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No 453 Squadron

No 453 Squadron formed in New South Wales in May 1941 and three months later sailed for Singapore.

Following Japan's surprise attack on Malaya, No 453 Squadron Buffaloes deployed to Ipoh in December in support of Allied troops already retreating before the Japanese. The Unit met with immediate success destroying eight enemy aircraft, however Squadron losses were also high, with a number of aircraft being lost on the ground.

After withdrawing to Kuala Lumpur, a large formation of Japanese bombers and fighters attacked the Squadron's base, destroying five Buffaloes and damaging another four aircraft. Despite being vastly outnumbered, the Buffaloes put up a valiant fight, shooting down at least four enemy aircraft.

With only three serviceable aircraft left, No 453 Squadron withdrew to Singapore and merged with No 21 Squadron. This combined Unit attempted to defend Singapore - which was now under regular attack by Japanese aircraft. On 26 January Nos 453 and 21 Squadrons were separated and in early February, No 453 Squadron embarked for Australia where is disbanded soon after its return.

Equipped with Spitfires, No 453 Squadron was re-formed in England in June 1942. Flying fighter sweeps and bomber escort the Squadron's Spitfires accounted for many enemy aircraft. Early 1944 saw No 453 Squadron operations concentrated on defensive patrols designed to keep German reconnaissance aircraft from detecting the shipping build up prior to the Allied invasion of Europe.

Following the D-Day landings the Squadron was involved in combat patrols over the beachhead. The next three months saw No 453 Squadron deployed to Europe in support of the advancing Allied ground forces. By September 1944, the Squadron was back in England, from where its Spitfires mounted attacks against the well defended V-1 and V-2 missile launching sites in Holland.

From November until the end of the war the Squadron was once again flying fighter sweeps and bomber escort. Following Germany's capitulation No 453 Squadron was selected as part of the Allied occupation forces and became the first Commonwealth squadron based in the German capital.

No 453 Squadron disbanded on 21 January 1946, and was reformed on 1 December 2010. Today, No 453 Squadron is responsible for the provision of Air Traffic Control and related services with flights operating from bases at RAAF Williamtown, Richmond, East Sale, Edinburgh, Pearce and HMAS Albatross at Nowra.

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