No. 459 Squadron RAAF

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No. 459 Squadron RAAF
Members of 459 Squadron RAAF with one of the Squadron's Martin Baltimore aircraft in the Western Desert of Libya, 1944
Members of 459 Squadron RAAF with one of the Squadron's Martin Baltimore aircraft in the Western Desert of Libya, 1944
Active 10 February 1942 – 10 April 1945
Country Australia Australia
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Australian Air Force.svg Royal Australian Air Force
Role Maritime patrol
Bomber
Part of No 201 Group RAF, RAF Middle East Command[1]
Motto Death to the invaders[2]
Battle honours


  • South-East Europe, 1942–1945
  • Egypt and Libya, 1940–1943
  • El Alamein
  • Mediterranean, 1940–1943
Disbanded 10 April 1945
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry A Scorpion (unofficial)[2]
Squadron Codes GK (Feb 1942–1943)[3]
BP (1943–1945?)[4][5]
Aircraft flown
Bomber Lockheed Ventura
Martin Baltimore
Patrol Lockheed Hudson
Bristol Blenheim

No 459 Squadron RAAF was a Royal Australian Air Force squadron during World War II. It served from 1942 as a maritime patrol and bomber unit in the mediterranean theatre of war until disbanded in 1945.

History[edit]

No 459 Squadron was formed at LG 39/Burg-el-Arab, Egypt on 10 February 1942 under the Empire Air Training Scheme. The Squadron was initially equipped with Lockheed Hudson and Bristol Blenheim aircraft and operated in the maritime reconnaissance role. During 1942 and early 1943 the Squadron operated against German shipping in the Mediterranean and sank a number of ships including a destroyer. In September 1943 the Squadron temporally changed roles to become a bomber unit. The Squadron was equipped with Lockheed Venturas from March to July 1944, when it was re-equipped with Martin Baltimore aircraft.

No 459 Squadron continued operating around the Greek islands until March 1945, when it was posted to the United Kingdom. No 459 Squadron shortly thereafter disbanded at RAF Chivenor, Devon on 10 April 1945.

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft operated by no 459 Squadron RAAF, data from[6][7][8]
From To Aircraft Version
February 1942 May 1942 Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV
March 1942 December 1942 Lockheed Hudson Mk.III
July 1942 January 1944 Lockheed Hudson Mk.IIIa
August 1943 April 1944 Lockheed Hudson Mk.VI
September 1943 November 1943 Lockheed Hudson Mk.V
December 1943 July 1944 Lockheed Ventura Mk.V
July 1944 February 1945 Martin Baltimore Mks.IV, V
March 1945 April 1945 Vickers Wellington Mk.XIII

Squadron stations[edit]

Bases and airfields used by No 459 Squadron RAAF, data from[6][7][8]
From To Station Remark
10 February 1942 14 May 1942 LG.39/Burg-el-Arab, Egypt Dets. at LG.05/Sidi Barrani, Egypt and RAF Gambut, Libya
14 May 1942 30 June 1942 LG.40/Bahig South, Egypt
30 June 1942 10 September 1942 LG.208/LG Z'Mahsma, Egypt Dets at LG.226/Gianaclis, Egypt; RAF St Jean, Palestine;
RAF Khormaksar, Aden; Scuscuiban;
RAF Socotra, Yemen; Gambut III, Libya;
LG 227/Gianaclis Satellite, Egypt
28 November 1942 18 December 1942 LG.226/Gianaclis, Egypt Dets at RAF Khormaksar, Aden; Scuscuiban;
Socotra, Yemen; Gambut III, Libya;
LG.227/Gianaclis Satellite, Egypt; Berka III, Libya
18 December 1942 5 April 1944 LG.143/Gambut III, Libya Dets at RAF Khormaksar, Aden; Berka III, Libya;
LG.227/Gianaclis Satellite, Egypt; RAF Nicosia, Cyprus;
LG.91, Egypt; LG.07/'Z'LG/Matruh West, Egypt;
RAF Lydda, Palestine; Gianaclis, Egypt;
RAF El Adem, Libya; RAF St Jean, Palestine
and RAF Ramat David, Palestine
5 April 1944 15 May 1944 RAF Ramat David, Palestine
15 May 1944 9 August 1944 RAF St Jean, Palestine
9 August 1944 17 February 1945 Berka III, Libya Det. at Mersa Matruh, Egypt
17 February 1945 25 February 1945 RAF Almaza (No 22 PTC), Egypt
25 February 1945 14 March 1945 en route to the UK
14 March 1945 10 April 1945 RAF Chivenor, Devon Disbanded before becoming operational

Commanding officers[edit]

Officers commanding No 459 Squadron RAAF, data from[2][5][6]
From To Name
10 February 1942 19 April 1942 Squadron Leader P.W. Howson (acting)
19 April 1942 15 September 1942 Wing Commander K.S. Hennock
15 September 1942 19 January 1943 Wing Commander P.W. Howson
19 January 1943 5 October 1943 Squadron Leader W. Allsopp
5 October 1943 9 November 1944 Wing Commander A.D. Henderson
9 November 1944 10 April 1945 Wing Commander C.E. Payne

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bowyer, Michael J.F.; Rawlings, John D.R. (1979). Squadron Codes, 1937–56. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens. ISBN 0-85059-364-6. 
  • Delve, Ken (1994). The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-451-5. 
  • Eather, Steve (1995). Flying Squadrons of the Australian Defence Force. Weston Creek, Australian Capital Territory: Aerospace Publications. ISBN 1-875671-15-3. 
  • Flintham, Vic; Thomas, Andrew (2003). Combat Codes: A Full Explanation and Listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied Air Force Unit Codes Since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-84037-281-8. 
  • Halley, James J. (1988). The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians). ISBN 0-85130-164-9. 
  • Jefford, C.G. (2001) [1988]. RAF Squadrons: A Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and Their Antecedents Since 1912 (2nd ed.). Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-053-6. 
  • Kane-McGuire, Leon (2007). Desert Scorpions: A History of 459 Squadron RAAF, 1942–45. Loftus, New South Wales: Australian Military History Publications. ISBN 978-0-9803204-6-6. 
  • Rawlings, John D.R. (1982). Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and Their Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7106-0187-5. 

External links[edit]