RAAF 457 Squadron

Motto: (none)

Formed at Baginton on 16 June 1941, with RAF ground personnel and Australian pilots, it was equipped with Spitfire Is becoming operational in July. In August it moved to the Isle of Man and began convoy patrols and carried out defensive duties and at the same time it acted as a transition unit for No 452 Squadron, training pilots to join its sister unit in 11 Group.

No 457 eventually moved south into the action in March 1942, when it re-positioned to Redhill, from where it joined in offensive operations over France. However, its time in 11 Group was short-lived, because in May the squadron headed for Kirton-in-Lindsey where it began to prepare for the move back to its homeland, which began in June 1942, together with two other squadrons, No 54 RAF and No 452 RAAF.

Arriving in August, it moved to its operational base at Livingstone near Darwin in January 1943 and together with the other two Spitfire squadrons was responsible for the air defence of Northern Australia. Following a short detachment to Guildford the squadron returned to the Livingstone but still found little action and on 16 December 1944 the squadron was transferred from RAF control to the RAAF's 1st Tactical Air Force.

RAAF No. 457 Squadron

No. 457 Squadron was a Royal Australian Air Force fighter squadron of World War II. The Squadron was formed in 1941 and was disbanded in 1945 after seeing action in both the European and Pacific theatres of the war.

History

No. 457 Squadron was formed at Baginton in England on 16 June 1941. Equipped with Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft the squadron completed its training and began flying operational patrols from the Isle of Man in August. These patrols did not result in any contact with German aircraft and the Squadron partially served as an operational training unit supplying Spitfire pilots to other squadrons. In March 1942 the Squadron moved to Red Hill Airfield in Surrey and began flying shipping protection patrols and fighter sweeps over northern France. The Squadron continued in this role until May when it was withdrawn from operations ahead of being deployed to Australia.

No. 457 Squadron departed Britain in June 1942 and arrived in Australia in August. Although the Squadron reassembled at RAAF Base Richmond in September it did not receive replacement Spitfires until November. In January 1943 No. 457 Squadron arrived in Darwin where it formed part of No. 1 Wing RAAF which was tasked with defending the town from Japanese air attacks. The Squadron participated in a number of air battles over Darwin during the first half of 1943 and claimed its first victory in the Pacific Theatre on 7 March 1943. Japanese air activity over northern Australia was rare from late July 1943, however, and the Squadron saw little combat until it commenced ground attack operations over the Netherlands East Indies in April 1944. In February 1945 No. 457 Squadron moved to Morotai Island where it continued in the ground attack role as part of the Australian First Tactical Air Force. The Squadron was redeployed to Labuan Island off Borneo in June where it took part in the later stages of the Borneo Campaign. Following the end of the war No. 457 Squadron was disbanded at Labuan on 7 November 1945.

 

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This webpage was updated 25th January 2019