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No 457 Squadron

In June 1941, No 457 Squadron formed in England - spending the remainder of the year flying patrols and convoy escort missions, but seeing little enemy activity. The Squadron was also used as an operational training unit, supplying Spitfire pilots to Squadrons engaged in more active operations.

In March 1942 No 457 Squadron moved to Redhill, and operations quickly increased in intensity with the Spitfires flying escort to RAF light bomber attacks over occupied France. In constant contact with enemy fighters and sophisticated anti-aircraft defences, Squadron loses began to mount.

After three months of flying fighter sweeps and bomber escort missions, No 457 Squadron was withdrawn from Europe - sailing for Australia in June. During its short period of active operations, No 457 Squadron had shot down nine enemy aircraft as well as damaging a further seven.

After arriving in Australia No 457 Squadron deployed to Livingstone to provide air defence for Darwin. During an attack on Darwin in March 1943, the Spitfires engaged an enemy force of 46 bombers and fighters, downing up to six enemy aircraft without loss. For the remainder of 1943, the Spitfires were engaged in constant combat with enemy aircraft, taking a heavy toll of Japanese aircraft.

By early 1944, with little enemy air activity over Darwin, several Spitfires staging through Bathurst Island strafed barges, huts and a wireless station on Baba Island. This mission was the Squadron's first ground attack operation, and from this point onwards No 457 Squadron Spitfires were increasingly utilised in the ground attack role.

No 457 Squadron moved north to Morotai in early 1945, and from here supported the invasion of Labuan. Shortly after the Japanese surrender in August, No 457 Squadron was disbanded.

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