tropical environment.

By the end of 1943, Japanese air activity in northern Australia had almost ceased and it was not until No 452 Squadron had moved to Morotai that the Squadron found itself in regular combat. Throughout 1945 the Spitfires flew ground attack operations against Japanese island garrisons and in particular supported the allied invasions of Tarakan and Balikpapan.

Two months after the cessation of hostilities No 452 Squadron disbanded. In 2010, No 452 Squadron reformed, and is responsible for providing Air Traffic Control and other services to RAAF Bases Amberley, Townsville, Darwin and Tindal.

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