WW2 Bomber Squadrons 458 – 622

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622 SQUADRON

Formed in 3 Group on 10 August 1943 and flew Stirlings and Lancasters from Mildenhall until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown Stirlings – 21 bombing, 20 minelaying Lancasters – 210 bombing, 17 minelaying Total – 231 bombing, 37 minelaying = 268 raids Sorties and Losses Stirlings – 195 sorties, 7 aircraft lost (3.6 percent) Lancasters – 2,805 sorties, 44 aircraft lost (1.6 percent) Total – 3,000 sorties, 51 aircraft lost (1.7 percent) 2 Stirlings and 3 Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14954-14957). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

458 (AUSTRALIAN) SQUADRON

Ground crew formed in Australia in July 1941 and the squadron became operational in 4 Group in October 1941. Flew Wellingtons from Holme-on-Spalding Moor until December but then transferred to the Middle East in February 1942, the aircraft of the CO., Wing Commander Mulholland, D.F.C., being shot down into the sea while flying to Malta. Served as a torpedo-bomber squadron in the Middle East until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

458 Squadron flew 65 Wellington sorties and lost 3 aircraft (4.6 percent) in 10 bombing raids.​​ 

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14814-14820). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

460 (AUSTRALIAN) SQUADRON

Formed as a Wellington squadron in 1 Group and commenced operations on 12/ 13 March 1942. Flew Wellingtons and Lancasters until the end of the war, a conversion to Halifaxes after the Wellington phase being cancelled before any operations were flown on this type. Based at Breighton and Binbrook.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown Wellingtons – 50 bombing, 9 minelaying, 2 leaflet Lancasters – 280 bombing, 27 minelaying Total – 330 bombing, 36 minelaying, 2 leaflet = 368 raids Sorties and Losses Wellingtons – 538 sorties, 29 aircraft lost (5.4 percent) Lancasters – 5,700 sorties, 140 aircraft lost (2.5 percent) Total – 6,238 sorties, 169 aircraft lost (2.7 percent) 31 Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Being a three-flight squadron for most of its operational career, and serving in a group which strove for maximum efforts and bomb loads, led to 460 Squadron being credited with many records. Flew the most sorties in 1 Group. Carried out the most bombing raids, flew the most sorties and suffered the most losses in Australian squadrons. Suffered the highest percentage loss in all Bomber Command Wellington squadrons. Flew the most Lancaster sorties in 1 Group and in Bomber Command; suffered the most Lancaster losses in 1 Group. Believed to have dropped the greatest tonnage of bombs – approximately 24,000 tons – in Bomber Command.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14820-14838). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

462 (AUSTRALIAN) SQUADRON

Formed as a Halifax squadron in the Middle East in September 1942 but lost its identity in March 1944. Re-formed in 4 Group on 12 August 1944 and flew Halifaxes from Driffield until December 1944, when the squadron was moved to Foulsham for radio-countermeasures duties in 100 Group for the remainder of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown 4 Group Halifaxes – 45 bombing 100 Group Halifaxes – 63 R.C.M. Total – 108 raids (bombs were sometimes dropped during the R.C.M. operations) Sorties and Losses 4 Group Halifaxes – 544 sorties, 6 aircraft lost (1.1 percent) 100 Group Halifaxes – 621 sorties, 7 aircraft lost (1.1 percent) Total – 1,165 sorties, 13 aircraft lost (1.1 percent)

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14838-14848). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

463 (AUSTRALIAN) SQUADRON

Formed in 5 Group on 25 November 1943 and flew Lancasters from Waddington until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

463 Squadron flew 2,525 Lancaster sorties and lost 69 aircraft (2.7 percent) in 180 bombing raids. 10 further Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

The squadron’s aircraft often carried cameramen of the R.A.F. Film Unit. Suffered the highest percentage loss rate in Australian squadrons, but only by a small fraction from 460 and 467 Squadrons.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14850-14855). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

464 (AUSTRALIAN) SQUADRON

Formed in 2 Group and flew Venturas from Feltwell and Methwold until 2 Group left Bomber Command in May 1943. Continued to operate in the 2nd Tactical Air Force until the end of the war, converting to Mosquito fighter-bombers in August 1943.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

464 Squadron flew 226 Ventura sorties and lost 6 aircraft (1.8 percent) in 28 bombing raids.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14855-14860). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

466 (AUSTRALIAN) SQUADRON

Formed in 4 Group on 15 October 1942 and flew Wellingtons and Halifaxes from Driffield (twice) and Leconfield until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown Wellingtons – 46 bombing, 43 minelaying Halifaxes – 168 bombing, 7 minelaying Total – 214 bombing, 50 minelaying = 264 raids Sorties and Losses Wellingtons – 844 sorties, 25 aircraft lost (3.0 percent) Halifaxes – 2,484 sorties, 40 aircraft lost (1.6 percent) Total – 3,328 sorties, 65 aircraft lost (2.0 percent)

POINTS OF INTEREST

Flew most sorties and suffered most losses in 4 Group Wellington squadrons.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14860-14870). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

467 (AUSTRALIAN) SQUADRON

Formed in 5 Group on 7 November 1942 and flew Lancasters from Scampton, Bottesford and Waddington until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

467 Squadron flew 3,833 Lancaster sorties and lost 104 aircraft (2.7 percent) in 299 bombing and 15 minelaying raids. 14 further Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14870-14874). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

487 (NEW ZEALAND) SQUADRON

Formed in 2 Group and flew Venturas from Feltwell and Methwold until 2 Group left Bomber Command in May 1943. Continued to operate in the 2nd Tactical Air Force until the end of the war, converting to Mosquito fighter-bombers in August 1943.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

487 Squadron flew 273 Ventura sorties and lost 15 aircraft (5.5 percent) in 27 bombing raids. 1 further Ventura was destroyed in a crash.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Victoria Cross: Squadron Leader L. H. Trent, Amsterdam Power Station, 3 May 1943. 487 Squadron lost 10 aircraft on this raid.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14876-14881). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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514 SQUADRON

Formed in 3 Group on 1 September 1943 and flew Lancasters from Foulsham and Waterbeach until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

514 Squadron flew 3,675 Lancaster sorties and lost 66 aircraft (1.8 percent) in 218 bombing and 4 minelaying raids. 14 further Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14882-14886). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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515 SQUADRON

A radio-countermeasures unit flying Defiants and Beaufighters until transferred to 100 Group in December 1943. Flew Serrate and Intruder operations, using Mosquitoes, from 5 March 1944 until the end of the war; based at Little Snoring.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

515 Squadron flew 1,366 Mosquito sorties and lost 21 aircraft (1.5 percent) in 239 Serrate/ Intruder and 9 escort operations. The squadron claimed 11 German aircraft destroyed in the air, 18 on the ground and 5 more damaged on the ground.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Suffered the most losses and the highest percentage loss in 100 Group Mosquito squadrons.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14886-14893). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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550 SQUADRON

Formed in 1 Group on 25 November 1943 and flew Lancasters from Grimsby and North Killingholme until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

550 Squadron flew 3,582 Lancaster sorties and lost 59 aircraft (1.6 percent) in 192 raids. 14 further Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14893-14897). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

 

571 SQUADRON

Formed in 8 Group on 7 April 1944 for the Light Night Striking Force and flew Mosquitoes from Downham Market and Graveley (both briefly), and then Oakington until the end of the war.​​ 

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

571 Squadron flew 2,681 Mosquito sorties and lost 8 aircraft (0.3 percent) in 259 bombing raids and 1 minelaying operation.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14901-14902). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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576 SQUADRON

Formed in 1 Group on 25 November 1943 and flew Lancasters from Elsham Wolds and Fiskerton until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

576 Squadron flew 2,788 Lancaster sorties and lost 66 aircraft (2.4 percent) in 189 bombing and 2 minelaying raids. 9 further Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14902-14906). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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578 SQUADRON

Formed in 4 Group on 14 January 1944 and flew Halifaxes from Snaith and Burn until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

578 Squadron flew 2,721 Halifax sorties and lost 40 aircraft (1.5 percent) in 155 bombing raids.​​ 

POINTS OF INTEREST

Victoria Cross: Pilot Officer C. J. Barton, posthumously, Nuremberg, 30/ 31 March 1944.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14906-14911). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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582 SQUADRON

Formed as a Pathfinder squadron in 8 Group on 1 April 1944 and flew Lancasters from Little Staughton until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

582 Squadron flew 2,157 Lancaster sorties and lost 28 aircraft (1.3 percent) in 165 raids. 8 further Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Victoria Cross: Captain E. E. Swales, posthumously, Pforzheim, 23/ 24 February 1945.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14912-14917). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

608 (NORTH RIDING) SQUADRON

This pre-war Auxiliary Air Force squadron had flown maritime operations from England and in the Middle East from 1939 until disbanded in Italy on 31 July 1944. Re-formed the following day as a Mosquito squadron for the Light Night Striking Force in 8 Group and flew from Downham Market until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

608 Squadron flew 1,726 Mosquito sorties and lost 9 aircraft (0.5 percent) in 246 bombing raids.​​ 

POINTS OF INTEREST

The only Auxiliary Air Force squadron to serve in Bomber Command, but there was little trace of the pre-war Auxiliary character at the time of the Bomber Command service.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14918-14925). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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617 SQUADRON

Formed on 21 March 1943 as a special squadron in 5 Group specifically for the raid on the German dams which took place on 16/ 17 May 1943. Retained as a precision-bombing squadron after the Dams Raid and flew Lancasters, Mosquitoes and Mustangs from Scampton, Coningsby and Woodhall Spa until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Raids Flown 100 bombing raids and the eve of D-Day ‘spoof’ raid were carried out. Sorties and Losses Lancasters – 1,478 sorties, 32 aircraft lost (2.2 percent) Mosquitoes – 75 sorties, no losses Mustangs – 6 sorties, no losses Total – 1,599 sorties, 32 aircraft lost (2.1 percent) 12 Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Victoria Crosses: Wing Commander G. P. Gibson, D.S.O., D.F.C., The Dams Raid, 16/ 17 May 1943. (Wing Commander Gibson was killed in action on 19/ 20 September 1944.) Wing Commander G. L.​​ Cheshire, D.S.O., D.F.C.; the Victoria Cross was awarded on 8 September 1944 for many acts of courage during four tours of operations.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14926-14939). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

619 SQUADRON

Formed in 5 Group on 18 April 1943 and flew Lancasters from Woodhall Spa, Coningsby, Dunholme Lodge and Strubby until the end of the war.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

619 Squadron flew 3,011 Lancaster sorties and lost 77 aircraft (2.6 percent) in 223 bombing and 17 minelaying raids. 12 further Lancasters were destroyed in crashes.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14939-14943). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

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620 SQUADRON

Formed on 17 June 1943 in 3 Group and flew Stirlings from Chedburgh until transferred to 38 Group in November 1943 for duty as a transport and glider-towing squadron.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

620 Squadron flew 339 Stirling sorties and lost 17 aircraft (5.0 percent) in 32 bombing and 29 minelaying raids. 9 further Stirlings were destroyed in crashes.

Everitt, Chris; Middlebrook, Martin (2014-04-02). The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book (Kindle Locations 14944-14948). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.